Braised Pork Belly with Yam

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know how home sick I always get. One way to make myself feel better is to cook. Not just cook anything, cook something that reminds me of home. So that’s what I did, I made something my mum makes best – Braised pork belly with yam. (: You usually eat this with a bun and some salad leaves. But it also goes super well with rice!

The recipe I found is a little time consuming, but all the work and effort put into the dish is definitely worth it. By the time it’s done steaming, the yam would be broken down and it would have absorbed all the flavours. The pork too will be melt in your mouth! Of course the happiest person when I said I was going to cook this was my baby. hehe He and pork belly are very good friends. hehe

so here’s the recipe that I’ve adapted from :

Ingredients :

· 1.2kg pork belly with skin
· 700g yam/taro
· 1 piece reddish cheese (also known as fermented beancurd)
· 1 tbsp reddish cheese juice
· 2 tbsp salted bean paste

Part (A) :

·4 garlic cloves, chopped
·50g shallots, chopped
·1 stalk (20g) coriander stalk, chopped

Gravy :

·1 tbsp light soy sauce
·1 tbsp dark soy sauce
·1 tsp five spices powder
·1 tbsp sugar
·1 tbsp Chinese rose wine (I used Shaoxing wine)
·1 tsp monosodium glutamate (I left this out)
·800ml water

Steps :

1. Blanch the pork belly with 3 bowls of boiling water in a deep pot for about 20 minutes, remove and pat-dry, then rub a little light soy sauce over the pork belly, prick holes over the skin with a fork, deep-fry into hot oil until golden brown, dish up, transfer the pork belly into boiling water again and cook for further 30 minutes, remove and keep aside.

2. When the pork belly is cool enough, cut into thick slices.

3. Peel the yam, cut into square slices, slightly deep-fry into hot oil for a while, dish up and leave them aside.

4. Heat up 3 tbsp oil, to sautethe chopped ingredients A, reddish cheese, salted bean paste and reddish cheese juice till fragrant, add in sauce mixture, and bring to the boil, place in pork belly slices and yam, simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, remove from heat.

5. Prepare a deep bowl, arrange yam and pork belly slices alternately (skin side down); pack pieces securely into bowl, press slightly, pour the remaining sauce over the meat and yam, steam over medium heat for approximately 45 minutes, until the meat are tender.

6. Drain gravy into a bowl and retain, invert pork and yam slices onto a platter, heat up retained gravy until boiling, and thicken with a little cornstarch solutions, pour the gravy over the pork slices, serve hot.

Bon Appetit! (:

Comfort food.

Winter. Cold winds, rain, super low temperatures. To conquer all these, to me, only means one thing : comfort food.

what’s better ya? the ultimate comfort food for me is mash. The creaminess and butter-i-ness texture of the mash just makes everything seem better. (: So everything with mash, would just be a kind of comfort to me. Last night, I decided to make Shepard’s pie!

Shepard’s pie has always been a family favourite. So of course, I immediately went to source for a recipe so that I could cook it for everyone to enjoy! (: I was pretty worried the first time I made it, and I remember my brother having to always taste my mash to see if it’s buttery enough or salty enough. And my mum would stand next to me to make sure the mince is in small pieces and not in chunks, and if my meat sauce is thick enough.

alright, did I say I miss my family and I’m home-sick? I didn’t? Well, I am. That’s why I needed comfort food, pronto.

So here’s my recipe, hopefully, it will be as comforting to you as it was for me! (:

Ingredients :

600g mince pork (you can always use chicken or beef)

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 medium size carrots, chopped into small pieces

1 leek, sliced into thin rings

10 button mushrooms, sliced thinly

1 tin of chopped tomatoes (can always substitute with 3 tbs tomato paste)

3 tbs plain flour

2 tbs olive oil

2 tbs Worcester sauce

5 bay leaves

750ml chicken stock

8 potatoes, cut into cubes (for mash)

50g butter

50ml milk (or cream)

1 tsp nutmeg

Parmesan, to sprinkle on the mash before baking it

salt and pepper, to taste

Steps :

1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan and add the garlic and leeks and fry till fragrant and the leeks are transparent, make sure they do not brown. Add the carrots and mushrooms and fry till carrots are soft.

