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Wednesday 24 October 2012

The Pie Man Does Street Food US Style

Words by Simeen Kadi

Andy Bates, aka the Pie Man, asked his mother if she would help out with his Whitecross Street stall while he traversed the US experiencing street food for his latest television series for UK Food Network. Street Feasts USA begins this week and sees Bates sidling up to street food trucks from NY to LA sampling everything from waffles to po'boys. Meanwhile, his loyal mum took the train up from Kent to (wo)man his pie stall – and a fine job she did too as the stall was pretty much cleaned out by 2.30pm both times I walked passed recently.

Back in London, Andy Bates is keen to show us how unfussy and delicious street food can be and so he invited a few foodie types to cook and eat a couple of his street food recipes while sharing with us some of his experiences of street food US-style.

The first was a vegetarian scotch egg and I was pretty sceptical. Scotch eggs have been given pretty much every twist and turn recently and every pub with foodie leanings has had a go at making their own, some with delicious results. But a vegetarian scotch egg? It wasn't grabbing us foodies on a wet Saturday morning, in any case. But we all persevered and the result was surprisingly satisfying and delicious. While the chick pea/bean combo did not have the chewiness of forcemeat, there was still a rich mouthfeel and the ginger and coriander in the mix went well with the egg.

Here is the recipe if you would like to try them out for yourself:

Vegetarian Scotch Eggs

Serves 8
Preparation 20 minutes
Cooking time 10 minutes

4 large free range eggs
1 x 400g can chickpeas
1 x 400g can red kidney beans
1 x 400g can white cannellini beans
1 tbsp fresh coriander
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp chilli
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
125g plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 free range eggs, beaten
400g white breadcrumbs  
Vegetable oil, for deep frying


Place the eggs, still in their shells, in a pan of boiling water, simmer for 6 minutes. Drain and cool the eggs under cold running water, then peel.

For the filling, drain the canned beans and chickpeas, and rinse thoroughly in cold water. Mash them together, creating a coarse mix. Add the coriander, ginger, chilli and seasoning  and mix.

Divide into four 100g portions and flatten each out on a piece of clingfilm, into ovals about 12.5cm long and 7.5cm at its widest point.

Place each egg onto bean mix oval, then pick the cling film square up by its corners, and use it to wrap the mix around each egg. Make sure the coating is smooth and completely covers the egg.

Prepare a crumbing station by adding flour to a wide bowl. In another bowl, combine the beaten eggs with milk. Put the breadcrumbs on a large plate.
Roll each one first in the flour, then in the beaten egg, making sure it is completely coated. Then roll in the breadcrumbs to completely cover. Repeat the process excluding flour to double-coat.

Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 180⁰C. Carefully place each Scotch egg into the hot oil and deep-fry for 7-8 minutes until golden and crisp.

Carefully remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

We also tried our hand at making Andy's take on Po'boys. Po'boys (derived from Poor Boy) is a sandwich with origins in New Orleans where seafood such as oysters were a cheap source of protein. Deep fried and stuffed into a bun, they are still a famous New Orleans attraction. Andy was inspired by the idea and created his own version, this time using prawns roughly mixed and deep fried accompanied with a crisp celeriac remoulade to cut through the richness of the prawns. The result was a very fine sandwich indeed with a substantial filling which looks impressive when cut in half. A great recipe which will wow your guests but is actually quick and easy to make.

Prawn Po Boys

Serves 2
Preparation 20 minutes
Cooking time 10 minutes

1 tsp mustard
1 tbsp mayonnaise
I tbsp crème fraiche
1 tbcp chives, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 celeriac, peeled then julienned using a mandolin

20g cashew nuts
200g whole prawns, raw and peeled
Pinch cayenne
Zest of 1 lemon
10g panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs
40g Parmesan
1 focaccia roll
20g butter
10g baby leaf spinach


For the remoulade. In a bowl put the mustard, mayonnaise, crème fraiche, chives, salt and pepper and stir. Add the celeriac to the bowl, mix and put to one side.

For the parmesan crisps, put 4 piles of Parmesan on to a heatproof mat and put them into an oven at 200°C for 5 minutes. Allow to cool and crisp up.

Put a pan on the heat and add the cashew nuts, stirring until toasted. Remove to a board, roughly chop and place into a bowl until needed.

Reserve 6 of the whole prawns and put the remaining amount into a hand blender and add the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Blitz until it becomes a purée, pour into a bowl then add the remaining 6 whole prawns and fold in.

Put a pan on the heat and pour enough oil to cover ½cm depth. Wet your hands before forming the prawn patty into two oval burger shapes, try to keep the whole prawns in the middle of the patties.

Carefully place in the pan away from you, check after 3 minutes, turn over and cook for a further 3 minutes. Once cooked, carefully remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

Take the ends off the focaccia and slice through the middle. Butter the focaccia and place on to a hot griddle until golden.

To serve, put the patty on the bread, then the cheese, some spinach, spoon on some celeriac, sprinkle over some cashew nuts and finally the Parmesan crisps. Using some greaseproof paper, roll it over to become a wrap and twist the ends. Eat immediately.

Watch a bunch of food bloggers cooking up and serving these tasty treats

Champion street food around the UK and you could win a free lunch - To mark the new series UK Food Network is asking for your help to identify the UK's street food heroes. Just take a photo of your favourite street food and post it through Twitter or Instagram using #StreetFeastsUSA. And don't forget to add the hashtag of your fave street food vendor too.

Or have a look at what others have posted on the Stweet Food Map. More details here.

Words by Simeen Kadi
Simeen Kadi is a technology marketer and a bonne vivante. She has recently begun sharing her dining and drinking exploits as a guest reviewer, writing about food, cocktails and fun times from around the world. Simeen lives in and is in love with London.


  1. Great post! I liked the video. Does Simeen have a blog or a website?

  2. I like the look of both of these street food eats. Kind of wishing I'd been in that street on that day in that video. Great stuff.


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