Despite its comical name, no toads were harmed in the making of this dish. No one actually knows why it is called Toad in the Hole, but some point to how toads found in the British Isles wait in holes in order to surprise their prey. The dish originated in the UK and originally consisted of cheaper meats like pigeon or kidney cooked in a batter, much like a Yorkshire pudding. Nowadays the dish is generally made with sausages. I decided to put a little spin on the dish and give it a Chinese makeover, using homemade Sichuan Canada goose sausages, dried mushrooms, garlic, ginger, scallions, cilantro, and a honey soy sauce to finish.
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Chinese-Style Toad in the Hole

toad in the hole in a cast iron pan

I used homemade Sichuan style wild goose sausages for this dish, but you can use any sausage (preferably with Asian flavours), wild game or otherwise. 

  • Prep Time1 hr
  • Cook Time45 min
  • Total Time1 hr 45 min
  • Ready in2 Hrs
  • Yield4 servings
  • Energy160 cal
  • Cuisine
  • Course
    • Main Course
  • Cooking Method
  • Special Equipment
    • Cast iron pan or deep-dish pie plate
    • flour sieve

Ingredients

For the Toad in the Hole

  • 1 piece of ginger, about the size of your pinkie finger, knuckle to tip, peeled and minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 scallions/green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5mL) Chinese Five-Spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.5mL) crushed white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1.5 cups (180g) all-purpose flour, sieved
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups (300mL) milk
  • 1 tablespoon (15mL) vegetable oil
  • 4 large raw sausages 
  • 10 dried mushrooms (I used shiitake and matsutake)
  • Cilantro leaves to garnish

For the Honey Soy Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons (10mL) honey
  • 5 teaspoons (25mL) soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (5mL) sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon (1.5g) ginger, peeled and cut into tiny slivers
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.5g) toasted sesame seeds

Preparation

At least 1 hour before cooking

1

In a large bowl, mix together ginger, garlic, scallion, five spice, pepper, salt. 

Sieve in the flour and whisk everything together.

2

Make a well in the centre of the bowl and crack in the eggs.

Whisk them together, then start pouring in the milk, mixing together the wet and dry ingredients.

Keep whisking until everything is well-incorporated and there are no lumps. 

3

Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours. 

4

Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and pour hot water over them. Let them sit in the bowl to hydrate as the batter rests. 

Cooking the Toad in the Hole

1

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C, gas mark 7).

 

2

Pour oil into cast iron pan or deep dish pie plate. 

Add sausages and put into oven for 15 minutes, turning once. 

3

Meanwhile, drain the mushrooms. Slice the stems off of them and cut them into halves or thirds depending on the size. 

Remove the batter from the fridge. 

4

Remove the pan from the oven and arrange the sausages in a pattern (they’ll remain in place for the finished product). I chose a pinwheel pattern.

Scatter 2/3 of the mushrooms around the pan. 

Whisk the batter a few times, then slowly pour it over the sausages, making sure you get the batter into all of the nooks and crannies. 

Scatter the remaining mushrooms over the batter. 

 

5

Put the pan back into the oven and cook for 20-35 minutes. 

Don’t open the oven to peek for at least 20 minutes, or the batter may not rise. 

As there are so many variables concerning moisture, flour, oven temperature, etc., you’re going to have to watch the dish and pull it out sometime after 20 minutes, when it is puffed up and nice and golden brown. 

6

While the Toad in the Hole is cooking, prepare the sauce. 

Put the honey into a small bowl and microwave (or heat on the stove) for 15-30 seconds or until it has become light and runny. 

Mix in the rest of the ingredients and set aside. 

7

When the Toad in the Hole is looking puffy and golden and delicious, pull it from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. 

Pour over the honey soy sauce and scatter on some cilantro leaves.

Cut into squares or wedges, being sure each serving gets a sausage. 

toad in the hole with carrot and cabbage stir fry

Try serving it with my Carrot and Cabbage Stir Fry recipe. Enjoy!

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