Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Hangin With: What do fusion chefs eat when they’re hungover?

14/12/2022

Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman

05m read

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We’ve all grappled with the self-inflicted turmoil that a hangover can bring, and we all have our own culinary rituals to try and pull ourselves out of it. 

For some, the only answer is carbs, and plenty of them, too. Others will reach for the Nutribullet and attempt to drown their sorrows in a glass of blended greens, and then there are those who can only manage a Pot Noodle, if anything at all. 

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What food do you reach for on a hangover?(Credit: Alamy)

Here at Twisted, we couldn’t help but wonder just how predictable everyone’s hungover meal really is. Would it be accurate to assume that all burger chefs crave the finest slab of meat, for instance, or do some nurture a secret McDonald’s habit, or even go against all their daily instincts and opt for a salad? 

In a bid for answers, this franchise will speak to groups of people from around the globe, and seek to discover if they have the same hankerings as their peers, or if hangover cravings really *are* different for everyone. 

First up we spoke to pizza chefs, and Thanksgiving turkey farmers (whose answers might surprise you!) – but next, we thought we’d speak to people who like to cook food just like us. 

What do fusion chefs eat when they’re hungover?

Now, you probably know this already, but fusion food is our forte here at Twisted. We’ve been knocking up dishes with a whole range of influences since day one – be it the Pizzadilla, Indian inspired sushi rolls or a chicken Katsu souvlaki. 

But as creative as they may be, do all fusion chefs want to put a twist on a meal whilst nursing a stinking hangover? Even our team was divided, so we decided to take it to three more industry pros…

We’ve got a stellar line-up of fusion chefs for this one, and their hangover picks are insane. Check them out for yourself below…

Yotam Ottolenghi, restaurateur and cookbook author, and Noor Murad, head chef at Ottolenghi Test Kitchen

yotam ottolenghi noor murad

Ottolenghi and Noor cook with middle eastern flavours (Credit: Elena Heatherwick)

What’s your ultimate hangover food and why?

Noor: “I have half a glass of wine and I’m hungover! The next day, I would un-Ottolenghify whatever I’m eating. It has to be very low volume…the volume has to be turned right down. So, it would be something like eggs with a bit of dukkah. Something really, really simple. That’s about all I could manage.”

Yotam: “For me. I would do something like cheese on toast, and then I would probably eat it with a pickle, because I always have to eat a pickle with my cheese on toast… I can’t just have it on its own. 

“It can be any old pickle from the fridge, it doesn’t need to be anything special, but that’s what really puts me in the right frame of mind and starts fixing things.” 

Talk us through the setup

Noor: “Mine’s with nobody there, because I just want to eat alone.” 

Yotam: “I would probably be with my husband and our kids in the playroom downstairs watching something stupid on TV – that would probably be what we would be doing – and fighting over what to watch!” 

What item from your new cookbook, Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things would you advise a hungover person to make?

Yotam: “That would have to be the [cheesy curried] butter beans on toast. To put it together is just zero effort, but they taste amazing.” 

Noor: “Yeah, definitely the beans on toast. That has a kick to it as well. It’s got ginger, it’s got curry powder, it’s got pickles. That would awaken the senses.” 

Read our exclusive full interview with Yotam and Noor about their new cookbook, here. 

Sebby Holmes, cookbook author and founder of Farang

farang sebby holmes

Sebby owns Highbury Thai restaurant Farang, and wrote a Thai cookbook (Credit: Farang)

What’s your ultimate hangover food and why?

“Now, for me, the ultimate hangover food depends on the grade of hangover I have managed to subject myself to. If we’re talking ‘drunk a few too many Proseccos with mum last night’, I will likely be nursing a mid-range, 5/10 kind of hangover the next day. These can be easily eradicated if managed correctly. 

The right balance of carbohydrate, fat, sweet, sour, and salty is the way forward. For me, smoked streaky bacon (grilled to a crisp), ketchup, (or if you’re feeling a little spicy, some burnt chilli sauce), crisp lettuce, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and a fried egg within some buttered, toasted bread [is the answer]. There is no way you will not feel better after eating this to soak away the demons from the night before. 

If we’re talking ‘out with the lads last night, don’t remember getting home and missing a shoe’ kind of night, this is a whole different ball game.

These 10/10 kinds of hangovers need to be approached with caution and a bacon sandwich – be it delicious – just won’t cut the mustard in this scenario. In my opinion, the full English breakfast was literally created as a remedy for this suffering. Seal the deal with a strong coffee and an ice-cold fresh orange juice and you’ll be right back on track.” 

Talk us through the setup 

“I’ll be cooking this at home with my fiancée, making her breakfast in an attempt to prove I am not that hungover… I will have eyes bigger than my stomach and cook like I’m cooking for a family of six.

I would then be reminded that she has stopped eating meat, meaning I have cooked six breakfasts for myself. We’ll then head to one of our neighbours near Farang, Franks Canteen in Highbury Barn and order a delicious breakfast there.” 

What item on your own menu would you advise hungover customers to order?

“Farang is always packed on a Saturday lunch and I’m banking on about 90 percent of our customers coming in at this time with a hangover.

Interestingly, most people order our Feasting Menu. This is a taster of the whole menu and takes 1.5 / 2 hours to eat, so you can strap in and let us deal with that hangover (bear in mind that you may need some wheels to get home afterwards).

The feast begins with a range of small plates from our glazed Thai IPA fried chicken with fresh lime and burnt chilli dipping sauce, to our turmeric prawn miang bites, with toasted coconut, peanuts, sour fruits, tamarind, fish sauce and palm sugar. You then share a whole crispy seabass… [and finally] one of our hand-made Thai curries, made from ingredients flown in weekly, fresh turmeric; curry leaf salted roti bread and jasmine rice to finish.

The feasting menu starts with a cocktail or mocktail of your choice so there is ample opportunity to ‘get back on it’ if you are into that kind of thing. Sometimes the hair of the dog is the smartest way forward.” 

What’s your ultimate hangover food and why?

“Anything with eggs, but specifically a fried egg sandwich with Lao gan ma chilli crisp on white untoasted bread.

I often add cheese onto the eggs while they are frying and if I’m feeling more coordinated than other mornings, I will throw in some sliced tomatoes.

The bread has to be buttered and mayo’d – this is important because the fat is key to the cure. It is so comforting and basic and nearly always washed down with an Orange Tango or a can of Coca Cola.”

Talk us through the setup 

“I’m a lone wolf when it comes to curing hangovers. As much as I love cooking for others professionally, when it comes to this sandwich and my hungover state, I prefer to dine alone and at home.”

What item on your own menu is best enjoyed on a hangover?

“At Tiger and Rabbit we have a dish that will stomp on a hangover – our steak kimchi fried rice.

The spicy, nutty fried rice which is topped with a soft boiled egg and umami rich bulgogi steak will straighten you out and leave you to go and conquer your world.”

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