2. Add the mince and fry till the meat is cooked and the pieces are small.

3. Add the flour and mix till well combined. Add the stock, the Worcester sauce, chopped tomatoes, bay leaves and mix and allow the mixture to boil before turning the fire down to small. Cook the mixture and allow the liquid to thicken till almost dry. (about 20-25mins)

4. While the meat mixture is reducing, cook the potatoes in a pot of salted water till tender and easier to mash. Drain, and put them back into the pot over very small fire. Add the butter, milk and nutmeg and mash till smooth. Season with salt and allow it to cool for about 5 mins.

5. Place the meat mixture into a baking tray and slowly pipe the mash on top of it. Sprinkle the Parmesan and flash it in the oven grill for 5 mins, till the top is golden brown.

6. Serve and enjoy! (:

Guest Post : Baby’s Crispy Skin Pork

if you guys have been reading my blog, you know my baby is an awesome cook. and one of his signature dishes that everyone loves is crispy skin pork. He recently saw how the chefs at Masterchef done it and decided to cook it for me and his family after he’s tried it on his own back in Melbourne! I’m so glad he did. It was super yummy!

a nice slab of pork with the skin sliced and salted and dried in the fridge uncovered (:

and baby fried the skin first before baking it. (:

the worse thing happened that night. the oven suddenly broke down, and the portable oven tripped the whole house after heating it for 10 mins. So we had to use the small toaster! hehe and guess what? My baby pulled it off! hehe

it was cooked perfectly. (:

we all preferred this way of cooking the pork instead of whacking it in the oven from the very start.

well done sweetie! (: it was really good! hehe

have it with home-made gravy : perfect .

Can’t wait to have more of my baby’s cooking when I get back! (:

i love you.

Not So Traditional Moussaka

My first time having a Moussaka was a vegetarian one and I had it at the best place to have vegetarian food, Original Sin. I have been wanting to make my own moussaka for ages, and finally got down to it! (: I’m so glad I did, cause even though it was time consuming to grill the vegetables, it was all worth it! It was yummy!

Eggplant-Potato-Ricotta-Cheese-Meat Sauce-Eggplant (you get the idea!)

It’s very rich when you have it on it’s own, but have it with a cucumber raita, and it’s just one of the best combination you will ever have on a plate! With this combination, you would never feel too overwhelmed and could just keep eating!

My moussaka, however, is not the traditional kind you find at Greek restaurants. I improvised it a little, adding a little bit of mexican flavour (in a tin) to the dish. I was afraid the flavours might clash, but instead, it gives the dish just the slightest bit of spiciness and the kidney beans gave a good bite with every spoonful! I do apologise if you think it’s not the right way to cook it, but I do enjoy this version quite a bit. hehe

so give it a shot, and let me know if you still do prefer the traditional way of cooking it or the taste (:

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Baked Meatballs

So I have been experimenting on different kinds of meatballs to go with my spaghetti.

You see, I am a HUGE fan of meatballs. I could have with anything or even have it on its own. When I head to Subway for a meal for example, I do not have to think about it, it would definitely be meatballs sub. haha When I head to IKEA, an order of meatballs is a must! (:

So it’s no wonder I am looking for the perfect meatball recipe. I’ve tried the Safeway’s Nana’s meatball recipe. Baby likes that one cause he says the lemon zest in the meatball brings out the taste when he’s having it with spaghetti. I, on the other hand, is not a big fan of having lemony flavour in my meatballs. So I continued my search of finding the perfect one!

I chanced upon this recipe as I was blog-surfing and it looked amazing and pretty sure it will taste amazing as well. So thank you Smitten Kitchen! It turned out really well, and we all loved it! hehe Being me, I took the recipe and tweaked it a little to see if it will turn out good. and this I did!

