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?

Minced Pork with Thai Basil (pat Krapao Moo Sap)

Thai food. Absolutely adore them. The spicy-ness, the tangy-ness.

There is something about the combination of sweet, sour and spicy. Especially on a cold day. The spicyness would definitely help warm your tummy up! (: I first had this at a small, authentic thai restaurant on Lygon Street called Ying Thai 2. Their food, is absolutely delicious! I remembered having this particular dish, and they having different level of spice. And being gungho. I decided to be brave and ordered the spiciest, level 3. It was soooo spicy but sooo good! The tummy suffered a little after that. Just a tad. But all was worth it. haha

But of course, I didn’t wanna put my stomach through the same thing again, so I reduced the spicyness when attempting to make it at home! A very good idea, by the way. (:

Minced Pork with Thai Basil and A Sunny Side Up

Ingredients :

1 tbs olive oil

450g mince/ground pork

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 chilli padi, deseed and chopped finely

yellow onion, halfed then finely sliced

1 tbs oyster sauce

1 tsp fish sauce, extra for fried egg

pinch of sugar

handful thai basil leaves

handful of dried shrimp, fried till crispy

Sunny-side-up egg (optional)

spring onion, finely chopped for garnish

Steps :

1. Heat a wok on medium to high heat and add the olive oil. Fry the garlic and chilli till fragrant (not brown) and add the ground pork. Fry till brown. Make sure there are no lumps.

2. Add the oyster sauce and fish sauce and fry for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, onion and basil leaves and fry for a further 5 minutes.

3. Top the mince with the crispy dried shrimp and garnish the sunny-side-up with the spring onion and a sprinkle of the fish sauce

4. Serve with steamed jasmine/long grain rice.

ENJOY! (:

ps : So please share with me what is the dish that you MUST ORDER when you’re at a thai restaurant?

Valentine’s Day Surprise!

( Us 7 years ago ♥ )

Surprises. Don’t you just love them? Cause I definitely do.

My past year has been filled with happy surprises. First the proposal, then the engagement party and now valentine’s day! (: Regardless of the size of the surprise, I feel very very loved and very very lucky to be loved.

The Mr and I talked about it before hand that we won’t be celebrating Valentine’s Day as we would have arrived back in Melbourne just a day before and really, we just didn’t wanna spend the astronomical amount that restaurants would charge on this day for lovers. So I decided that I was going to cook for him.

Baby surprised me with a rose when I met him for coffee! (: It’s the small things like that that counts!

and see that lego guy? He’s Leroy. hehe

okie. TO THE POINT. I’m sorry if I’m telling my life story in one post. SO. I decided to make something that my baby had always wanted to have and so I walked around in Woolworths trying to get inspiration. He always wanted to get those pork medallions stuffed with herb butter but being me, I refuse to get things that pre-marinated unless I really can’t get the flavour that they have. So I decided to get pork chops and made my own herb butter!

I was so happy I did it. Cos the smile on my baby’s face was worth every single second spent deciding on what to cook and executing it.

Love on a plate. (:

Together with the pork chops, I made a side of caesar salad! I remembered when watching masterclass in the second season that Donna Hay made caesar salad in a totally different way. So I decided to try it, just through my own memory of how to do it. and it turned out great!

I do hope everyone had an awesome valentine’s day and you spent it with your loved ones! (:

Herb Butter

125g unsalted butter, softened

2 pinches of salt

2 tablespoon of fresh oregano

handful of chopped parsley

Steps :

1) In a mortar and pestle, pound the herbs with the salt till it’s almost in a paste.

2) Add the butter and with a spoon combine both the herb paste and butter till well combined.

3) Remove from the mortar and put it in a cling wrap. Roll it up and put it into the fridge to set.

Caesar Salad

1 baby cos lettuce

4 slices of bacon

2 hard boiled eggs, sliced into half

Your favourite Caesar dressing

Parmesan cheese

Avocado (optional)

Sunflower seed (optional)

Steps :

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and bake the bacon for 10mins. Remove from the oven (need it for the pork chops, so do not slice it up yet).

2) Slice the baby cos into half lengthwise

3) Cut the bacon onto the lettuce (only after the pork chops are done). Sprinkle some parmesan cheese.

4) Pour the caesar dressing on the lettuce, the amount that you would like. Place the egg on the side and the avocado and top the salad with some sunflower seeds.

Herb Butter Pork Chops

2 pork chops with bone

salt and pepper, to taste

Vine tomatoes

Steps :

1) Rub some of the herb butter and marinade the pork chops generously. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

2) Heat the frying pan and sear both sides of the pork.

3) Take the tray which you used to bake the bacon and place the pork chops on top of the bacon. Place the vine tomatoes on the side of the tray and baked for another 10-15mins (depending on how thick the chops are)

4) Plate the different components. Cut a slice of cold herb butter and place on top of the pork chops.

5) SERVE (:

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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