Super Quick and Easy Pork Belly with Greens Stirfry

This little recipe I very quickly whipped up today turned out so delicious (if I dare say so myself, haha) that I HAD to share! If you’re a busy mum like me, juggling work and family life, these super quick and easy recipes are truly a lifesaver! Plus, the kids loved it – so that’s a plus! My kids are very fussy when it comes to their veggies, but they somehow don’t mind beans and brocolli (or brocollini) so I use these greens pretty often in my cooking. This sticky stirfry would go really well with just plain steamed rice, although today I served it with couscous – because they are super easy to make, just add hot water, cover and ready in 2 minutes!

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Ingredients:

One bunch of brocollini, chopped in half

Approx. 150g green beans

4 strips of pork belly, sliced into small bite sized pieces

4-5 garlic cloves, crushed

2-3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Method:

Heat vegetable oil in wok, stirfry garlic and pork belly until the meat is slightly browning. Add greens and splash in sweet chilli sauce and oyster sauce. Stirfry for another 5-8 minutes until greens are reasonably softened yet still slightly crunchy (careful not to let it get too soft and soggy) and sauce caramelizes and making the meat look all glossy and sticky.

Serve with steamed rice or cous cous.

Salt and Pepper Crispy Chicken Spare Ribs Recipe

I must warn you, this post might end up being so badly written due to the fact that I just ate way too many crispy chicken ribs and now suffering from a bad case of food comma! If my kids were asleep, I would be asleep too right now. I am so full, and content, and sleepy. Writing this blog post almost immediately is necessary to try and stay awake. Writing keeps me away from the comforts of the couch and the danger of falling asleep while little children roam free around the house unsupervised. Better not let that happen, lol.

I LOVE CHICKEN RIBS. I can almost say that every time I go to Yum Cha or any Chinese restaurant, I would most likely end up ordering the Salt and Pepper Chicken Ribs. Why not? Deliciously juicy and crispy chicken that’s tender and only one bone to deal with. Amazing flavours in the onion and chilli topping. Serve with the perfect dipping sauce – and I am in food heaven.

These are so easy to make at home though. They don’t require a lot of ingredients and this version is pretty basic but hits the spot. I had to specially order in the chicken ribs from my butcher though, as they don’t normally stock them (too expensive to keep on regular stock and unpredictable demand). This morning, I got a call from my butcher letting me know my chicken ribs have come in, so I gladly picked them up and cooked them for lunch! Now you can too… enjoy!

Ingredients:
500g chicken spare ribs
1 egg white, gently beaten to separate
Salt and Pepper
Kentucky Flour
1 stalk spring onion, sliced
Chilli flakes
Oil for deep frying
Method:
In a deep fryer, heat oil ready for deep frying. Season chicken ribs really well with salt and pepper. Be generous with the pepper for extra spicy kick. Coat chicken in egg white and then coat with Kentucky flour. Deep fry for about 6-10 minutes or until the chicken is crispy and brown. Serve onto a plate and then top with sliced spring onion and chilli flakes. Serve with your favorite soy / chilli dipping sauce.

Stirfried Okra with Garlic, Mushrooms & Anchovies

Growing up, my parents have always cooked okra (aka ladies finger) so I have grown very familiar with this vegetable and various ways of cooking it. However, I do realise that a lot of people have never ever cooked with okra nor have they tasted them. If you have never cooked with okra before, perhaps this simple dish will encourage you to try something new. Okra is really not that scary… it is very commonly used in Asian dishes and has a very unique texture.

It is a little… slimy.

Please do not let that put you off!!

Okra when sliced is generally slimy on the inside which is why once you have sliced them, you are not supposed to let it get in contact with any water or else it will just melt away and turn into a slimy vegetable with no real texture to it.

