James’s 5-minute Chocolate Devilled Kidneys

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Preparation info

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Appears in

Real Chocolate: Over 50 Inspiring Recipes for Chocolate Indulgence

Real Chocolate

By Chantal Coady

Published 2003

  • About

This is one of my husband’s favourite dishes, which was in the Booth family repertoire before he was born. I let him make it because I hate cutting up kidneys. In fact, I would have sworn that I hated kidneys until he made me taste these (the same recipe sans chocolate). When James was a small boy, his father would be served this dish for supper as a special treat, while all the boys waited on the side lines for a ‘bonus’. James’s mother cooks them for about half an hour, but I think, like squid, they can be flash-fried in a wok in a couple of minutes and be just as good – if not better.


  • 6–8 very fresh lamb kidneys (preferably organic)
  • 1 dsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 dsp oyster sauce
  • 1 glass of dry sherry, sake or red wine
  • 1 tsp anchovy essence
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil, olive oil or any light vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 dsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • black pepper or chilli, to taste

To Serve

  • steamed basmati or Thai rice, or toast
  • crème fraîche (optional)
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley


Prepare the kidneys by halving them and removing the white core very carefully. Make a sauce of all the wet ingredients except the oil.

Heat the oil in a wok and quickly cook the onions and garlic; put to one side. Flash-fry the kidneys for 2 minutes, then return the onions to the pan, together with the sauce, cocoa and pepper or chilli to taste. Cook until the sauce is bubbling and the consistency of single cream. If too thick, add more wine – the rice will absorb the sauce, so you’ll need plenty.

Serve with steamed basmati or Thai rice. Add a dollop of crème fraîche, if you like, and some flat-leaf parsley. Alternatively, the kidneys are also delicious on toast as an after-dinner savoury or for breakfast. If you can’t stand kidneys, use big mushrooms instead.

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