Smoking hot: 7 of Iron Chef Judy Joo’s best barbecue recipes

Bored with burgers? Had it with hotdogs? Don’t despair – Sean Russell is here to turn up the heat

Saturday 22 May 2021 10:59
<p>Grilled nectarine salad with rocket & goat’s cheese</p>

Grilled nectarine salad with rocket & goat’s cheese

So the UK has been voted one of the worst barbecuing nations in the world, and according to the other countries, one of the reasons is that what we put on the barbie is boring – just sausages and burgers, the Americans reckon.

It’s time we changed that. Aldi has joined forces with celebrity chefs Judy Joo and Mike Reid to launch a new campaign called Raising the Barbecue, and as part of this campaign to get Brits ready for the upcoming barbecuing season, Judy Joo has provided us with some recipes to get us going.

There are some ingredients here that we may not even have thought to put on a barbecue – like nectarine, for example, or mussels! But perhaps these exciting recipes are exactly what we need to up our barbecue game.

Grilled nectarine salad with rocket and goat’s cheese

Serves 4


90g rocket leaves

¼ cup walnuts, toasted and crushed

1 log goat’s cheese, cut into 12 slices

2 ripe nectarines, pitted and cut into eighths


1 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


1. First, make the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until well incorporated.

2. Lightly brush the cut sides of the nectarines with oil and place on the grill.

3. Grill until marked and slightly softened but still firm.

4. Divide the rocket among 4 plates and do the same with the nectarine pieces. Place 3 slices of goat’s cheese on each plate and scatter with the walnuts. Drizzle with the balsamic dressing and serve.

Tip: Use unflavoured dental floss to cut the goat’s cheese. It cuts it much cleaner than a knife and keeps the attractive round shape.

Grilled Flatbread with Prosciutto and Rocket

Grilled flatbread with prosciutto and rocket

Serves 4-6



310g white flour

1 tsp (3g) salt

60ml warm water

1 tsp (5g) dry active yeast

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking and greasing

Grilled lemon and garlic oil:

½ lemon, cut into 3 wedges

1 sprig rosemary

4 garlic cloves in skin, crushed

cup extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of salt

Sweet Balsamic dressing:

3 tbsp (45g) balsamic vinegar

2 tsp (6g) brown sugar

2 tbsp lemon and garlic oil (see above)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


70g parmesan, shaved with a peeler

Judy Joo

10 slices (130g) prosciutto di parma

20g rocket, baby salad leaves

12 fresh basil leaves

24g sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced

12g pine nuts, toasted


1. Heat up the grill.

2. First make the lemon and garlic oil. Grill the lemon wedges until just softened (about 3 minutes) and grill lines are marked. Grill the fresh rosemary sprig until just slightly charred (about 30 seconds to 1 minute).

3. Place in a cast iron pan on the grill, and tip in the olive oil. Place in the lemon, rosemary and garlic, and heat through over indirect heat to infuse for about 20-30 mins, until the garlic is soft. Add a pinch of salt and set in a warm place to infuse further.

4. Next, make the balsamic dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the vinegar and the sugar. Remove the solids from the lemon garlic oil and whisk 2 tbsp into the balsamic glaze. Reserve the rest of the oil for another use. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.

5. Next make the dough. In a food processor, combine the flour and the salt. In a separate bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and oil.

6. Drizzle in the water mixture into the food processor, and process until a dough is formed. Remove and place into a well-oiled bowl, cover with a wet cloth and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.

7. Divide the dough into thirds and stretch and roll out on a cutting board until about ½ cm thick. Place on the grill and cover. Cook the bread for about 90 seconds and then flip. The bread should be marked with grill lines. If the dough sticks, brush lightly with olive oil. Move the bread to indirect heat and scatter the parmesan cheese evenly over the bread. Cover again and cook for about 1 minute until the cheese is melted.

8. Remove from heat and place on a cutting board.

9. Place the parma ham on top of the melted cheese, top with rocket and basil, then scatter the sundried tomatoes and pine nuts. Cut the flatbread into pieces, if you like, and serve immediately.

Grilled Sea Bass with Mussels and Chorizo

Grilled sea bass and mussels

Serves 4


Roasted garlic potatoes:

8 cloves garlic, whole, unpeeled

40ml extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 tsp garlic, peeled and grated

450g mini potatoes, washed

2 tbsp (29g) unsalted butter

12g flat leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped

2 tsp (9g) lemon juice, freshly squeezed

For the mussels:

Extra virgin olive oil for cooking

36g shallots, finely chopped

1 tsp (4g) garlic, minced

78g chorizo, peeled and sliced thinly

27ml dry white wine

450g Aldi cooked mussels in garlic and butter (1 box)

5 rosemary sprigs

5 thyme sprigs

For the sea bass:

4 sea bass fillets, scales off, trimmed, scored

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. First make the garlic potatoes. Place 8 cloves of garlic in a square of heavy duty foil and drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil. Wrap and place on grill in indirect heat and let bake for 30 minutes until soft and very tender. Once done, place in a warm place.