However, if you keep it dry after it is sliced and cook it without any water, the outer later of the okra which is firmer and pleasantly textured really compliments the little gooeyness. This dish makes it even more enjoyable as it also combines the salty crunch of the fried anchovies and the soft textures of mushroom. I love this dish and can easily eat a big plate of this for dinner with nothing else.. but it serves well with rice. It also takes 10 minutes to prepare this dish from start to finish… I simply cannot complain!
Before I start with the recipe, here are a few helpful notes:

  • You can buy okra from most fruit and vegetable shops in Australia, or Asian grocers.
  • You can find dried anchovies (the little ones) in packets from Asian grocers or the Asian section in Coles supermarkets.
Ingredients
200g okra, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1 tbsp dried anchovies, softened in water for approx. 5 mins, then drain water.
1 medium cup mushroom, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Method:
Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan. Add garlic, sliced mushrooms, and soaked anchovies. Fry in oil for 3-4 minutes on medium heat, until the garlic is browning and fragrant, and anchovies starting to crisp. Add sliced okra and season with salt and pepper. Stirfry for another 3-4 minutes or until the okra starts to soften. Serve while it is still hot.

Steamed Silken Tofu with Minced Pork & Mushrooms

When it comes to feeding the family, it is hard to strike a balance between something healthy and wholesome that is also a huge hit with the kids. To top it all off, I constantly need to find recipes that are dairy free, egg free and nut free! My kids, like most children, can be quite fussy when it comes to food. At the end of the day, they eat what we eat… but it does make meal times a lot easier when they happily eat what they are given without us having to convince them it’s worth at least trying.

This particular dish is such a crowd pleaser. My kids absolutely love this! Just yesterday at a playdate, my kids chose to eat tofu even when toasted marshmallows were on offer! Needless to say, my friends were amazed that the kids just sat there and ate their dinner without any hassles. You wouldn’t expect it to be such a crowd pleaser, after all it is tofu. A lot of people’s first impression when it comes to tofu can often be… non-enthusiastic in general. Well, we love our tofu and we love them even more when it is silken tofu! This dish can be prepared and cooked within 25-30 minutes, and serves really well with steamed rice. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped

150g minced pork

3 large shitake mushrooms, softened and sliced

1 tbsp oyster sauce

300g silken tofu

1 tbsp light soy sauce

Coriander leaves

Method:

Heat vegetable oil in a fry pan, fry garlic, minced pork, mushrooms for a few minutes until the meat starts to brown. Add oyster sauce and stir thoroughly. Set aside.

Place tofu in a steaming plate. Top the tofu with stirfried pork and mushroom mix. Drizzle with light soy sauce. Steam everything for approximately 15-20 minutes. To serve, garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Homemade Vietnamese Roast Pork Roll (Banh Mi) Recipe

Warning: This is seriously easy and seriously addictive… lol.

This is my cheat version of a Banh Mi, with readily available products that you can get from any supermarket. I substituted a Vietnamese baguette with a Turkish roll because.. well, Turkish rolls are deliciously fluffy on the inside and crusty on the outside which makes this roll the best thing in the world! Ok, maybe I am overreacting but my mouth is watering even as I type this.. so that’s a good thing right?!

Whether you’re craving a nice big delicious lunch that will surely make you feel sleepy after lunch and unable to continue being productive, or you just felt like banh mi for dinner but all the Vietnamese shops are closed… this is for you! Kimba’s cheat but yummy banh mi replacement recipe hehe.

Ingredients:

300g pork belly or pork spare ribs (the sliced ones as shown in this pic below)

1 carrot, julienned

1 cup of fresh coriander

Turkish bread rolls

Mayonnaise

Sweet Chilli Sauce

Salt and Pepper

Method:

Slice the pork into little strips, season well with salt and pepper and roast it in the oven for approximately 30 minutes until it is brown and crispy.

To assemble the roll, slice the bread roll to form a pocket without slicing all the way through. Spread mayonnaise on one side of the roll. Stuff in carrots, coriander and pork according to your preference. Drizzle some sweet chilli sauce and take a huge first bite in contentment! Then keep eating and hope you don’t crave for more than you should eat.. because I know I tend to have that problem! Haha 🙂

"Pak Loh Bak" Braised Pork Belly Recipe

OK so I have been very slack lately and haven’t blogged AT ALL, so let me compensate by posting this recipe for “Pak Loh Bak” which is essentially a fragrant Chinese Braised Pork dish which can also be used to cook Braised Duck. Technically, this is not even my recipe, my dad only just emailed this to me today haha. But I’m so happy with how it turned out, I wanted to make sure I don’t lose the recipe and also a few people have asked me to share the recipe already… so OK lah. Here it is!

