东坡肉 Dong Po Rou

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东坡肉 Dong Po Rou

This recipe was a huge success! I got my parents over for dinner and they loved it too. Here’s the amazing recipe from the woks of life.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb slab of pork belly
  • 3 bunches scallions, washed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 8 slices ginger
  • 2 cups Shaoxing wine
  • ⅔ cup light soy sauce
  • 2½ tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 4 – 5 oz. rock sugar, depending on desired level of sweetness

Instructions

  1. Wash the pork belly as a whole piece. Blanch it whole in boiling water for one minute and drain. This process gets rid of any impurities and also allows you to more easily cut the pork belly into same-size pieces. Cut the pork into 3 x 3 inch pieces. You can also make them 2 x 2 inches if you like them smaller. Set aside.
  2. In a medium clay pot (preferably) or a medium (4-quart) regular pot, lay the scallions on the bottom in a thick, even layer. The scallions should cover the entire bottom of the pot. Space the ginger slices evenly over the scallions.
  3. Next lay the pork belly skin-side down on top of the ginger and scallions. Pour over the Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, and dark soy sauce. Add the rock sugar to the pot as well.
  4. Now cover the pot and place it over medium high heat. Once the liquid in the pot comes to a boil, immediately turn down the heat to low and simmer for 90 minutes. No need to stir.
  5. After 90 minutes, you have 2 choices:
  6. 1. Turn the pork belly skin-side up in the pot, cover, and let simmer for another 90 minutes. With the heat at the lowest setting, there should be plenty of liquid in the pot to cook the pork through the entire process––no need to add additional liquid.
  7. 2. Transfer the pork to a heat-proof plate, skin-side up (I used the small clay pots you see in the photos). Drizzle with some of the braising liquid, and place in a steamer for another 90 minutes.
  8. Both methods should yield tender, delicious results! When serving, transfer the pork pieces to a plate. At this point, you can heat the braising liquid in a saucepan to reduce the sauce and drizzle it over the pork.

New Potatoes with herbs and anchovy butter

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This was a surprisingly good recipe! I was looking for a simple recipe for a side dish to go with steaks and found this from thekitchn. Here’s the recipe. 

Serves 2-4

1 pound new potatoes, scrubbed
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 oil-packed anchovy fillet
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (or dill, mint, or a mixture of herbs)
Additional salt, if needed

Place the potatoes, water and salt in a medium pot with a lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes, or until the tip of a knife pierces easily through one of the larger potatoes.

While the potatoes are simmering, place the butter and anchovy in a small bowl. Use a fork to mash them together, until the anchovy is in small flecks throughout the butter.

When the potatoes are done cooking, drain them in a colander and return them to the still-warm pot. Add the anchovy butter and herbs, and cover pot. Move pot around in a circular motion, so that the potatoes tumble around and are coated completely in the butter and herbs. Depending on the saltiness of your anchovy, you may need to add more salt. Taste a potato and add 1/4 teaspoon salt (or more) if needed. Serve warm.

Additional Notes

  • Fingerling or another type of small, creamy potato can be substituted for new potatoes.

No-fuss Shepherd’s Pie

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Tried this recipe last week. It’s a simple recipe. It works. But I’m sure it can be improved. Here it is:

Ingredients 

Beef Stock recipe

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I have been searching for a good beef stock recipe for the longest time and found this to be really good. It is from food network. Here it goes! 

Ingredients
  • 7 pounds beef bones, sawed into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

  • 2 cups chopped onions

  • 1 cup chopped celery

  • 1 cup chopped carrots

  • 2 cups claret wine

  • 20 peppercorns

  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 5 bay leaves

  • 1 teaspoon dried leaf thyme

  • 1 1/2 gallons water

  • Directions
    • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the bones on a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and brush with the tomato paste. Lay the vegetables over the bones. Return to the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Place the pan on the stove and deglaze with the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan for browned particles. Put this mixture in a large stock pot. Add the peppercorns, garlic, and herbs. Season with salt. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 4 hours. Remove from the heat and skim off any fat that has risen to the surface. Strain the liquid and discard the bones.