2. Place the mini potatoes in the foil in one layer, drizzle with 40ml of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap and place on the grill in indirect heat to bake until soft and tender for about 40-45 mins. Once done place in a bowl, add the butter, and crush with a fork.

3. Add the roasted garlic to the crushed potatoes and mix well. Add the finely chopped parsley and the lemon juice. Season with salt and add more lemon juice if necessary, to taste. Cover and set in a warm place.

4. Next make the mussels. Place a large cast iron pan on the grill and drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil. Add the shallots and the minced garlic. Saute until softened, then add the chorizo and cook until browned. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add the mussels, juice, rosemary and thyme. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and set in a warm place. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Finally, make the sea bass. Pat the sea bass fillets dry and brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill the fillets in a fish cage or on a soaked wood plank (about 1-2 minutes each side).

To serve: place the potatoes in the centre of a plate in a flat round mound, then the sea bass fillet on top. Spoon in the mussels and the juice around the sea bass. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Grilled Kalbi Ribeye Steak

Grilled kalbi ribeye steak

Serves 4


4 ribeye steaks, about 225g each


4 pears, peeled, cored and grated

7 tbsp dark brown sugar

6 tbsp soy sauce

6 garlic, grated

4 tsp ginger, grated

4 large pinches salt

10 turns of fresh black pepper from a pepper mill

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Side Grilled Vegetables:

8-10 spring onions with roots trimmed off

12 cherry tomatoes on vine

12 baby corns

2 portobello mushrooms

Extra virgin olive oil for brushing on vegetables and on the grill


1. Heat up your grill.

2. First make the marinade: in a small bowl mix together all of the ingredients for the marinade and tip into a plastic bag. Add the steaks and gently massage in the marinade. Allow to marinate for at least 3 hours (up to 6 in the fridge).

3. Prepare the spring onions, cherry tomatoes and corn by lightly brushing them with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkling them with salt. Set them aside on a tray.

4. Once the steaks are done marinating, remove from the bags and shake off excess marinade. Pour any remaining marinade into a small cast iron pan and place on the grill over indirect heat to bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 6-7 minutes until reduced slightly. Remove from the heat and set in a warm place.

5. Place the steaks on the grill and cook until done as desired, flipping as needed.

6. Once done, place the steaks on a cutting board and allow to rest (time depends on the thickness of your steak).

7. For the mushrooms, remove the large stems and brush the tops and centres generously with the beef marinade. Place on the grill and cook until marked and softened (about 2 minutes each side).

8. Place the spring onions and baby corn on the grill and cook until marked (about 1-2 minutes for the spring onions and 2-3 minutes for the corn). Place the tomatoes on the grill and cook until just about to soften (about 3-4 minutes).

9. To serve, carve the steak and slice the mushrooms as well. Serve the steak with the vegetables on the side and top the steak with the reduced marinade, if you like.

Cinnamon Teriyaki Salmon

Cinnamon teryaki salmon

Serves 4


1 package 500g side salmon


150ml soy sauce

½ cup (100g) white sugar

½ tbsp (5g) dark brown sugar

1 tsp (5g) sea salt

1 small wedge (30g) pineapple, grated with peel removed

3 good pinches (0.2g) cinnamon powder

3 cloves garlic, peeled and grated

1 tbsp (15g) ginger, peeled and grated

tsp (0.2g) freshly ground black pepper

Chilli garlic ginger oil:

80ml extra virgin olive oil

1 red chilli, roughly chopped

5 slices ginger

4 garlic cloves in skin, crushed

½ lemon, cut into 3 wedges


5-8 stems tenderstem broccoli, trimmed

2 lemons, halved and grilled

1 aubergine, sliced and grilled

2 packs of Aldi rice (Special Whole Grain, Wild & Red Rice and Special Quinoa, Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds Rice)

1 spring onion, thinly sliced on a bias

Marinade thickener:

1 tbsp cornflour


1. Heat up the grill.

2. Tip the soy sauce, white sugar, dark brown sugar, salt, pineapple, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, and pepper into a small cast iron pan with 60ml of water (¼ cup). Whisk together well.

3. Place over direct heat and bring to a boil.

4. Move to indirect heat and allow to simmer for 4-5 minutes, until sugar is dissolved and sauce is slightly thickened. Pass the sauce through a sieve to remove any solids. Allow the sauce to cool completely. Reserve about 2 tbsp in a small bowl and set aside.

5. Place the salmon side in a deep tray. Pour the cooled sauce over the fish and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour and as long as overnight.

6. Meanwhile, make the chilli oil. Place the oil, chilli, ginger, garlic, and lemon wedges in a cast iron skillet. Place over indirect heat and allow to infuse for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set in a warm place.

