Wagamama collaborates with acclaimed food blogger for trial dish

Wagamama has today announced the launch of a new dish in collaboration with an exciting new home cook, celebrating the authentic flavours of home cooked Asian food.

The innovative casual dining chain is known for its collaborations after launching critically acclaimed vegan dishes with vegan chef and YouTube star Gaz Oakley and King Cook.

Now Wagamama is proud to launch its new dish named Shu’s Shiok Chicken and Rice, made in collaboration with Shu Han Lee, a young food writer and home cook.

Originally from Asia’s food hub, Singapore, Han Lee began cooking when she moved to the UK as a student and realised that what she missed most were the flavours of home.

Drawing on generations of experience, and a love of bringing the fresh flavours of South East Asia to London, Han Lee is one of the city’s hottest up and coming cooks – author of the South East Asian cookbook Chicken & Rice and founder of Rempapa Spice Company.

Han Lee’s blog, Mummy I can Cook, was started as a way for her to document evidence that she was surviving in London for the benefit of her mum, but has since been named as one of Britain’s best food blogs by the Sunday Times.

The dish is made with Han Lee's special edition spice paste which infuses the chicken overnight with Peranakan flavours – a blend of Chinese and Malay influences unique to Singaporean and Malaysian kitchens. This ginger, garlic and herb marinated chicken is then roasted and served on a bed of Wagamama coconut and lemongrass dressed rice with lightly pickled slaw, coriander, chilli and finished with a caramelised lime.

The dish will be exclusively available for a limited time at Wagamama’s test kitchen - Noodle Lab - in Dean Street, Soho, London.

Han Lee’s story - and cooking - is all about home. Leaving home and not being able to cook. Learning to cook to alleviate the homesickness. Taking inspiration in her cooking from generations of family experience.

Han Lee said, “I was really excited to create this simple, yet utterly comforting chicken & rice dish that brings together all the exciting flavours I grew up with and love. ‘Shiok’ is an expression we use in Singapore to describe the feeling you get when something just hits the right spot – and I hope this dish does exactly that for other people.”

Brand Manager, Andrew Dengate, said, “The dish is an homage to Shu’s home. It’s understated and delicious. It’s comforting and moreish. Homestyle authentic cooking. Our collaborations are a chance for us to work with the rising stars in food and Shu brings a wealth of knowledge to our table as we continue to bring the authentic flavours of our home region to life.”

Head of Food Innovation, Jas Ayling, said, “I’m so excited about this dish. It’s all about authenticity and this collaboration recipe epitomises south east asian food. Whilst it looks like a humble bowl, it packs layer upon layer of flavour and is a perfect balance of salt, sweet, sour and heat. It’s the ultimate comfort food.“

Earlier this year, Wagamama launched its second collaboration with vegan chef Gaz Oakley with the creation of the world’s first vegan egg.

Oakley collaborated with Wagamama executive chef, Steve Mangleshot, to create the fresh, Japanese-inspired bowl, aptly named 'the avant-gard’n', with the aim of continuing to make vegan food more interesting. The chefs at Wagamama, pioneers of plant based food, believe that meat free should not mean taste free.