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.

Mak Kimchi


I got this authentic mak kimchi from a Korean friend’s mom and I love it because it only takes about two hours to make and it lasts for at least 4 months! You can have it plain with rice, make soups, and my favourite of all, Kimchi Fried Rice. It’s always a good standby when guests drop by unexpectedly for dinner and it’s too late to prepare an extra dish. Kimchi will even transform your instant ramen noodles into an appetizing, spicy meal.

Authentic homemade mak kimchi ferments naturally on its own thus giving a smooth, spicy and sour taste unlike the sometimes overwhelmingly sharp tasting ones you get from the grocery stores. When the kimchi is new, it is crunchy and sweet. Its taste changes over time to a pungent and appetising  sour pickle,



1 head wong buk [napa cabbage) – quartered lenghtwise, discard the core and cut into 2” pieces

1 daikon radish – julienned

1 carrot – julienned

2 leeks – sliced

2 scallions – chopped

10 chives – cut into 1 1/2” length

1/4 cup salt


Sauce ingredients:

10 cloves garlic – peeled

2” ginger – peeled

1 1/2 to 2 cups kimchi pepper flakes

1 cup fish sauce ( I use nam pla )

1 large white onion

1 1/2 cup sweet kimchi paste (recipe below)


Sweet kimchi paste:

2 cups water

1/3 cup glutinous rice flour

5 tablespoons sugar.

Mix all ingredients well in a mixing bowl, making sure that there are no lumps and transfer to a saucepot.

Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil, keep stirring for 3 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and and shiny.

Leave to cool.



1). Soak wong bok in water mixed with 1/4 cup salt. Mix and turn the wong buk every 30 minutes. Soak for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

2). Rinse wong buk under running water to wash away the salt solution.

3). Drain and gently squeeze out excess water from wong buk.

4). Blitz all the sauce ingredients in a food processor and transfer to a big mixing bowl.

5). Mix in all the vegetables and make sure that all the veggies are evenly coated with the kimchi sauce.

6). Pack the kimchi into a clean container and press make sure there are no air bubbles trapped inside the kimchi.

7). Cover and leave in a cool dark place for 36 hours and then store in the fridge.

8). The kimchi will be ready to be eaten after 4 days.


Note: Serve kimchi with a sprinkle of sesame seed oil.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Spicy Salmon Patties


I like to buy whole salmon and fillet them myself because I can actually judge how fresh the fish is and it is much more economical. There is still a lot of meat that is left on the bones after I’m done filleting, so I scrape the meat off and make delicious salmon cakes out of them. You can still follow this recipe by using salmon steaks also.


300gm salmon meat –lightly chopped with the back of the knife

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

2 pieces kaffir lime leaves – finely shredded

6 pieces mint leaves – finely chopped

1 teaspoon ginger – finely chopped

1 shallot – finely chopped

1 egg – white only

freshly ground black pepper

salt to taste.

1/4 cup bread crumbs for coating the salmon patties.



1). Place all ingredients into a bowl and stir until everything is evenly mixed and combined.

2). Shape the mixture into individual salmon patties 2” wide and 1/3” thick.

3). Coat patties with a thin layer of bread crumbs.

4). Heat a thin layer of oil in the pan and fry the patties over medium heat until they are firm to touch and golden brown on both sides.

5). Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

Serve with a squeeze of lime juice or my favourite: Tabasco Sauce.

Chili Sauce for Bak Chit Gai


This is the recipe for the chili sauce to accompany the chicken:


6 red chilies

6 bird eye chilies

juice of 2 limes

1/3 cup of broth from the poached chicken

1 clove garlic – peeled

3 tablespoons Sriracha sauce

pinch of salt to taste



Put all ingredients into the blender, wiz it into a fine sauce and it is ready to be served.

Recipes for :

Hainan Chicken Rice

Chinese White Sliced Chicken (bak chit gai)

Hainan Chicken Rice



I posted the recipe for Chinese White Sliced Chicken (bak chit gai). This is the recipe for the rice to serve with the poached chicken.


