Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Bowl & Little Umbrella: Mango Passionfruit Wheat
Summer is in full swing in Colorado, and it’s been a particularly brutal and hot one so far. With the heat comes the need relax, refresh and keep cool. Enter: Summer Beers! Summer beers are some of my favorite to brew. They are light, refreshing, crisp and have such a wide range of ingredients that work well with them. This summer at Spice Trade we’ve been playing around a lot with different fruits (lemons, mangos, passionfruit, yuzu, sudachi), teas (herbal hibiscus, sencha green tea) and herbs (lemon verbena, lemongrass, red shiso) and have come up with some really interesting flavors that are perfect for the summer heat.
Summer is also the time to dust off the grill and bring your cooking outside. Cooking on the grill is great because it adds a whole other layer of smoky and mildly charred flavor (even more so if you’re using charcoal) that is hard to achieve on your stove or oven alone. Plus, cleanup is always easier which is a big win in my book. So, break out your tongs, kick on the grill and crack open a beer. Let’s get cooking!
The Beer is our Little Umbrella: Mango Passionfruit Wheat and man is this the definition of a refreshing summer beer. It was inspired by a trip I made to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, to a small surfing town, Santa Teresa.
Our days were mostly filled with hanging out on the beach, cooking in our outdoor kitchen, surfing, and riding ATVs through the dirt road towns (the main mode of transport there). I was blown away with how fresh and delicious all the food was in Costa Rica. You expect the fish and fresh fruit to be good, and they did not disappoint, but everything from chicken and beef to coffee and pastries were so delicious. Everything is grown fresh and locally; transportation distances are small and there is no real “mass market agricultural” industry like in the US. You get to eat things at their peak freshness without all the preservatives or harvesting before produce is ready to allow for long transportation distances.
I wanted to capture the flavors of this trip in a beer. Something light, tart & refreshing that pairs perfectly with a lazy day on the beach or exploring through the jungles. Enter: Little Umbrella. A low ABV wheat beer that is bright with flavors of Mango & Passionfruit, without being sweet or full bodied. We mash low and fully ferment out the pure mango and passionfruit puree which is what makes Little Umbrella so easy drinking and refreshing.
The Food is inspired by another tropical region, Hawaii. With strong Polynesian ties and Asian influence in their cuisine its no surprise that Teriyaki chicken is a common dish there. The recipe below is for a grilled Teriyaki chicken bowl with fresh pineapple and coconut rice. I recommend getting some sweet chili sauce to go on top if you really want to take it to another level.
The Pairing is a complimentary explosion of tropical flavors (coconut, mango, pineapple & passionfruit) that tie the beer and food together. The tartness in the beer goes well with the acidic lime zest that the grilled veggies are tossed in while still being light enough in flavor to let the food shine through.
The Recipe – Good for 4-6 People
Teriyaki Chicken Marinade
- 2lbs Chicken Thighs
- 1/2C Soy Sauce
- 1/4C + 2TBS Palm Sugar (Substitute: Brown Sugar)
- 1/4C Water
- 1/4C Vegetable Oil
- 1TBS Grated Ginger
- 1tsp Onion Powder
- 1tsp Sesame Seeds
- 1/2tsp Salt
- 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
Veggies & Lime Zest
- 2 Limes Juiced
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1tsp Grated Ginger
- 1 Pineapple – Cut in 1’’ chunks
- 1 Red Pepper
- 1 Orange Pepper
- 1 Red Onion
- 2C White Rice
- 13.5oz Can Coconut Cream
- 1C Water
- 1TBS White Sugar
Start by mixing all the ingredients for the marinade together (other than the chicken) and heat them in a sauce pan over medium heat. You want to dissolve the sugar, get the flavors mixing together and reduce it just a bit so it thickens. This shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes of simmering. Let the marinade cool to room temperature before mixing it with the chicken in a zip top bag. You can put the pan in an ice bath or in the freezer for a few minutes to speed this up. Put the chicken marinade bag in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to marinade. Mix up the lime, salt/pepper and ginger for the lime zest and set aside.
Time to chop! Get all your veggies together and chop them into 1’’ chunks. You will need a BBQ grill pan (see picture below) to cook the veggies on the grill without losing them through the grate. I prefer an open bottom pan (with little holes cut in it) to get the char from the flame. You can also skewer the veggies and cook them directly on the grill. If you go this route, make sure to soak your wooden skewers in water beforehand so you don’t set the place on fire.
Get the coconut rice going before you fire up the grill. First you will need to rinse the rice in water. I typically cover the rice with water in a bowl, let sit for a minute, and mix it around with my hand. You will notice the water get cloudy as the starch coating the rice gets washed off. Drain the starchy liquid and repeat 2 more times, or until the water runs mostly clear. Next mix up the coconut milk, water and sugar in a pot along with the rice. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Take off the heat, fluff with a fork, cover and set aside until the rest of the food is ready to go.
The veggies will take a few more minutes than the chicken to cook (if your using the pan method) so get those going first, then add the chicken after you’ve let it sit in the fridge for at least 30 min. Once your veggies and chicken are done cooking on the grill its time to assemble the bowl! Toss the veggies in the lime zest & chop up the chicken. Start with coconut rice, veggies & chicken above that and top it all off with some sliced green onions, sweet chili sauce and limes on the side. Crack a beer and enjoy!