Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Dongpo Ro (Red Cooked Pork Belly)




500g pork belly – cut into 3” by 3” cubes

2 stalks scallions – lightly bruised with the back of knife

1/2” ginger – peeled and sliced thinly

4 cloves garlic – peeled


Sauce ingredients:

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup Shao Xing wine or Chinese rice wine

1/8 cup rock sugar

3 cups water.




1). Boil 1” of water in pot and scald the pork pieces evenly on all sides. (for about 1 minute). Drain pork and set aside.

2). Heat oil in a pot large enough to fit all the pieces of pork in one layer.

3). Fry scallions, ginger and garlic until fragrant then add the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil.

4). Place pork pieces skin side down into the pot and bring to a boil.

5). Cover pot, lower heat and simmer in low heat for 1 hour.

6). After 1 hour, gently turn the pork pieces over to skin side up and continue to simmer for another 2 to 3 hours.

7). The pork is ready when it is soft and tender to touch. Gently place pork pieces in one layer on to a plate, strain sauce and pour over the pork. Serve hot.




The recipe above is the authentic way of cooking Dongpo Ro but if you prefer a spicier sauce, you can add 1 piece of star anise and/or 3 pieces dried mandarin peel to your sauce ingredients.

If you prefer a darker coloured sauce, you can add a 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce, kicap manis or hoisin sauce.

You can add 2 tablespoons oyster sauce for an umami flavour.

You can also add 2 tablespoons of Chinese black rice vinegar, balsamic or red wine vinegar if you prefer a hint of acid in the sauce to counter the heaviness of the fatty pork.

Serve hot with udon noodles, rice, or steamed buns.


Monday, 16 April 2012

Chicken Tikka Masala


Chicken Tikka Masala is England’s favourite restaurant food. It is also my favourite type of chicken curry and makes the best comfort food when served with long grain rice on a rainy day.



4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into 1'” cubes

4 green chillies

2 cloves garlic – peeled

3 stalks coriander (separate the leaves and chop for garnishing, keep the stems and root)

1/2” piece ginger – peeled

1 medium sized white onion – peeled

3 tablespoons garam masala

3 tablespoons chili powder

pinch of turmeric powder

1 can whole tomatoes (250 grams) – diced and keep the the juice

1 cup thick natural flavoured yoghurt

1 cup heavy cream

salt to taste



1). Blitz green chillies, garlic, coriander stem and root and onion.

2). Marinate the chicken with the mixture and 1/4 teaspoon salt for at least an hour.

3). Place chicken pieces on top of oven rack and grill in the oven for 8 minutes. Make sure you place an aluminum lined oven tray below the rack to catch the juices that will flow from the grilled chicken pieces.

4). Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pot and sauté garam masala, chili powder and turmeric until fragrant.

5). Add grilled chicken and the juices collected from the oven tray to the pot and stir fry for 1 minute.

6). Add canned tomatoes and yoghurt. Simmer gently for 10 minutes until the gravy is thick.

7). Add heavy cream and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.

8). Add salt according to taste.

9). Garnish with chopped coriander leaves before serving.

Serve with fluffy long grain rice.

Homemade Cappuccino (using only French press)


Soy milk cappuccino has been my breakfast every morning and it takes less than 5 minutes to make it myself in the comfort of my own home. I don’t have a coffee maker or an expensive espresso or cappuccino machine. All I use is my Bialetti stove top espresso maker to make my shot of espresso and my French press to make the foam. You can also just use the French press to make the espresso if you don’t have a stove top.


1 or 2 shots espresso

1/2 cup fresh milk or soy milk



1). Pour espresso into the mug.

2). Microwave milk for 1 1/2 minutes.

3). Pour heated milk into the French press, cover and hold the top firmly while pumping fast until milk is frothy (takes about 8 pumps)

4). Pour frothy milk into the mug gently with the help of a plastic spoon.

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