2 cups long grained rice

4 cups broth from the water used to poach the chicken

2 slices ginger

2 cloves garlic – chopped

1 stalk spring onion – lightly smashed

2 tablespoons butter

pinch of white pepper

pinch of turmeric powder

salt to taste



1). Rinse rice and drain in a strainer.

2). Heat wok, melt butter and saute the ginger, spring onion and chopped garlic until the garlic is golden brown.

3). Add the rice to the wok and stir fry in medium heat for 2 minutes and until the rice is evenly coated with the oil.

4). Add pepper, turmeric powder and salt, stir until rice is evenly coated with the turmeric powder.

5). Transfer the rice to a rice cooker, add the broth and set to cook.

The rice is ready to be served once the rice cooker has done its job.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Perfectly Steamed Egg


Steamed egg or Chawan Mushi is a favourite Chinese and Japanese go-to recipe when one’s fridge is running out of food and there is dinner to be made. It is easy to make but difficult achieve the perfect texture and silky smoothness that makes this dish so good. Here is my recipe for a no-fail, smooth and perfect steamed egg. Follow the instructions carefully and you will achieve perfect results.


3 large eggs (room temperature)

1 salted duck egg – egg yolk diced

1 century egg (optional) – diced

450 ml tepid water

pinch of white pepper


1 clove chopped garlic sauteed until golden brown in 1 1/2 tablespoons oil.

1 stalk spring onion – chopped

2 teaspoons soy sauce



1). Mix eggs, salted egg white, water and pepper into a mixing bowl and whisk gently with a fork. Make sure the water is incorporated into the egg mixture but do not over whisk so that no foam is created.

2). Sprinkle diced salted egg yolk and century egg evenly into a 9” steaming plate.

3). Pour egg mixture gently into the steaming plate and steam in high heat for exactly 8 minutes.

4). Sprinkle white pepper and the rest or the garnishing and it is ready to be served.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Tom Yum Soup Base


This recipe is the soup base for any type of Tom Yum. You can add shrimp, chicken or any type of seafood. It can also be used as the broth for steamboat. The best part is keep the broth and whatever leftovers you may have after the steamboat, add any noodles of your choice and you have another satisfying meal.


8 cups water

4 tablespoons nam pla (Thai fish sauce)

3 inches galangal – cut into 1/4 inch slices

3 stalks lemongrass – lightly crushed

4 bird’s eye chili – lightly crushed

2 limes – juiced

3 pieces kaffir lime leaves – lightly bruised

3 pieces coriander root – lightly crushed (keep leaves for garnishing)

2 shallots – sliced thinly

2 tablespoon Mae Pranom Thai Chili paste


1). Bring water (or stock) to a boil.

2). Add nam pla, galangal, lemongrass, chili, shallots and coriander root. Simmer for 20 minutes.

3). Add kaffir lime leaves and lime juice, and Mae Pranom Thai Chili Paste.

4). This soup is ready to be used as steamboat broth or Tom Yum soup.


Note: Mae Pranom Chili Paste. Available at most Asian grocery stores. We need this paste for its sticky sweetness, dried shrimp flavour and fragrant chili oil.

Mapo Tofu


Szechuan Mapo Tofu is one of my favourite dish but it is too oily to eat all the time. I serve it at least once a week, so I’ve adapted this recipe to be lower in fat and easier to cook.. It’s just as tasty and will satisfy your craving for Szechuan food minus the guilt.


3 cubes (300g) tofu – cut into 1/2 inch cubes

4 strips chicken tenders – minced

1 small leek – sliced

1 clove garlic – minced

1/2 teaspoon fermented black beans – mashed

1 tablespoon toban sauce (chili bean paste)

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

pinch of freshly ground Szechuan pepper

dash of sesame oil

cornstarch slurry ( 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water)

1 stalk spring onion – chopped



1). Blanch tofu cubes in hot water for 2 minutes and drain.

2). Marinate minced chicken tenders with soy sauce, ground Szechuan pepper and sesame oil.

3). Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok and saute garlic and leek until fragrant.

