Month: October 2015

Baked shrimp toast

Baked Shrimp Toast

I feel a bit shrimpy these days.  In fact, I feel shrimpy every day and that’s because I love shrimps,  for whatever reasons.  But guess you’d already know that.  Their ugly curved body shape surprisingly has the ability to translate into great flavour when paired with anything, everything.  That’s because with the freshest shrimps (and they come in all shapes and sizes S-M-L-XL), you can absolutely taste their shrimpy sweetness.  So delightful 🙂 , don’t you think? This is a dim sum favourite…BUT…not my favourite.  WHAT?  Then why bother? Ok, let me rephrase – it’s not my favourite when it’s served at the dim sum restaurant.  That’s because they literally taste like a bag of grease. I’m serious!  Every mouthful was torture and tasted greasy.  What shrimp? Yea, I can feel the shrimp but I can’t taste it.  All I taste is oil and grease.  No offence to shrimp toast lovers but secretly I was hoping that I got a bad bad batch.  But that was the last batch I’ve tried because from then on, it’s bye …

twice cooked melting pork belly

Chinese Twice-cooked Melting Pork Belly

Glorious pork, O’ glorious pork! Divine, just divine! Don’t they look lip-smackingly, succulently, meltingly, pornographically delicious? If there is one dish that I’d like to sink my teeth into before I go to bed every night and in my dreams, this will be THE one.  Combining 2 super cooking techniques (that’s why it’s called twice-cooked) that I love love love – firstly, braise till the meat turns meltingly tender and fully infused with fragrant aromatics, then roasted to a show-stopping perfection while basting with sweet salty sticky glaze. Salivating yet? Not only that, you will be really happy to know that it is super duper easy to make and the recipe uses most of the ingredients that you already have at home.  To be honest, this is one of the first dishes I learnt to cook and I was hooked from then on! So, don’t just sit there and gawk! Go put some pork on your fork now … I promise you that it will one of the best things you’ll ever put in your mouth.  Serious …

mango and sweet sticky rice

Mango and Sweet Coconut Sticky Rice

I love the farmers’ markets – to see, touch and smell all that seasonal fresh produce by our Australian producers is a great experience.  Most of the time, I’ll come back with more produce than what I had planned for 🙂  During my recent visit to the farmers’ market, guess what I came back with? One of the pleasures of being a home cook is that there is no limit to what you can cook with fresh seasonal produce.  So, with my freshly bought mangoes, I decided to bring Thailand home with one of the most iconic Thai sweet desserts that my family have always loved and enjoyed. “Who would have thought that sweet mangoes are perfect match made in heaven with savoury glutinous rice?  That, of course, came from the brilliant minds of food-loving Thais.”  You and I know that it is easy to make this dessert.  Mango, glutinous rice, coconut cream are basically the 3 main ingredients you need.  Because there are so few ingredients, quality of course, cannot be compromised.  You’ll need to get your hands on the sweetest …

Salmon onigiri

Easy Lunchbox Idea: Salt-grilled Salmon Onigiri

I think I’ve lost something and that’s time! Where have all the time go to these days?  Don’t you reckon that time has gone by without you knowing?  Honestly, I was only aware that we’re just about 60 days away from Christmas (yea! the christmas decors & gift specials are so visible at the malls) and that means it’s bye bye to a beautiful year and hello to another exciting year. The other day, lil’ one ask me, “Mom, can I bring something else to school?”  I looked at her with blanks on my face, thinking what else can I put into her lunchbox – something quick, delicious and easy to eat.  It’s been such a challenge keeping up with lil’ one’s demands nowadays especially when she’s growing up so fast.  If you know my lil’ one, she’s one of the hardest food critic to please!  But … I know (for sure) she loves salmon, rice and nori and I’ve got a solution for that! Onigiri (Japanese rice balls) are the perfect lunchbox or to-go food.  They’re healthy, fast, delicious …

Red braised spare ribs

Red-braised Spare Ribs

Of all the cooking methods, I love braising – being the simplest and most relaxed.  The best home-style cooking for busy people who needs to juggle ten thousand things a day. This dish combines my 2 favourites – braising and pork spare ribs.  However, you might ponder, why do I use spare ribs instead of the usual fatty pork belly?  Well, for this braising dish, tell your local butcher to give you the meaty part which is normally known as baby back ribs. It is smaller in size but often more meatier and great for slow cooking. The tenderness of the pork is unbelievable and leaving the meat on bone is certainly fun to eat and finger lickin’ 🙂 Red-braised Spare Ribs (adapted from Boon’s Secret Recipes 2) Serves 4 Ingredients: 600 g meaty pork spare ribs 1 stalk spring onion (cut into sections) 8 slices ginger 500 ml water 1 tbsp soy sauce, for marinade 1 tbsp corn flour, for marinade 2 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine 1 tsp dark soy …

Chicken in spicy sauce

Chicken in Spicy Sauce

Food has a special meaning to the Chinese.  We celebrate (just about) anything and everything with food.  Chinese cuisine is uniquely defined by the vast geography represented by the people and culture across these lands.  If you study Chinese cuisine carefully, you’ll be amazed at how diverse and different they are. Take Cantonese cuisine for e.g. from the Guangdong region.  They are characterised by the sweet note in their dishes and normally cooked through braise, stew or saute.  What about the Sichuan cuisine? Think pepper, chilli – well known for hot, spicy and ma lat taste.  That’s only 2 of the many Chinese cuisines that you may or may not have tasted. This dish from Mr Peng’s Chinese kitchen – Hunan, is just brilliant because it’s simple and easy to make. You know I love simple dishes and this is a perfect example.  The flavour of this dish was accentuated by home-made Sichuan Chilli Sauce which is punchy, numbing and spicy – just the way I like it.  Extra sauce can be kept in airtight container and …

Char siu

Best-ever Char Siu (Cantonese BBQ Pork Belly)

OMG!!! Look at that glaze – salivating yet? Somebody can’t wait to get his hands on them … One dish … This one dish is the reason why I ❤️pork so much.  It represents all the best quality of how a pork should taste: Succulent Juicy Fatty Charred Sweet Sticky Traditionally paired with chicken rice (get the recipe here), wan tan mee or just plain steamed rice, char siu IS one of the most yummy pork dish ever.  Hands down!  And you know what?  If you’ve been going to Chinatown to get those char siu take away – well, forget that. It is unbelievably easy to make char siu at home and you’ll be shocked and pleased as to how easy that is. There are many good char siu recipes and I’ve attempted a few – starting with the quick & lazy way of using bottled char siu sauce then to making the sauce from scratch and then trying out different variations of pork cuts up to cooking them in the oven or wok – experimenting them all just …

Nashi pear with hasma

Double-boiled Nashi Pear with Hasma

Hi everyone … I’M BACK!!! Apologies for the silence – I just came back from a well-deserved family break in sunny Gold Coast.  My lil’ one made me promise that I cannot touch or let alone even go near to my laptop during the holiday. Mind you, 9 days of theme parks and water parks was more than enough for the adults but it was a lot of fun 🙂 Today I’d like to share with you a Chinese delicacy which is common to us but may be rare (and perhaps a wee bit gross and unappetising) to some of you.  Hasma is an ingredient that we use in many Chinese soupy hot/cold desserts and considered to be a luxury ingredient.  Because it’s rare and expensive, in the past, this ingredient is only privileged to the Chinese Emperor and Empress. So, what exactly is hasma? “Hasma comes from the fatty tissue near the fallopian tubes of Snow frogs known as Xueha, from the Northern part of China.   They’re prized for their health benefits and traditionally known to treat respiratory issues, to gain porcelain-clear skin and for the women …