Of course, I followed the recipe but I added a few more herbs in to substitute for the ones I don’t have.

and to go with my spaghetti (which I fried with garlic, chilli and some salsa), I added pasta sauce mixed with milk and parmesan and baked them further.

topped it with cheese, and my meatball sauce is done! (:

The meatballs were moist, and together with the sauce, it complimented the spaghetti really well! This is one meatball recipe I am going to keep and use to whenever I feel like having meatballs! Which is, quite often haha.

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Easy Pork Chops with Apple Sauce

Sorry about the recent fascination with pork chops. haha Baby and I got it pretty cheap at Footscray market and we just couldn’t resist buying! We ended up buying almost 3kg of pork chops. haha

so that’s why I’m experimenting on different recipes that I can get my hands on! (:

Tonight. I decided to go all western! and what goes better with pork than apple sauce? it’s like a match-made in heaven!

The apple sauce could be done in less than 10 mins or you could even do it the day before and make it hot just before you serve your pork chops! (: and it’s not difficult at all!

Recipe (Adapted by Heat Beads)

Apple Sauce

2 Grannysmith apples, cut into small pieces

25g butter

2 tsp caster sugar (or alter to your liking)

Steps :

1. Peel and chop the apples into small pieces. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a moderate heat.

2. Add the apples, cover the pan and cook down until the apples have softened. Sweeten with sugar to taste.

3. Using an electric stick blender, process the apples until smooth. Alternatively, push the apples through a sieve. If necessary, add a dash of water to thin down the apple sauce. Leave on one side while you fry the chops.

Pork Chops

3 Pork Chops

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Olive oil (for frying)

Salt and Pepper to season

A dash (or more) Tabasco sauce

Steps :

1. Make light incisions in a criss-cross pattern on one side of the pork chops.

2. Brush the chops with olive oil and place on a plate scored side upwards.

3. Squeeze over the lemon juice and push the  garlic into the incisions. Leave for about twenty minutes.

4. Just before you fry it (or on the barbecue), add the tabasco and season well.

5. Cook the chops, scored side upwards for about 5-7 minutes on one side – until slightly charred and crisp. Flip the chops over and cook for a further minute or two. By this time, the chops should be tender and cooked through. The shorter cooking time helps stop the garlic from burning. (Don’t worry about cooking it longer than this time especially if your chops are on the bone, it will stop it from over-cooking!)

Bon Appetite!

Grilled Pork Chops (Suon Nuong) on Rice

have you ever gone to a Vietnamese restaurant

and look through their menu and see a dish called grilled pork chops on broken rice?

Don’t worry; just order it! cause it’s super good!

Baby had it recently at Footscray and I decided to try and replicate what he had. haha

doesn’t look too bad right? haha

just a piece of pork chop, with Bi (Pork skin with shredded pork, roasted rice powder, and garlic powder), sunny side up, curried spinach and long grain rice (instead of broken rice)

what is broken rice?

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Tai Lok Meen (Hokkien Noodles)

i had a craving for tai lok meen for the longest time.
and whenever i think about this noodles.
i think about my dad.
and how much he loves this.
or how he would rather sit in a coffee shop in KL while we shop
just so he could order a plate of the best tai lok meen ever.
and slowly enjoy it for the night.
it makes me smile. and it makes me wanna spend more time with my family (:

so i’ve been looking around and I found the recipe on my love.my food
and it looked really yummy.
i went to BoxHill to buy the ingredients
and got down to cooking it for dinner tonight!
and boy was I a happy girl.
it wasn’t as yummy as the one in KL
but it was YUMMY enough! hehe
We enjoyed it so much we almost finish the whole pot. haha

so here’s the recipe!
give it a go cause it was really easy to cook it.
and it was really yummilicious!

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Bak Chor Mee (Mince Meat Noodles)

this is a dish we always cook for a meal
cause it’s easy, quick and it’s super yums! (:
if you like the sourish taste of vinegar
with the punch from the chilli oil.
and the saltiness from the fried mince meat.
this is the dish for you!
it sure is ours. haha. baby was very happy tonight!

it has many different steps to it.
and yes, preparation takes a while.
but when you are cooking it.
you can get it on the table very quick! (:
so here’s the recipe and I do hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did!

