Thursday, October 7, 2010

梅菜扣肉 Braised Pork Belly with Preserved Vegetable

When I came home last night, planning to just cook a simple aglio olio pasta for dinner, I saw some pre-packed preserved vegetables that Ade had brought back from Taiwan and I knew that I have some pork belly lying in the freezer that I intended to roast. So why not 梅菜扣肉 (braise the pork belly with preserved vegetable)?

Ingredients (portion for 1 person):
Pork Belly, a strip which I cut into 4 pieces (300g)
Preserved Vegetable, dried ones (50g)
Garlic, Skin peeled and cut into halves (5~8 cloves)
Bay Leave (1 piece crushed)
Dark sauce (~ 1 table spoon)
Light sauce (~ 1 table spoon)
Sugar (~ 1 table spoon)
Rice Wine (~ 1 table spoon)

1) Soak the preserved vegetable into water and wash it to remove the sand and grit. I rinse it twice and then soak for 10mins. Take one piece of the vegetable and try it. If it's saltiness is acceptable and not cringing that should be good enough. This will vary from the different type of preserved vegetable that you use.
2) Squeeze out as much water from the preserved vegetable (with hands).
3) Heat up the wok and fry the preserved vegetable without any oil. When it's quite dry and giving out some fragrance, take it out of the wok (It's not a Chinese wok but one with a handle) and place it on a plate.
4) Stir fry the garlic with some cooking oil (I use olive oil, if  you are particular about the oil). When the garlic is just starting to get brown, add the pork belly and continue to stir fry. Then add the dark sauce, light sauce and sugar. Stir fry till the pork belly is completely coated in black. Add the rice wine and fry for another 30 seconds.
5) (If you would like to transfer the ingredients into a pot or earthen ware) Pour water into the wok until the pork belly is fully submerged. Add the preserved vegetables. Bring it to a boil and then put to slow fire. Add the crushed bay leaf.
6) Optional - at this point add hard boiled eggs if you would like to have braised egg.
7) Cover the wok with a lid and then simmer for at least 2 hours (or until the lean meat of the pork belly becomes tender soft).

This really goes well with rice.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Avocado Dip with Tortilla Chips

I recalled paying US$10 for an Avocado dip with fresh tortilla chips called Guacamole Live. The pretty waitress came to my table and made the dip out of fresh ingredients. While she was at it, I thought I could save myself at least US$5 to make the same dip myself. I don't mean the fresh tortilla though. Those fresh chips from that Mexican food joint was great! Here's the Avocado dip recipe meant for 4 people.

1. 2 Avocado (Choose the soft ones when you want to prepare immediately)
2. 1 tomato, chopped up
3. 1 lime
4. Salt and Black Pepper
5. Tortilla Chips. I bought a pack of the most regular ones.

1. Half the avocados, Scoop the flesh of the fruit out into a bowl.
2. Mixed the chopped tomato into the avocado.
3. Squeeze the lime into the avocado mix.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

The dip is ready. Enjoy your tortilla chips!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Roast Pork Belly

This is one of HY and my favourite pork dish. I have finally come to making time to create the roast. Got this recipe from Almost Bourdain's blog site and added Hua Diao wine for the extra fragrance. It turned out that making this dish delicious was the easiest. However, to make the skin beautifully crispy was a bit more difficult. Use Dijon mustard as dip sauce for a better taste.

Ingredients :

1 kg of pork belly ( I separated the pork belly into 2 halves for to prepare for my parents and my in-laws)

marinade for skin :
1.5 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon Hua Diao Wine
1 table spoon of rice wine vinegar

marinade for the bottom side (opposite of the skin side) ;
1.5 cubes of red fermented bean curd
o.5 tablespoon of five spice powder
0.5 tablespoon of chopped garlic
1.5 table spoon of salt
0.5 tablespoon of sugar

Method :

1) Turn the pork belly with the skin facing down, bottom side facing up. The leaner part of the meat should be facing up. Score the meat diagonally (Do not score the skin)

2) Mixed up the ingredients for the pork belly's bottom side marinade. this should become a paste.

3) Marinade the skin with the salt. Rub them all over the skin. Pour the hua diao wine and spread them uniformly.

4) Marinade the bottom side (with marinade prepared from step 2). Make sure the paste is spread evenly into the scoring.

5) Wrap the pork belly up into a cling wrap and leave it in the fridge for 1 day to marinade.

6) When ready to cook, pre heat the oven to 220 deg C. Place the pork belly onto the grill with the skin faced up. Make sure there's the tray below the grill to collect the oil that will be drained out during the roasting. Leave the pork belly to bake for 20 minutes.

7) Remove the pork belly from the oven and poke the surface of the skin with a fork. Poke as many holes as possible as this will release the melted fats from beneath the skin to provide a crispy surface. Pour 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar and hua diao wine and spread over the skin evenly and then return the pork belly into the oven.

8) Set the temperature to 250 deg C and bake for 30 minutes or until the skin is hardened.

9) Remove the pork belly and let it cool down for about 15 minutes before chopping it up.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pan Fried Pork Loin with Mushroom and Celery Sauce

Pan Fried Pork Loin with Mushroom and Celery Sauce
The sauce was generously poured over the meat.

Sectioned Pork Loin
Glad that its not dried up on the inside. It's still juicy!

Another "experimental" trip to my fridge and here's the ingredients that I find for a 1 person portion (2 people if you have other dishes or you are trying not to eat too much). HY likes it!

