Lu Rou Fan- Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice

Lu Rou Fan滷肉飯 (Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice)

Caution: The following recipe is not for the faint of heart!!

Okay, just think of it as Chinese Bolognese meat sauce! Although pork belly is the cut where bacon originates, and is known to be heavy in fat, you’ll find that the Lu Ro, despite flaunting thick layers of fat, is surprisingly not as greasy as you might have imagined. In fact, since the pork is cooked under low heat for an extended amount of time, the amount of fat is somewhat mitigated.

Braising has always been one of my favorite ways to cook meat; it is the best sort of kitchen alchemy- transforming tough cuts of meat into something completely flavorful and tender, and you know what… braised meat tastes even better the next day!


Ingredients:

  • 1 lb skin-on pork belly, cut into 1/2” pieces
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 piece of medium size rock sugar
  • a couple of shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, cut into 1/2” pieces
  • 1/4 cup rice wine
  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1 cups water
  • 2 hardboiled eggs, peeled (optional)

For the spices (wrap everything in the spice packet):

  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • cumin seeds
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 slices fresh ginger

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degree C.
  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over low heat, add in the sugar. Add the minced shallots when the sugar starts to melt. Turn up the heat to medium high and stir-fry the shallots for a minute.
  3. Add the mushroom pieces and chopped pork belly; stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the blanched pork, rice wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and water. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, add the spices (which should be wrapped in cloth), along with the peeled hardboiled eggs.
  5. Transfer everything to the oven and cook for around 1½ hours.
  6. Once the meat is fall-apart tender, remove the spice packet. Transfer Dutch oven to the stove, cook under medium high heat to thicken the sauce, stir occasionally, for about 5-minutes. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon. Serve over steamed white rice!

 

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Taiwanese Beef Noodles made with Dutch oven

My go-to recipe for a hearty meal full of braised tender beef, vegetables and plenty of carbssss!

Sluuuurp~


Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds meaty beef short ribs
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3 slices of peeled fresh ginger, smashed
  • 1 bunch scallions, white parts smashed with flat side of a large knife and green parts chopped
  • 1.5 cup Chinese rice wine
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • 1 fresh red chile
  • 3 tablespoons of Doubanjiang
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly grinded pepper
  • 2-3 cubes of rock sugar
  • 10 ounces dried Chinese wheat noodles
  • Bok Choy for garnishing

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
  2. Cut onions and tomatoes into wedges, scallions into sections.
  3. Chop short ribs into 3-inch cubes.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the onions, tomatoes, scallions and ginger slices and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned.
  5. Dry the beef cubes with paper towels. Toss into the Dutch oven, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.
  6. Add the soya sauce, water plus Chinese rice wine, just enough to almost cover the meat.
  7. Add the rock sugar, pepper and Doubanjiang , toss in red chili. Bring to a simmer.
  8. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 2.5 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.
  9. Serve with noodles and bok choy!

 

Cod en Papillote with Tomatoes and Olives

The name of the dish sounds a lot more fancy than it actually is—ingredients are simply wrapped into a paper parcel and then baked.

En papillote translates to “in parchment.”  When ingredients such as fish, seafood and vegetables are sealed in a parchment paper parcel with herbs or other seasonings, it creates an aromatic, moist heat where the protein cooks in its own juice as well as the essences from other ingredients.

Ummm… So easy and so delicious!
The only thing to remember is to seal your parcel well, so that none of the delicious juices can escape!

Ingredients:

    • Parchment paper
    • 2 cod fillets
    • 2 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
    • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
    • 6 large, pitted olives
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 4 teaspoons dry white wine
    • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
    • 2 fresh thyme sprigs

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 240°C
  2. Place the fish fillet on the parchment. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a small skillet, warm 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Sauté sliced garlic until golden.
  4. Remove skillet from heat; stir in tomatoes and olives. Divide tomato mixture among fish.
  5. Top fillets with wine, butter and thyme sprigs.
  6. Bring the edges of the baking paper together and fold over twice to enclose. Twist and tighten both sides with string to form a sealed parcel.
  7. The parcel should look like a giant sweet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

 

Spicy Salmon Poke

Sometimes, all you need to beat the heat is a good ol’bowl of poke!


Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sashimi grade salmon
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce, to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil, to taste
  • 2 scallions, chopped finely
  • 1 cup Japanese mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Sriracha sauce

Instructions:

  1. Slice salmon into small cubes, around 1 inch.
  2. Combine salmon cubes with soy sauce, sesame oil, and chopped scallion. Use enough to coat the salmon thinly. Chill in fridge while preparing the spicy mayo.
  3. In another bowl, whisking mayo and Sriracha briefly until combined. Take out salmon from the fridge, add the spicy mayo and mix gently until fully coated.

 

Teriyaki Chicken puff pastry pizza

As much as I love pizza, tell me any pizza recipe that requires a rolling pin and I’ll probably respond with an eye roll. Tell me I have to let the dough rise for an hour after a long day of work and I’ll probably say, “Nope, not happening.” The truth is… an amateur chef with a full-time job can’t afford spending two hours on making her dinner!

Are you looking for yummy and instant pizza recipes just like me? If yes, you have come to the right place. This recipe needs no kneading or rising time. You can make this pizza in less than the amount of time it would take for pizza delivery. Voilà, dinner is ready!


Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet store-bought puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 cup chicken (diced and seasoned with salt and pepper)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped spring onions
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sake
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 210 degrees Celsius. Place defrosted sheet of puff pastry onto the parchment.
  2. Sauté chicken slightly, for 2min, under medium heat.
  3. Combine Teriyaki sauce ingredients in a bowl. Add the teriyaki sauce to the chicken, cook until the sauce is thickened and glossy, stirring occasionally, for around another 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the sauce.
  5. Spread the teriyaki sauce onto the puff pastry, leaving a ½ ” border around the edges.
  6. Distribute chicken evenly over teriyaki sauce then top with shredded mozzarella.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and just beginning to brown and the pastry crust is golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes before sprinkling with chopped spring onions.

 

Baked Oysters with Miso-Mayonnaise

I am a real party animal, house parties, to be exact. Nothing beats sharing hearty laughs and intimate conversation with your closest friends in a cozy environment. The truth is, I approach house parties with the same mix of excitement and apprehension you might feel before a first date—what if my home looks messy? What if I get an elaborate menu planned, and then they cancel at the last minute? And obviously you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard… To ease off the pressure of hosting a house party, every hostess should have a few quick, easy recipes up her sleeve for any event on the calendar.

Made this very simple dish with the leftover miso from last week, this serves as a great snack or party appetizer, taking next to no time or effort to do. Add this dish to your arsenal and you won’t regret it, I promise!

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Ingredients:

  • ½ Dozen oysters
  • ¼ Onion (minced)
  • 1 cup Japanese mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • Paprika (for garnishing)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the miso and mayonnaise into a smooth paste; set aside.
  3. Heat up butter in a small skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, sauté the minced onion until they turn transparent.
  4. Divide the onion evenly into shells and top off thickly with the miso-mayonnaise mixture, make sure to completely cover everything in the shell with the mixture.
  5. Place oysters in the oven on the top rack and bake for 20-25 minutes. The tops should be a nice dark brown when done.
  6. Remove oysters from the oven, garnish with paprika and serve!

 

Sous Vide Miso Maple Salmon

Happy New Year!

The beginning of a year is always a good time for me to review my resolutions and take stock of what I have done over the past year. In 2016, I ditched Korean fried chicken for the Chairman’s smoked pigeons, feasted on numerous macarons and cupcakes, and let countless meals go cold in the search of photographic perfection. As I loosen my belt and take a look at the culinary fads that flooded my social media feeds in the past year, including superfood sensation (kale chips? really?), sweet-savory creations and an array of pimped up ice-cream sundaes crowned with egglettes, I wonder how many of these gourmet trends can stay in the scene.

2016 was also a year for upgrading my kitchen gadgets- I owned my very first sous vide machine!! Sous vide cooking was developed in the mid–1970s by chef Georges Pralus at the Michelin Three-Star Restaurant, Troisgros, in Roanne (still remember this place?) initially as a means of cooking delicate foie gras. In the last two decades, sous vide cooking has become the secret of top chefs at major restaurants around the world. This alternative method of cooking promises incredibly succulent meats without having to worry about overcooking, charring, timing. Unlike the aforementioned culinary fads, I’m sure this gadget will be something I swear by for the years to come.


Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 12-ounce skinless salmon fillet
  • 1/4 cup miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Set the water bath to 104ºF (40ºC).
  2. Place the salmon in a large zipper lock bag. Add the miso, mirin, and maple syrup. Seal the bag tightly.
  3. Place the bag in the water bath and set the timer for 30 minutes.
  4. When the timer goes off, gently remove the salmon from the bag and discard any remaining cooking liquid.
  5. Heat up oil in a non-stick skillet over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the salmon and sear until well-browned on top and bottom, about 1 minute total.