4). Add minced chicken and stir fry until the meat turns white.

5). Add fermented black beans and toban sauce, stir until the sauce looks shiny.

6). Add tofu, 1/3 cup water and bring to a boil.

7). Stir in the cornstarch slurry gently and simmer for 3 minutes until the sauce thickens.

8). Garnish with spring onions and the Mapo Tofu is ready to be served.

Mooi Choy Kau Yoke (Steamed Pork Belly and Fermented Greens)


This (mooi choy kau yoke) recipe that is an old school Hakka favourite that never fails. Easy to make, always impresses the guests with melts in your mouth deliciousness.


500g pork belly strip (3 inch wide)

250g mooi choy (there are a few types so be sure to ask your grocer for the sweet ones)

2 slices ginger

1 stalk spring onion

2 tablespoons Chinese Shao Xing wine

3 cloves chopped garlic


2 tablespoons oyster sauce

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon Chinese rose wine (optional)

sprinkle of sesame oil

pinch of white pepper



1). Soak mooi choy for 1/2 hour, rinse and slice into 1/4 inch pieces.

2). Bring 1/2 a pan of water to a boil, add ginger, spring onions and wine. Put in the pork belly and make sure all sides of the outer part of the meat is cooked and firm. Remove.

3). Pat pork belly dry with paper towels and rub with a bit of dark soy sauce.

4). Make small pricks all over the skin of the pork belly with a skewer.

5). Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a pan and gently place the pork belly skin side down. Fry for 5 minutes or until the skin is light brown.

6). Remove and rinse pork belly in running water and leave it to cool down.

7). Make 1/2 inch slices of pork and arrange in a 6 inch Chinese soup bowl.

8). Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan and fry chopped garlic until fragrant. Add mooi choy and stir fry until dry then add sauce ingredients.

9). Simmer for 5 minutes and pour on top of pork belly slices.

10). Cover bowl with aluminium foil and steam pork belly for 3 hours and it is ready to be served.


Mooi Choy


The bowl can be turned over a large plate for better presentation.

If you prefer thicker sauce, drain the sauce from the mooi choy kau yoke into a pan and heat it up with 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch mixed into 2 tablespoons water. Pour sauce back on top of the mooi choy kau yoke.

Lovely when eaten with rice congee.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Baked Muesli


This is a recipe for tasty, easy to make muesli. Store bought cereals can be costly and contains too much fat, sodium or sugar.

It’s perfect as a guilt free snack or breakfast.


2 cups pre-cooked oats

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped almond

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup honey or maple syrup

3 tablespoons maltose

1/8 cup softened butter



Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Line oven tray with greased aluminum foil.

Mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Stir in softened butter. honey or maple syrup and maltose.

Spread the mixture lightly on to the aluminum foil lined tray.

Baked for 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Store in air tight containers.


Dried fruits such as cranberries, raisins or apricots can be added.

Serve with milk or yoghurt to make a perfect breakfast.

Jars of muesli can make a nice gift.


Saturday, 10 March 2012

Garbanzo Beans/ Kacang Puteh



Garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) is popular known as kacang puteh in Malaysia. It is an healthy and delicious snack. I used to buy kacang puteh from Indian vendors, wrapped in a piece of white paper, but one could hardly find chickpeas sellers nowadays.

It is very easy to make your own kacang puteh at home.

Recipe :


Chickpeas / garbanzo beans

A pinch of bicarb of soda (the bicarb helps to soften the beans. If you don't add, you'll be soaking and boiling too many days.haha)


1. Soak chickpeas overnight with a pinch of bicarb of soda.

2 Rinse beans the next day with water

3 Put chickpeas in a pot and add water.

4 Boil 1 1/2 hours until soften

5 Drain and it is ready to serve.

p.s. Another name for this is kacang kuda.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Fried Shrimp Sauce Chicken Wings

240120121003 copy

Crispy fried chicken wings marinated in fermented shrimp sauce is my favourite snack to serve when friends gather to watch soccer games on TV. The fermented shrimp adds umami flavour to the juicy, crispy wings. This recipe takes little time to cook, so you can wow your guests and cheer for your favourite team at the same time! Just prep the wings overnight and fry them up in batches before the big match and/or during the commercial breaks.