Steamed Fish with Lime and Garlic

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Steamed Fish with Lime and Garlic

Aftermath of digging in before I remembered to take a picture..

Another recipe that I’ve tried and loved from eatingthaifood.com. I’ve actually tasted this on one of those random shopping trips in Bangkok, and I never thought I’d be able to recreate it at home. But I did! I think the real star of the flavours are the lime, chilli and the broth. When I cooked this dish, I did not notice that I was out of coriander and omitted it. It still tasted fantastic. Here’s the recipe. 

Author: Mark Wiens

Ingredients

For the fish:

  • 1 whole barramundi, about 1 – 2 kilos (or whatever size you can get), guts and gills already removed
  • 5 stalks lemongrass, bottom half only, smashed, and cut into chunks

For the sauce / soup:

  • 1 cup good chicken stock or fish stock (fresh or canned)
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped palm sugar
  • 8 Tbsp lime juice
  • 6 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 heads of garlic, chopped
  • Thai chilies to taste, finely chopped
  • 20 – 25 sprigs cilantro, chopped
  • 1- 2 stalks Chinese celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

Instructions

  1. Make sure your fish is scaled and gutted, and then score the fish with 3 diagonal incisions on each side of the fish. Cut off the top halves of the lemongrass, bruise, and stuff the lemongrass into the cavity of the fish. Steam the fish over high boiling water for about 10 – 15 minutes depending on the size of your fish.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the chicken stock until it comes to a boil, and then toss in the sugar, reduce heat, and boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour the mixture into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Mince the garlic, chilies, and cilantro, and mix into the chicken stock soup, along with fish sauce and lime juice. Stir gently and then taste test. Make sure it’s sour, and balanced with a hint of sweetness.
  4. When the fish is fully steamed, transfer it to a serving platter (with edges to keep in the soup), garnish with a bed of Chinese celery, and place the fish on the platter. Gently scoop on all the sauce over the fish, putting most of the garlic and chilies on the top of the fish.

Wok-braised Chinese Fungus

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I tried this recipe and added in chicken too, as I was in need of a meat dish last night. It turned out really nicely and I’m definitely using this recipe again. The original recipe is here.

Recipe Ingredients

1/2 oz  14g Dried white fungus (snow fungus)
1/2 oz  14g Dried black fungus (cloud ear)
12     Dried black mushrooms
    Sauce
1/2 cup  118ml Chicken broth
2 tablespoons  30ml Oyster sauce
1 tablespoon  15ml Dry sherry or Chinese rice wine
1 teaspoon  5ml Soy sauce
    Cooking
8     Chinese (napa) cabbage leaves – for garnish
1 tablespoon  15ml Vegetable oil
1 teaspoon  5ml Minced ginger
1/2 cup  118ml Canned gingko nuts – drained
2 teaspoons  10ml Cornstarch – dissolved in
4 teaspoons  20ml Water

Recipe Instructions

Soak the white and black fungus and mushrooms in separate bowls in warm water to cover for 30 minutes; drain. Rinse the white fungus well to remove sand around the stems. Cut off and discard the mushroom stems. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

Cook the cabbage leaves in a large pot of boiling water for 1 minute and drain well. Arrange on a serving platter.

Place a wok or wide frying pan over high heat until hot. Add the vegetable oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the white and black fungus, mushrooms, gingko nuts, and sauce; mix well. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Add the cornstarch solution and cook, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens. Serve over cabbage leaves.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

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Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

I’ve been trying lemongrass chicken mishmash recipes from here and there and I made one version of it today for dinner. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients 
2 boneless chicken thighs,cubed
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup lemongrass pounded finely
3 chilli padi (remove seeds if you can’t take spicy food)
1 cup of water

Method

  1. Marinate the chicken with the fish sauce, turmeric powder, brown sugar, light soy sauce, chilli and half of the lemongrass for about 20 minutes.
  2. Heat up some oil and fry the remaining lemongrass till fragrant.
  3. Add in chicken pieces and turn only after a minute.
  4. Add in the cup of water, lower heat, and cover pan with lid. Allow chicken to simmer for 15 minutes, or until sauce thickens.
  5. Once the sauce has thickened, it is time to remove from heat and serve!
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