French Quenelles Gone Mad

A recipe by Mandy Lee from her beautiful cookbook, The Art of Escapism Cooking. A hybrid between French and Sichuan cooking.

I love Lady and Pups. Love her cooking, love her style and her photography. I’ve been following her instagram account for a while. So I was super excited when she released her book, The Art of Escapism Cooking – I had to get it straight away.

One of the recipes that spoke to me the most was this French & Sichuan duet (probably because I’m living with a french guy?). Quenelles are fluffy fish mousse dumplings, typically served in buttery rich sauces such as béchamel or a creamy crayfish sauce – a classic dish from Lyon, Southern France. The beauty about them, besides their fluffiness, is how versatile they can be. They soak up every sauce that you will put them in and become one with it.

This specific combo promised a perfect mixture of savoury, fiery yet sweet and creamy deliciousness, that will blow your mind – and after weeks of gathering the ingredients and pickling the chilies – I finally made it.

French Quenelles Gone Mad - a recipe by Mandy Lee

French Quenelles Gone Mad – a recipe by Mandy Lee

The results: as promised – Incredibly delicious, comforting, fluffy fish mousse dumplings in an extremely rich, creamy and fiery sauce. But, they are very, very fiery! 🌶🙈

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE spicy food and believe that I can really take it! I had to surrender after half the portion. The boyfriend ate the whole thing though, mine too.

Had to make these pickled chilies two weeks in advance. They are FIRE but all worth it!

Had to make these pickled chilies two weeks in advance. They are FIRE but all worth it!

Rest assured that my relationship with this dish is not over – I am equipped with spices and pickled chilies and ready to go again! Next time, I’ll just try adding the Mala Pouring Oil (also in the book, and I believe this is where most of the heat is coming from) drop-by-drop 😅

UPDATE: I did it again

I made it again! And this time, it is even better. The only thing that I changed from last time is adding only HALF of the Mala Pouring Oil – and it was perfect. Just the right amount of fire for me.


Honestly, why go out to restaurants when you can cook this at home?

The bottom line is – I really, really recommend getting this book. I am absolutely in love with it. It’s worth having even just for the sake of having it – it’s just too damn stunning and a pleasure to read. And what’s even better is that you will be cooking restaurant level meals, in your own kitchen.

So go get the book and start cooking ❤️