20 pieces chicken wing

3 tablespoons fermented shrimp sauce

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon Chinese rose wine(optional)

1/3 cup rice flour

1 tablespoon cornflour



1). Marinate wings with shrimp sauce, sugar, chili powder, garlic powder and rose wine. Keep them sealed in a ziplock bag and store in the fridge overnight.

2). When you’re ready to serve, combine rice flour, wheat flour and cornflour in a ziplock bag and toss the wings until they are evenly coated.

3). Heat oil and deep fry wings until golden brown.


The shrimp paste is already salty so do not add salt!. I use Lee Kum Kee or Co Gai.

Chinese White Sliced Chicken (bak chit gai)


No traditional Chinese dinner would be complete without Bak Chit Gai. Such a simple yet tasty dish that is so revered. Most Malaysians are always on a quest to find the best places that serve Bak Chit Gai but are too intimidated to cook it at home. Give this recipe a try and you might never want to eat out again.

1). 1 whole free-range organic chicken
2). Kosher salt.

1). Clean chicken by rubbing salt on it and rinse thoroughly.
2). Boil water in a pot that is big enough to immerse the whole chicken.
3). Place chicken into the boiling water, breast side down. Make sure it is fully immersed in the water. Turn off heat and cover the pot.
4). Leave the chicken for 40 minutes then remove it from the pot and place it aside.
5). Bring the water to a boil again, place the chicken in, cover the pot, and turn off the heat again.
6) Leave the chicken for 30 minutes.
7). In the meantime, prepare an ice bath for the chicken. Use pot with filled with ice cubes and and enough cold water to immerse the whole chicken.
8). Transfer the chicken into the ice bath and leave it until it has thoroughly cooled down.
9). Debone and slice chicken into bite size pieces. Arrange on plate and it is ready be served.

Chicken Rice

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Spicy Grilled Fish (Ikan Bakar)

Ikan Bakar
Ikan Bakar is a popular Malaysian street food. The vendors put on a great show to impress you but it’s actually really simple to cook at home. You can get the nice charred flavour and look with the help of the humble toaster oven and worchestershire  sauce. This recipe work well on most kinds of fish especially the white flaky ones. I like flounders the most.

1). 700g (1 1/2lbs) fish (or any size that can fit into the toaster oven)
2). 3 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
3). 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
4). 3 teaspoon cornflour
5). pinch of salt and pepper

1). Combine turmeric powder, cornflour, salt and pepper in a dry bowl.
2). Dry fish with paper towels and cut 2-3 deep slits on both sides of the fish.
3). Rub worchestershire sauce all over the fish.
4). Dry hands and coat fish (including the slits) with the spice rub.
5). Heat 2 tablespoons on oil in a frying pan or wok. Brown one side of the  fish then turn it over and brown other side.
7). Transfer the fish on to the toaster oven tray lined with lightly greased aluminium foil.
8). Set oven to “toast” and grill fish for 5 minutes on each side.

The fish will turn out charred on the outside but moist and flaky on the inside. Squeeze some lime juice on top and it’s ready to be served!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Char Siu (Cantonese Roast Pork Belly)


I love making Char Siu when I have guests over because it's easy to prepare and never fails to impress. This recipe is so simple because very little work is involved and the ingredients are readily available.

2 strips of 500g(1lb) pork belly cut 3 inches wide.
6 tablespoon Lee Kum Kee Char Siu Sauce
2 tablespoon maltose
a dash of Chinese rose wine

1. Marinate pork belly strips with the rest ot the ingredients in a glass baking dish. Seal  with saran wrap and store in the fridge overnight.
2. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
3. Place pork belly strips on an oven rack over the pan. Be sure to line your pan with aluminium foil to make it easier to clean later.
4. Roast pork belly for 2 hours. Turn and baste with the marinate every 30 minutes.
5. Cut into bite size pieces and it's ready to be served.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...