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.

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