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oh oh oporto!

Typically, fast food is shunned in our household. Typically. Unless we are driving down I-70 after a big day of free-heeling pow (translates into: telemarking deep, fluffy snow) and are desperate to stoke up on grease, sodium, sugar, and more grease. When it comes to fast food, my personal favorite is the Chick-fil-A sandwich – a chicken sandwich I grew up eating in southern Virginia. It lived in every mall in the South.

Last year, I toured Sydney for four days while Jeremy dorked out with an international team of astronomers – a group that makes even geologists look fashionable – in Alice Springs. I can’t say I have ever experienced a more incredible eating tour of any city, thanks to my dear Kell. We ate some seriously fancy shmancy food. I also had my token spud meatpie at Harry’s Cafe de Wheels in Woolloomooloo. I love saying Woolloomooloo as much as I love typing it. Woolloomooloo, Woolloomooloo, Woolloomooloo. As part of my inaugural effort to eat all of Sydney, Kell and Jerad took me to Oporto to experience what they claim is Australia’s best fast food sandwich: a chicken filet sandwich with a chili ginger sauce (piri piri). Instant love, I tell you.

Imagine my surprise and elation when a package arrived for me a few weeks ago postmarked from Australia. I love my Kell, because she randomly purchases everyday delights from her lovely (and hot – did I tell you how bloody hot it is in Oz?) island continent nation, pops them into a bubble-padded envelope, and ships them to my post office box in the hills. That and she has a wicked hilarious sense of humor. Anyway, this package contained the precious of precious sauces:


oporto’s piri piri sauce



There were instructions scribbled on a note for me. Kell said to take some chicken breast and “burger” it to enjoy with the sauce. I like her verbage. Burger it. So I did!

dredge the chicken



I butterflied a couple of chicken breasts so they were of even thickness and cut pieces that were burger-sized. First I dipped the chicken in frothy egg white and then dredged each piece in a mixture of flour, garlic powder, ground pepper, salt, and bread crumbs. Next I fried them up in oil – a process that makes every southern girl salivate, even in polite company.

i have dreams about frying chicken



Once the burgered chicken filets are ready, slap them on some soft bread (toasted or no – we go for both teams in this house) with shredded lettuce, a swipe of mayo, and most of all the Oporto sauce. What is in the sauce? I haven’t tried replicating it myself, but the ingredients listed on the packet are as follows: chilli purée, vegetable oil, water, ginger, lemon, garlic, salt, thickener, vegetable gum, preservative. I don’t have vegetable gum or preservative in my kitchen, but I dare say I might give it a go.

oh my, yes please



Damn good sandwich, I tell you. Gives my Chick-fil-A a run for her money. Love the spicy. This comes close to fast food lust.

14 nibbles at “oh oh oporto!”

  1. Wendy says:

    Is it awful that it’s 7.30am and I’m seriously craving one of these?

  2. Amy says:

    Oh my god that looks good.

  3. peabody says:

    Well I would have to skip the spicy stuff but I would be all over the chicken.

  4. jeff says:

    mmm… looks good:)

  5. Christine says:

    I love the Chick Fil-A – and the chili-ginger sauce makes it even better. This Asian-inspired sauce would convince me that the sandwich is so much healthier now :)

  6. Kalyn says:

    Oh my, it does look just delicious!

  7. Nicole says:

    Man, I love fried chicken sandwiches. While traveling to VA for the holidays, I literally dragged Andrew to Chick-Fil-A at the first opportunity (in an airport). The thing that kills me is that he’s afraid of the classic sandwich and always gets the nasty chargrilled one … then stares with longing at the crispy perfection that I’m eating. Next time I don’t think I’ll let him order at all!

    Here’s one I haven’t made yet, but it’s on my list:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/08/01/FD5KRA8B62.DTL

  8. kelley says:

    I think Nando’s peri-peri chicken in South Africa would rate right up there… by the sound of it, it’s probably quite tastily like Oporto! I had a friend get me some Nando’s sauce last time she was in SA… but I just looked online, and you can order it here: http://www.nandosperiperi.com/categorypage.asp?affilid=1&curid=5 In case you’re interested, or anything!

    Yum, yum. Now I want to fry me up some chicken…

  9. Lynn says:

    The chicken looks fabulous! I’ve never heard of using “burger” as a verb before. I’ll have to remember that.

  10. Kevin says:

    That chicken looks crispy, golden brown and good!

  11. jenyu says:

    Wendy – nah, I crave fried food even when I’ve just eaten ;)

    Amy – I have to admit that it was terrific.

    peabody – the chicken is half of the magic! I’m all about the chicken!!

    jeff – agreed :)

    Christine – ha ha, I believe it’s actually a Portuguese sauce, but anything with chili and ginger sounds good to me.

    Kalyn – absolutely!

    Nic – that sandwich looks scary big to me! and is she wearing a wig or is her hair really dyed blue like that? *jealous* Tell Andrew to get with the program! He needs to have an original!

    kelley – wow! peri-peri sounds a lot like piri piri! Nando may have some roots in common with the founder of Oporto (an immigrant from Portugal to Australia). Thanks for the link – looks GREAT.

    Lynn – I like “burger” too :)

    Kevin – it’s delish, man. You should try it.

  12. mycookinghut says:

    I stumbled your blog and found this recipe yummy!!

  13. Taylor says:

    Your food all looks so yummy!
    Thanks for sharing all these delightful little bits of heaven with us!

  14. jenyu says:

    mycookinghut – thanks!

    Taylor – you’re so very welcome :)

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