 

 

Fettuccine with Black Truffle Cream Sauce

Still trying to process the shock, disgust, horror and anger I get from reading the news, both local and international.

As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t updated my blog/ Facebook for some time. I was, in the past few months, taking some major moves in my career. And I have been working my butt off to adjust to the transitions. In difficult times like this, I am particularly grateful for all the men in my life, who treat women with respect. I grew up getting all the education I needed; my father often reassures me that it is okay for a girl to be smart and ambitious. When I was too tired to cook after work, my husband would just get us takeaways, without the slightest complaint. I have never felt duty-bound to complete all the household chores, I needn’t be the domestic goddess of the house or the new Martha Stewart – I can just be myself!

Cooking has always been a meditating process for me; I feel a sense of tranquility and peace whenever I cook. Tonight, I felt something more – while I cooked, I thought of all the strong women in my life, starting with my mother, all my girlfriends… colleagues… Susan B Anthony… Claudette Colvin… Instead of feeling confined in a box, like many women before my time did, kitchen is a place where my dreams flourish. To me, food is the key to different cultures… Through all the kitchen experiments, I learn to be a person with an open mind.

So, I feel it really personally when I see how women are being demeaned, devalued and degraded publicly, how some leaders rule by intimidation, how they stifle opposing voices and diminish the potential of their citizens… it is just saddening to see how the world is moving backward…

I guess we all need a hearty truffle pasta like this to heal our souls.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 8 ounces fresh fettucine
  • 1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons truffle paste
  • Truffle shavings
  • 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 tablespoon of olive oil

Directions

  1. Add salt and olive oil to water, bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile cook garlic in butter over low heat.
  3. Add heavy cream and simmer until thickened.
  4. Cook pasta until al dente and add to cream; toss to coat.
  5. Whisk in truffle paste into pasta and remove from heat.
  6. Season with salt and serve with truffle shavings or fresh truffle.

Skillet Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

The dish sounds like something you can find in the menu of some fancy restaurants. By deglazing the pan with a combination of chicken stock, cream and a little bit of whisky… everyone can turn those pan drippings into a fantastic sauce, no culinary school degree required!

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Ingredients

  • 2 bone-in pork chops (1 1/4 inches thick)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 apples and onions, cut into wedges
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whisky
  • 8 small fresh thyme sprigs

Methods:
1. Preheat oven to 240°C. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Cook in hot oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from skillet.
2. Add apples and onion to skillet; cook until browned. Remove from skillet
3. Add broth to skillet, stir to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet, cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Whisk together cream and mustard; add to skillet, cook and stir constantly, cook for 2 minutes or until bubbly.
5. Remove skillet from heat, and stir in bourbon. Add pork, turning to coat, and top with apples, onions, and thyme.
6. Bake at 240°C for 15 minutes or until liquid is just beginning to bubble. Let stand in skillet 5 minutes before serving.


Cheese and Bacon Bread Bake

Rise and shine, it’s breakfast time! Sunday is my favorite day of the week, no morning rush or unmet challenges, finally there is time to sit back and enjoy a relaxing breakfast. This bread bake is a savory version of bread pudding. The recipe only calls for simple ingredients, you can always manage to scrap together some version as long as you have egg and bread.It tastes like a cross between a quiche and omelette; moist, custardy on the inside while the edge is crunchy and golden…

A Sunday well spent brings a week of content, start your day with a smile and a great breakfast!


Ingredients

  • 250g bacon, diced
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 carton of milk
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper
  • I semi- baguette (preferably slightly stale) cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 cups grated Mozarella cheese
  • Parsley, for garnish

 

Directions

Preparation beforehand:

  1. Heat a large non stick pan over high heat. Add all but 2 tbsp of bacon (reserve for topping) and cooked until lightly browned.
  2. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain the excessive oil.
  3. Whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  4. Place the bread in a large bowl. Pour in the egg mixture, 1½ cups cheese and cooked bacon
  5. Set aside in the fridge for at least 30 minutes ( so all the egg is soaked into the bread) or overnight.

To Cook

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Coat a 9″ cake tin with butter.
  3. Pour the bread mixture into the cake tin, scatter with remaining uncooked bacon and remaining cheese. Cover loosely with foil.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden on top.
  5. Garnish with parsley.
  6. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into slices to serve.