Occasional recipes: Flying Jacob

Flying who?

I know, I know. Sometimes I wonder whether Swedish cuisine is in fact a very clever, straight-faced joke on the rest of the world. Do our Volvo-driving, Abba-crooning cousins really tuck in regularly to pickled herring with creme fraiche, boiled potatoes and lingonberry sauce? Or do they just wait until one of them brings home a Brit who wants to marry her and really, really wants to impress his prospective inlaws?

Anyway, Flying Jacob/Flygande Jakob is a dish that includes those traditional Swedish food items bananas, chili, peanuts and rice. Oh, and chicken and bacon. We got the recipe from Swedish Mike, an exiled Swede who lives in Abingdon and blogs strange recipes at www.freestylecookery.com. I won’t steal a fellow blogger’s thunder, so here I’ll just list the ingredients with our variations. To serve four:

  • 4 portions cooked white rice
  • 6 – 8 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
  • 4 skin- and boneless chicken breasts, cut into bitesized pieces
  • 3 ripe bananas, sliced
  • 125 ml chili sauce (or spicy ketchup) [we used chili & garlic sauce from Tesco: strong but worth it]
  • 350 ml single cream [cream was left off the shopping list to an administrative error: we made up the fluid difference with a 50/50 mix of milk and natural yoghurt. In my opinion this worked perfectly: I wouldn’t want it to be richer/creamier than it was.]
  • Peanuts [regular salted]

As to how to cook all this, see how Swedish Mike does it, and do likewise. You won’t go far wrong. The overall effect is very Thai or Indonesian: the different flavours – yes, even the bananas – work together astonishingly well.