Homemade BBQ Pork (Char Siew)

I’ve always been a fan of roast meats, especially roast duck and roast pork belly. If you follow me on instagram, I actually head to Golden Harvest Restaurant at Footscray for their roast duck and it’s the best roast duck I’ve had!

It’s usually a treat when we head there for dinner. A celebratory meal (:

Of course another favourite of mine is BBQ pork (char siew) and not just any char siew, specifically my mum’s. Ever since she made her version of BBQ pork, my brother and I have never liked any other versions that we had that is bought. Something that bothers my dad alot is the artificial red colouring of most of the store bought BBQ pork. And mum’s has no sign of that at all.

Tender and juicy pieces of BBQ pork that were cooked in an AMC pot! AMC pots are magic, really. And I’m a super lucky girl, cos whenever I am back for a holiday, mum would surely make her char siew for me. (:

So when I’m back here in Melbourne. Of course I miss mummy’s char siew and I decide to give it a shot, without the AMC pot. haha with my fingers ans toes crossed, I marinated the meat and baked it in the oven!

I have to say, it was close but it’s still lacking the same punch and kick as the one mummy makes. But for now this would have to do and we will just have to keep trying and altering the marinade until we get it spot on! But this definitely satisfied our cravings that night!

So here’s my take on BBQ pork, how do you usually make yours?

Homemade BBQ Pork (An original recipe of Food Made With Love)

400g pork fillet (or any tender cut)

2 tbs Lee Kum Kee Char Siew Sauce

1 tbs Hoisin Sauce

1 tbs oyster sauce

1 tsp dark soy sauce

2 cloves garlic, chopped garlic

1 tbs shao xing wine

1 tsp ground white pepper

1 tsp garlic salt

Steps :

1) Marinade the pork fillet with all the other ingredients listed above for at least 2 hours (even better overnight).

2) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. In a deep baking tray, place the marinated pork and pour 1/3 of the marinade on top of the pork. Cover the pork with baking paper to make sure the top doesnt burn (not yet anyways!). Bake for 20 mins and take it out to flip it to the other side.

3) Pour another 1/3 of the marinade on top and bake it for another 15 mins without covering this time.

4) Take it out and flip it for the last time, pouring the remaining marinade on top of the pork fillet and bake it for another 10 mins, or until tender.

5) For the last 5 mins, turn the grill on and allow the top of the pork fillet to char.

6) Allow the pork to rest for 10 mins before slicing it to thin pieces. Remember to scrape all the yummy sauce on the baking tray and serve it with the pork or on the side. ENJOY!

I prefer to have the sauce on my char siew. Have it with your choice of carbs. Of course mine is quinoa, how bout you?

Mummy’s Claypot Rice

When I first came to Melbourne about 8 years ago, I didn’t know how to cook at all. The only thing I actually knew how to cook was fried rice, and it was horrible. haha. So you can imagine, 1 month before I came here to study, how hectic it would be in the kitchen as mum tries to teach me some basics. So for the first year, I survived on a cyclical menu of decently flavoured fried rice, spaghetti and different simple stir fry. And of course, lots and lots of trail and error. haha

I have to say, all the experimenting spurred my interest in cooking and of course baking. Each time I head back during my long breaks, mum would teach me a few new dishes to cook. I keep the recipes in a notebook, just in case I forget them. (: It’s like a mother-daughter bonding session. Absolutely love it. I know i’ve said it before, but she is my inspiration in the kitchen.

One dish that I absolutely love is her version of claypot rice, with a twist! If you’re thinking, “I don’t have a claypot and I have to get one”. This recipe is for you! Cause it’s cooked in the rice cooker!

I know most people have claypot rice for the crispy and charred parts at the bottom of the claypot, I do have to warn you that this recipe doesn’t have the crispy bits, but it is definitely as yummy! So don’t dismiss this dish just cause it’s missing the crispy bits (although I know how important that is for an authentic claypot rice) but this is really a quick fix for a claypot rice craving!

Mummy’s Claypot Rice

Ingredients:

1 cup of rice

2 chinese sausages, sliced

2 chinese liver sausages, sliced (optional)

5 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced

250g chicken thigh, cut into chunks

10 pieces of chinese cabbage, cut into big pieces

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 tbs vegetable oil

2 tbs oyster sauce

1 tbs shaoxing chinese wine

1 tbs dark soy sauce

1 tsp light soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

50ml water

ground white pepper, to season

2 tbs thick dark soy (caramel thick sauce)

spring onions, chopped (to serve)

fried shallots (to serve)

Steps :

1) Rinse the rice and add water (according to the cooking instructions behind the packaging) and take out 2 tbs of water. Leave it aside.

2) Place the chinese sausage and liver sausage in a bowl and steam for 15 mins. Drain the oil and leave it aside.

3) In a heavy based frying pan, heat the vegetable oil and fry the garlic till fragrant, careful not to burn them. Add the mushrooms and fry till fragrant. At this time, start cooking the rice in the rice cooker.

4) Add the chicken pieces and brown them. Add the sauces, pepper and shaoxing wine and 50ml of water. Add the chinese cabbage and allow it to simmer for 20 mins and make sure the liquid is almost completely reduced. Add in the chinese sausage and liver sausage. The rice should be almost done, pour the mixture onto the rice and give it a good stir. When the rice cooker clicks, leave it in the “keep warm” mode for another 20-30 mins.

5) Just before serving, pour the thick dark soy over the rice, top with spring onion and fried shallots. ENJOY!

Even without the crispy bits, this is one solid claypot rice that reminds me of home (:

Easy Peasy Fig Tart

FIGS. Believe it or not. Just a month ago was the first time I ever had fresh figs! When I tried it, I wish I had it sooner! Fortunately, I scored a bargain at Springvale Market and bought 7 for $2.50! I had to head back to buy more.

Just couldn’t get enough!

So the first time I had it, I slid the top of it twice and stuffed them with ricotta and topped it with honey. It was DELICIOUS! But to be honest, I preferred mine without the ricotta. Just honey! The mr loved his with the cheese though.

So after a few nights of having the same thing, I decided to do something different. Looked into the freezer, and VIOLA! Puff pastry! Perfect. A quick tart it is.

Trust me, it’s the quickest and yummiest thing you would have! The sweetest of the figs, with the buttery-ness of the pastry. That made our night. Of course, to top it up, some macadamia ice cream from Connoisseur. The mr had two! (: Always a joy to see him eat the food I make with the satisfaction on his face.

So for a quick fix to your sweet tooth, I urge you to give this easy recipe a try!

Easy Peasy Fig Tart

1/2 sheet of store bought puff pastry (with butter), cut into 3 or 4 rectangles

3-4 fresh figs, sliced into quarters

caster sugar, enough to lightly sprinkle on top of the pastry

tightly packed brown sugar, to sprinkle on top of the figs

scoop(s) of ice cream, to serve (flavour is up to you!)

Steps:

1) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celcius. On the rectangular sheets of puff pastry, lightly sprinkle caster sugar on the top.

2) Place the figs, aligned in the middle. Leaving some space on the sides.

3) Sprinkle some brown sugar on the figs. Bake the pastry for 15-20 mins, or until the pastry is golden brown.

4) Serve with a scoop of ice cream and ENJOY!

ps : you can either place the ice cream on the side, or put it on top like the mr did! haha