(This recipe is completely unedited from my dad’s original email… because I am a bit lazy… but I am guessing if you’re interested you’re probably Malaysian currently living away from home and would like to try and make this yourself so you would understand the “rojak” language anyway. If you would like me to revise this recipe into perfect, understandable English then please feel free to write a comment or send me a message and I will translate some of the random words)

Pak Loh Pork Belly
Ingredients:
Pork belly sliced into pieces 6 inch long
Hard boiled eggs
1 tsp 5 spice powder
Pounded fresh galangal (lengkuas) fried until brownish.
2 stick cinnamon (kayu manis)
6 star anise
2.5 tbsp sugar
3 to 4 cups water
Dark soy sauce (kicap)
Method:
Marinate pork with 5 spice powder and some kicap. Keep for about half an hour.
Slow heat kuali, add sugar and kacau until melt (make sure not burned otherwise your dish will bitter). Add some kicap to the melted sugar and kacau for about 2 seconds and immediately add water into kuali. Increase fire until gravy boil. Add marinated pork, fried pounded galangal, cinnamon, star anise and some more kicap until gravy looks dark. Cover to cook in slow fire for about 45 mins. Once in a while turning the pork and add kicap to darken pork and taste. Scoop away the oil as you cook.  After 45 mins the gravy should be quite thick. Take out the pork.
Add some water into the gravy to boil. Add boiled eggs into gravy and slow boil until eggs look dark. Leave the eggs in gravy. Taste gravy to your liking taste.

Slice pork into smaller pieces and add eggs. Top with some gravy and timun or salad.

Note: I didn’t have any galangal nor star anise around so just cooked it without those two ingredients and it still worked and tasted yummy!

Chinese Styled Steamed Fish Recipe

First and foremost, a very Happy Chinese New Year to all my lovely readers who are celebrating this wonderful festive season. I have just gotten back from my 1-month trip back to my hometown in Sarawak, Malaysia and it was my first Chinese New Year back in Malaysia in 8 years. It was great to be part of the crazy festivities again. Lots and lots of fireworks, very noisy, plenty of great food, catching up with all the family members and friends I have not seen in a long time, also got plenty of sleep while I was there, thanks to the grandparents always happy to look after their grandson so I can sleep in.

Although it was great to be back in Malaysia, I am also happy to finally be back in Melbourne. There is no place like home. My mum came back here with me, and she is staying for a month, so lucky me I get help around the house for yet another month! Woohoo!!

We celebrate Chinese New Year for a total of 15 days, so right now we are still celebrating! Last night, we went to a CNY Potluck Gathering Dinner at a friend’s place and mum and I cooked up this dish which I am about to share the recipe for, as well as the Fried Meehoon dish.

I love steamed fish. It is so easy to prepare and cook, and it takes less than half an hour, and it is so delicious and healthy. You can use this recipe to steam any white fleshed fresh fish you like – but for this particular recipe I have used a whole Snapper. Alternatively, you may use the Tilapia, or Barramundi, or Trout, or my personal favorite “Patin” but unfortunately you can only source Patin fish from South East Asian countries eg Malaysia and Indonesia, as they are mostly bred in fish ponds / farms.

A photo of Steamed Patin Fish I had while I was back in Malaysia, sorry for the lower quality photo taken with my phone. This was obviously only half a fish as it is quite large! Love Patin fish, as it is very juicy and tender and the fatty bits just makes the fish very flavoursome! Too bad they don’t sell it here in Australia… 😦
Ingredients:
One whole Snapper fish
1-inch cubed ginger, julienned
4 Shitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced
2 tbsp Kacang Kuning Manis (Sweet Yellow Beans)
2 tbsp fish sauce
Coriander leaves to garnish
Method: 
Place fish in a steaming dish and drizzle fish sauce all over it.
Evenly spread the Kacang Kuning Manis onto the fish and sprinkle over the mushroom and ginger slices.
Steam for approximately 15 minutes on high heat, then turn off the gas and let it continue to cook in steamer for another 10 minutes.
Serve immediately, garnish with coriander leaves and serve with plain white rice and other dishes.