What is chaos cooking? 3 recipes to try at home like mango jalapeno popcorn shrimp

Jeff Mauro shared his ideas for the combination of unusual flavors.

January 27, 2023, 7:49 AM

Chaos cooking combines unlikely ingredients and flavor combinations to create a unique hybrid dish

The trend, which began popping up on social media last fall, has been described as fusion "without strict interpretations of one or the other cuisine," chef Alex Watanabe said, speaking about his own Mexican Japanese restaurant to Eater in September.

While the term "chaos cooking" is newer, it's something multiethnic households and chefs have been doing for years.

Menu items like cheeseburger dumplings at Mimi Cheng's or pastrami tacos from Empellón Taqueria are just a couple notable examples.

PHOTO: Jeff Mauro with a plate of popcorn shrimp and other "chaos cooking" dishes.
Jeff Mauro with a plate of popcorn shrimp and other "chaos cooking" dishes.
ABC News

Chef Jeff Mauro joined "Good Morning America" on Friday to share his top three easy ideas to try the trend at home.

PB&J with BBQ Chips

PHOTO: Pb&j with BBQ chips.
Pb&j with BBQ chips.
ABC News

Ingredients

8 slices country white bread

Extra crunch peanut butter

Good strawberry preserves

BBQ kettle chips

Directions

Shmear one slice of bread with desired amount of peanut butter. Schmear other slice of bread with desired amount of preserves. Layer chips in between, crust to crust! Close and slice on the bias!

Popcorn-crusted Mango Jalapeno Popcorn Shrimp with Popcorn

PHOTO: Popcorn jalapeno mango shrimp.
Popcorn jalapeno mango shrimp.
ABC News

Ingredients

3 cups of popped popcorn, pulverized in a food processor

1 cup of caramel corn

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 eggs, whisked

1 pound 31/40 size shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed

1 quart peanut or vegetable oil

1 recipe Mango Jalapeno Sauce

Directions

Heat oil to 375 F in a deep fryer or dutch oven.

In a food processor, add 2 cups of the popcorn, panko and cornstarch. Pulse until coarsely ground, about 10 pulses. Season to taste.

Set up the breading station with the flour, the egg, and the popcorn/breading mixture. Coat each shrimp in flour, shake off excess, then dip in egg, letting the excess drip off, and then give it a full 360-degree coating in the breading.

Adding 1 shrimp at a time, gently place in oil, making sure the shrimp is not sticking together. Fry until golden brown, while moving shrimp around frequently to ensure they don't stick and brown evenly, for about 2 minutes or until golden. Remove shrimp, place on wire wracked sheet pan, and place in 200 degree oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining shrimp.

Toss the hot shrimp quickly in the warm pan with the mango sauce (recipe below) and 1 cup of caramel popcorn until quickly coated. Plate immediately and coat the entire dish in a generous "snowing" of remaining pulverized popcorn.

Mango Jalapeno Sauce

Ingredients

1 cup ripe mango

2 tablespoons butter

1 jalapeno, most of the seeds and ribs removed, minced

1 clove of garlic, grated on a rasp

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions

In a blender, puree mango until very smooth.

Heat butter in large skillet over medium/low heat. Add in jalapeno and lightly simmer for 2 minutes. Add in garlic and simmer until just fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add in pureed mango, cornstarch, vinegar and brown sugar. Simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened.

Season to taste with salt and more brown sugar and a splash of apple cider vinegar if need be.

Caramel Chicken Wings

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds chicken wings, flats and drums separated

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup of sugar

3 tablespoons of water3/4 cup of warm water

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes

3 tablespoons butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 250 F with oven rack at lower/middle position.

Toss chicken with baking powder.

Place wings on a wire rack on a large sheet pan and spray rack with nonstick cooking spray. Place in 250 degree oven for 20 minutes for first round of cooking.

After 20 minutes, INCREASE OVEN TEMPERATURE to 425 F and bake for another 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy, rotating sheet pan half-way through.

Meanwhile, place sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium/high. Bring to a boil, without stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to lightly simmer until caramel turns deep brown and/or sugar registers 400 degrees, about 5 minutes longer.

Take off heat and add in 3/4 cup of warm water. Whisk until bubbling subsides. Stir in fresh ginger, fish sauce, chili flakes, and 3 tablespoons of butter.

Take warm and crispy wings, and toss with caramel sauce in a bowl. Serve immediately.

Recipes reprinted with courtesy of Jeff Mauro.

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