7. Brush the broccoli with the chilli oil and place on the grill. Grill until charred and marked, flipping as necessary, and then remove from heat. Drizzle additional chilli oil over the broccoli, and season with salt as desired to serve.

8. Lightly brush the aubergines with the reserved 2 tbsp of the teriyaki sauce and then place the slices on the grill. Cook until charred and softened (about 1-2 minutes each side). Once cooked remove from heat.

9. Brush the sliced lemon halves with oil and place on the grill. Cook until marked and softened for about 4 minutes and remove from heat.

10. Once the salmon is done marinating, remove the fish, shaking off any excess (reserving the sauce) and place in the centre of a large square of heavy duty foil. Wrap the fish completely and place on the grill over indirect heat. Allow to cook for about 8-9 minutes, flipping as necessary until done as desired.

11. Meanwhile, thicken the excess marinade to make a sauce. Tip the reserved sauce into a cast iron pan and place on the grill, whisking in 60ml of water (about ¼ cup). In a small bowl, using a fork, dissolve the cornflour in 1 tbsp of water. Tip this cornflour mixture into the sauce and whisk in well until fully incorporated. Allow to simmer for about 4-5 minutes. Once thickened remove from heat and keep in a warm place.

12. Make the rice according to the package directions, or on the grill in a cast iron pot.

13. To serve, remove the salmon from the foil and place on a plate. Serve the rice, broccoli, aubergine, and lemon alongside.

Grilled Meringue with Rum Infused Tropical Fruit

Grilled meringue with tropical fruit

Serves 4


4 meringue nests

½ pineapple, peeled

1 mango, peeled and sliced into 1cm pieces

150ml dark rum

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp raspberry jam

1 jar lemon curd flavour Aldi farmhouse yogurt or sicilian lemon yogurt


2 passion fruits, pulp removed

12 fresh raspberries

1 lime, zested


1. Heat up the grill.

2. Gently pierce each meringue with a thin skewer and toast over the grill until lightly browned on the edges. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Peel and slice the pineapple and mangoes into ½ inch thick pieces.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the rum and sugar. Place the pineapple and mango in the bowl, and toss to coat. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes to marinate.

5. Place the fruit on the grill and cook until marked, turning as necessary and brushing the fruit often with the rum. Once cooked, remove from heat, cut into dice-sized pieces and place the fruit back into the rum mixture.

6. Next, mix the yoghurt until well incorporated.

7. In a small bowl, place 1 tbsp of the raspberry jam and gently warm it up in a cast iron pan over indirect heat on the grill. Once warmed through, pass the jam through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. Reserve the jam in a bowl and set aside.

8. Place a spoonful of jam in the centre of the plate and make a swish with the jam using the back of the spoon. Place the toasted meringue on the swish and spoon the yogurt into the center of the meringue. Then top the yogurt with a dollop of raspberry jam. Top with diced pineapple and mango. Finish by drizzling a spoonful of passion fruit pulp over the meringue and fruit.

9. Garnish with fresh raspberries and freshly grated lime zest. Serve immediately.

Grilled Balsamic Basil Strawberry Sundae

Strawberry sundae

Serves 4


For the strawberry compote:

8 tbsp balsamic vinegar

6 tbsp brown sugar

4 fresh thyme sprigs

4 fresh basil sprigs, optional

12 large strawberries, halved, with tops removed

For the mascarpone cream:

½ tub (125g) mascarpone

125ml double cream, whipped to a soft peak

35g icing sugar

½ lemon, zest only

For the grilled cake:

2 slices of Aldi lightly fruited cake


Aldi Specially Selected vanilla ice cream

Aldi Butter Pecans, crushed

1 Aldi Oaties Cookies, crushed

Aldi Caramel Waffles, cut into quarters

Sprigs of fresh basil, optional


1. Tip the balsamic vinegar, sugar, thyme, and 2 of the basil sprigs into a small cast iron pan, and whisk together until the sugar is dissolved. Place on the grill and allow to infuse over indirect heat for 15 minutes. Brush the strawberry halves with the balsamic glaze and then place on the grill.

2. Allow to caramelise until marked (about 1 minute). Remove from heat and place on a cutting board, dice the strawberries, and place into a bowl. Pick the leaves off the remaining 2 basil sprigs and chiffonade the leaves. Mix the basil chiffonade in with the strawberries.

3. To make the mascarpone cream: whip the double cream to a soft peak, and then fold in the mascarpone and the lemon zest. Put in a piping bag and chill.

4. Cut two slices of the fruit cake, about 1 cm thick. Place on the grill and cook until marked and slightly toasted. Cut into dice-sized pieces.

5. In four sundae glasses, place a spoonful of the strawberry compote on the bottom, top with a few grilled pieces of cake, then pipe in some of the mascarpone lemon cream. Then repeat in that order. Finish with a bit more compote, and top with a scoop of ice cream.

6. Garnish with crushed nuts, cookie, caramel waffle wedge, strawberry compote and fresh basil sprig, if you like.

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