Meat :
300g pork loin cut into 3 pieces
Black Pepper and Salt
1 table spoon white wine

Mushroon and Celery Sauce :
2 stalks of celery (chopped up)
1 onion (chopped up)
3 cloves of garlic ( finely chopped)
1 chilli (unseeded and sliced)
8 wild mushrooms (thick slices. About 3 slices per mushroom)
150g of chicken stock (or 1 teaspoon of Knorr chicken stock with 150g of water)
1 table spoon corn flour with some water.

1) Mix the pork loin in a bowl with white wine, black pepper (generous) and salt (about 1/2 teaspoon). Leave the pork to marinate in the fridge for 1 day.

When ready to cook,

2) Heat up the pan to high heat, pan fry the pork loin till all the faces are cooked and take them out when there's browning.

3) Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Place the pork loin into the oven to cook the inside of the meat for 5~10 minutes. Do not overcook else the meat becomes too dry.

4) While the meat is in the oven, stir fry the onion with some olive oil. When there's slight browning or the onion turned a bit translucent, add the garlic and stir fry, then add the celery and chilli. Stir fry for about 3~4 minutes in all.

5) Add in the mushroom and stir fried for another 1 minute.

6) Add in the chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Lower the fire and leave the vegetable to simmer for about 2 minutes.

7) Add salt and pepper to taste.

7) Add in the cornflour solution to thicken the sauce.


8) Place the pork loin onto the plate and then pour the Mushroom and Celery sauce over the pork.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stir Fried Pork Tenderloin with Celery and Potato

It's been a while since I post my weekend cooking. This implies more crash and burns until this Pork Tenderloin dish. Before I cooked this dish, I remembered a similar dish that my mum cooked for me. However, she clearly didn't use celery which I had added on my own. So here's the list of ingredients which I actually salvaged from my fridge, saving them from neglect and potential wasteful decomposition.

Ingredients (Portion serves 2) :

1 strip of pork tenderloin about 500 g cut into small chunks
1 potato, cut into 8~10 strips
2 stalks of celery, chopped up into pieces of about 1.5cm sections.
2 cups of chicken stock
1 table spoon rice wine
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper


1. Add 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of rice wine to the tenderloin. Mix them up uniformly and leave them in the fridge for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight)

2. Bring the chicken stalk to a boil. Add the celery and potato to the chicken stalk. Simmer on low heat till the potato strips are soft. About 10~15 mins. Put them aside.

3. Add some olive oil to a frying pan at high heat. When the pan is fully heated up, quickly fry the garlic, and then add in the tenderloin and stir fry. Add the vegetables with the stock to the meat and them stir fry. The potatoes should be soft enough that they erode and thickens the stock while stir frying.

4. Cover the lid and let the tenderloin simmer for 1 minute. Make sure that the tenderloin is not overcooked by forking it to test that the fork poke through the tenderloin smoothly. Taste the sauce. Add more salt and pepper to taste

The dish is ready to be served.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fried Chicken with Spicy Honey and Lemon Sauce


2 Chicken Drumsticks with bones and skin removed
1 egg
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 teaspoon light soya sauce
Plain Flour (for frying)
1 stalk Spring Onions (for garnishing)
(for sauce)
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of ginger, finely chopped
1 chilli, seeds and stalk removed, finely chopped
Juice from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons of honey


Marinating Chicken
1.  Cut the chicken into 3cm wide strips. 
2. Place the chicken into a bowl. Add some salt and pepper, soya sauce and rice wine.
3. Mix them up till chicken pieces are uniformly coated. Leave to marinate for at least 2 hours (left overnight in the fridge preferred)

Preparing the Spicy Honey and Lemon Sauce
4. Place garlic, ginger and chilli into saucepan and stir fry for 1 ~2 minutes. 
5. Mix the honey uniformly with the lemon juice inside a bowl before adding the mixture into the sauce pan
6. Simmer the sauce with low heat until it bubbles. Add some starch to thicken the sauce

Frying the chicken
7. Beat up the egg in a small bowl. Put some flour in a plate. Heat up oil in a wok.
8. Coat the chicken pieces in egg and them coat them with the flour then plae them gently into the heated oil. Fry till the chicken pieces are golden brown.
9. Place the fried chicken aside to drain off excess oil.

10. Transfer the fried chicken onto a plate. Drizzle some spicy honey and lemon sauce onto the chicken.
11. Garnish with spring onions

Friday, August 21, 2009

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast with leek and garlic

Sectioned Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast

Ingredients (2 servings)

1 chicken breast cut into 2 halves (without skin)
1 tablespoon of butter
8 strips of streaky bacon
4 table spoon of olive oil
4 sage leaves chopped up
Pepper and Salt
1 stalk of leek chopped up
6 cloves of garlic crushed

Method :

1. Combine chicken breast, butter, olive oil sage,
sprinkle of salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix them
up till the chiken breasts are uniformly coated.

2. Create a tray with aluminium foil big enough to fit
in the chicken breast. sprinkle the chopped leek onto
the tray. Place the aluminium tray into the baking tray.

3. Wrap each chicken breast half with 4 strips of
streaky bacon. Try to cover the chicken thoroughly.
Place them in the middle of the aluminium tray.

4. Add the 6 cloves of garlic around the chicken and
some squeezed right between the 2 chicken breast halves.
Fold the aluminium tray edge stowards the chicken such that
the leek are covered and will not get burnt in the oven later.

5. Sprinkle some pepper over the bacon wrapped
chicken. Drizzle a little olive oil over.

6. Heat up the oven to 200°C and set it for about 10 minutes.
Place the chicken into the oven to bake for 25~30 minutes.