Yassa is an African chicken recipe which our family has liked very much ever since a visit to Senegal. Senegal is an African country located at the west coast. The country envelopes Gambia, and shares borders with Mauritania to the North, Mali East and Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the South.
Fabulous is, this dish is very flexible.
It tastes great with grilled chicken drumsticks or lamb cutlets, but it also goes well with cubed or striped chicken, lamb or even beef. For a vegetarian version, replace the meat with dried texture soy cubes.
The key ingredients, mustard and vinegar, give this dish its specific note. At first, we chose white vinegar which we replaced the following times with apple cider vinegar. The apple cider vinegar added as an acid ingredient left a fruity taste. All of the other spices are there to enhance and give specific hints.
Experience taught us, that proper preparation, and marinating the meat beforehand is a big plus on the overall result.
If you choose lamb cutlets treat them as you would treat the chicken drumsticks.
In case you decided to use meat cubes or stripes marinate them as described, but when you fry the marinade start with the meat. This means pick out all pieces of meat with a fork and place them into the frying pan with hot oil. When the meat is cooked through add the onions. When these are clear add the carrots and later the olives and the optional green capsicum.
Side dishes that go well with Yassa besides rice are noodles or couscous. Finer noodles are often steamed like the couscous to guarantee their fluffiness while having their highest volume possible.
As a matter of fact we did experiment quite successfully with creating a vegetarian Yassa.
In doing so, the meat was substituted by textured dried soy cubes. These were soaked in vegetable stock and then added to the mustard onion marinade. The marinade covered the bland taste of the soy cubes completely.
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