Ingredients :
(for 2-3 persons)

Fried Mince Meat :

250g mince pork
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of thick dark soy sauce (those you use for chicken rice!)
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
6/7 pieces of button mushroom (from the can), sliced thinly

Stewed Mushroom :

6 dried chinese mushroom
1 tsp olive oil
sliced ginger
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
hot water

Noodles :

100g rice noodles (or more, depends on how much you eat)
bean sprouts
6 fishballs
10 slices of fish cake
spring onion, chopped (optional)
1/2 tablespoon chilli oil
1/2 tsp oyster sauce
1 tablespoon black vinegar
A splash of fish sauce
Fried Shallots

Steps :

Fried Mince Meat

1. Heat the pan with the tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and fry till it just turns a slight tinge of brown.
Add the mince meat and fry till cooked. Remember to break it up to small pieces.
Add the different sauces and fry, on medium-low heat, till all the liquid reduces.
Stirring occasionally. Add the button mushroom till it’s incorporated.

2. You can cook this in advance, and pop it into the microwave to heat it up just before serving

Stewed Mushroom

1. Pour hot water over the dried chinese mushrooms and soak for 15 mins.
Do not throw the water left after you take the mushrooms out.
Squeeze out the water of each mushroom, and cut it into relatively thin slices.

2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a heavy-based pan. Add the slices ginger and fry till tender.
Add the mushrooms and fry till fragrant.
Add the oyster sauce and a few tablespoons of water (from the mushrooms)
cook under medium-low heat and allow the mushrooms to absorb the liquid (plumping it up in the process)

3. Keep adding water (at least 2 more additions) and allow it to cook over low heat for at least 30mins.
so that it’s soft and tender. and bursting with flavour!

Noodles :

1. In a large bowl, put the chilli oil, oyster sauce, vinegar and fish sauce and mix till incorporated.

2. Boil the rice noodles according to the instructions on the packet
(Normally, I put the noodles in hot boiling water and scoop it up almost immediately
or else it will get too soft and will break into small pieces easily)

3. In another pot, boil the fishballs, fish cakes and bean sprout till they are cooked (takes about 5-8mins)

Plating it up :

1. Once the rice noodles are done, pour it into the bowl and mix it well with the sauces.
To make sure each strand is coated well with the sauces.
Place the fishballs, fish cakes and bean sprout on the noodles.

2. Put a few pieces of the stewed mushroom in the bowl and top everything up with the mince meat.
Sprinkle with fried shallots and spring onion.

ENJOY!!!!! (:

Pork Adobo

when i first came over the Melbourne.
this was one of the few dishes from the Philippines Emily taught me to cook
and it’s a dish baby really enjoys!
As we seldom buy pork belly cause it’s more expensive than chicken breast. haha
I decided to get some today from Box Hill
and cook this dish for him! (:

it’s pretty simple and could be whipped up very quickly.
But I encourage you to let it cook over low heat for at least an hour
so that the meat gets tender and soft!
Have this with a side of veg and rice and your dinner is good to go!

so here’s the recipe.
Hope u all will enjoy it as much as we do!

Ingredients :

350g belly of pork, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, skin on (you can add more if you are a big fan of garlic)
3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoon mushroom flavoured dark soy sauce (or just normal dark soy sauce)
Pepper

Steps :

1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy based pan and add the cloves of garlic and allow it to brown

2. Add the pieces of pork and fry till they are slightly coloured on high heat.

3. Add the apple cider vinegar and dark soy sauce and allow it to come up to a boil.
Cover the pot and lower the fire to medium heat.

4. Cook for 10mins giving it a stir and lower the fire to the smallest.
Allow it to cook for at least 30mins before serving.

But I highly recommend you to allow it to cook for 1 hour to have the melt-in-the-mouth texture (:
Just make sure you check on it every 15 mins and give it a good stir to make sure it doesn’t dry up.
If it does, don’t panic! Just add a tablespoon of water and you will be fine!


After cooking on medium heat for 10 mins


After 35 mins


after an hour. It has the nice dark coloured and the meat is melt-in-your-mouth! (:

5. Pork Adobo. DONE!

ENJOY! (:

Pork Belly on Foodista