Friday, July 10, 2020

Char Siu / Barbecue Pork

梅頭 (mui tau)
Char Siu sauce
Chu Hou sauce
Rose wine
Five spices powder
Malt syrup

TIP:                 Rinse the pork. Soak it in water for about 4 hours, while changing the water once every hour. This can get rid of that raw pork smell.

1.   Char siu sauce
2.   Chu Hou sauce = can replace with Hoisin sauce
3.   Rose wine
4.   Five spices powder
5.   Water

Ratio should be Char Siu sauce (2) : Chu Hou sauce (1) : Rose wine (2)

Mix the sauces together with the wine, add enough water so that the marinade covers the meat. Generously sprinkle the Five Spices powder and mix into the marinade. Rub the mixture into the meat and let it sit for at least four hours. It is better to marinate over night. Just put it in the fridge until you cook it for dinner the next day!

1.   Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius and line the baking tray with tin foil.
2.   Prepare another bowl or marinade MINUS the water. Mix well.
3.   Dump the old marinade juice and place the pork on the baking tray. Spread the new bowl of marinade over the meat evenly.
4.   Lay a sheet of tin foil over the meat so that the meat doesn’t dry up from the oven heat. Bake for 20 minutes.
5.   While baking, prepare for the malt syrup. The syrup is SUPER hard from its original container. Get a big metal spoon, dig into the syrup and get a big big scoop. Melt it in a bowl seated in another bowl of hot water. Keep the syrup melted.
(TIP: Use a metal mixing bowl and place it in a small frying pan with water. Keep the stove on low to keep the water boiling hot while melting the syrup in the bowl. It is a lot faster and easier this way.) USE HONEY AS AN ALTERNATIVE IF YOU CAN’T FIND MALT SYRUP.
6.   Flip the pork and bake for another 15 mins.
7.   Evenly spread the melted malt syrup onto the pork and bake for another 2 mins.
8.   Flip the pork again and add more syrup. Bake again for 2 more minutes.
9.   Take the char siu our from the oven but wait for a few minutes before cutting it. If you cut it too soon, the air will instantly draws the moist out from inside the meat,


Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Roast Chicken


1 medium chicken, approx. 1.4 kg
½ or 1 lemon, quartered
pesto or butter with herbs to marinade the chicken
splash of white wine


1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
2. Rub the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper.
3. Carefully separate the skin from the flesh and push in the pesto or herbed butter into the gaps.
4. Stuff the cavity of the bird with lemon quarters. Tie up the legs tightly. Transfer the chicken to the roasting pan and rub the rest of the pesto or herbed butter all over the chicken.
5. Put into the oven for 40 min. At the 40 min mark, add a splash of white wine. Roast for an additional 40 min = for a total of 80 min.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Soda Bread w/ Yogurt


450g flour
1 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
300ml of yogurt (150ml) and milk (150ml)
+ 6 TBS tepid water

Flavor combos:
walnuts + treacle (2 TBS)
rosemary + honey (2 TBS)


*Preheat the oven to 200ºC / 180ºC fan / gas 6.

1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Stir any wet flavorings (treacle, honey, etc.) into the yogurt / milk mixture until mixed well.
3. Make a well in the dry ingredients. Add the yogurt / milk mixture and stir in dry ingredients gradually until a very soft, sticky dough is formed. Add tepid water as needed.
4. Do not knead!
5. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and shape into a neat round approx. 7" in diameter. Make a deep cross-shaped cut with a knife. Place onto baking tray lined with baking paper. Lightly flour the top.
6. Bake for 30 min, then turn the bread upside-down and continue baking for 10-15 min or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a rack.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Lobster spaghetti

[adapted from Hendersontohome] 

1. Boil a pot water, put in lobster, leave for 1 min and then put into ice water. This is to kill the lobster and so the flesh comes away from the shell easily.

2. Twist the head away, and then cut the shell down the tail and you should get a pretty in tact tail.

3. twist away the arms and with the back of the knife crack the claws and remove the flesh.

4. Pop all the bones in a pot with some mirepoix veg ( onion, celery, carrot, fennel ) whatever you have. If you have some tomatoes add, basil stalks, parsley stalks. Basically you are just making a stock for the sauce. Cover with water and simmer for 2 hours. Strain.

5. In a pan, EVO, finely chopped garlic, chilli and sauté for a min ( don't burn ) add some quartered cherry tomatoes. Eventually add the coral and smush to make the base of the sauce. 

6. If cooking with fire, remove pan off flame for a sec and add a splash of wine. Add 2 ladles of stock and reduce down.

7. Have spaghetti or whatever pasta cooking in salted water at same time.

8. When pasta is almost ready add lobster meat, tiny tiny bit of butter, then pasta and a little spoon of the pasta water.

9. Toss in the sauce, add squeeze of lemon, fresh basil and salt and pepper to taste.

Fresh lobster meat only really lasts 2 days max , and a whole lobster gives quite a bit of meat and stock so you can freeze and have ready for next time.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Moussaka, Josh Cohen's recipe

moussaka, simple as you like…
This will make one for eight.

 • Chop and fry four medium onions in a generous amount of olive oil until very soft. Add three chopped cloves of garlic about 10-15 minutes in.
 • Add 2kg of mince of any kind: lamb, chicken, soya, whatever.
 • 5 mins before the mince is done, add four large chopped tomatoes. If you can be bothered, use boiling water to peel and deseed fresh tomatoes. If you can’t, just stick em in with the peel on or use a can.
 • Once the mince is cooked, add about two large glasses of red wine, bring to bubbling, then bring it all down to a simmer (a.k.a. low heat). It should take about 45 minutes for the wine to reduce. When it’s done it should look moist and rich in colour. Make sure all the wine is cooked off – believe me, puddles of booze do not improve your moussaka.
 • While you’re waiting for the wine to reduce, slice six medium aubergines quite thickly – say 2-3 cm (they reduce a lot). Lay them on oven trays, salt them, then brush on both sides with olive oil. This bit is tedious. Pop them in the oven for around 30-40 mins at 160C, or until they’re looking golden brown.
 • By now, both the mince filling and the aubergine should have cooked. Add a big bunch of finely chopped parsley to the mince right at the end of cooking and stir through.
 • Let the mince cool (it’s more pliable). Then place a layer of the mince in a big, long oven dish, followed by a layer of the roasted aubergines, then a layer of mince, then of aubergines. Lay the mince on thick if you just want to make it two layers, or slightly thinner if you want to make it stretch to three. I prefer two but it depends on the size and shape of the dish.
 • You can put it in the fridge or freeze. If the freezer, defrost before cooking, then place in the oven for around 45 mins on 160C, covered in tin foil (very important).

It’s simple, but labour intensive. And really delicious.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Taro Cake


- taro root, cubed = approx. 900 g (after peel is removed)
**N.B. the taro root has to be fairly dry. If you purchase one that's super fresh, be sure to leave it out to sun-dry (even on a windowsill indoors) for a couple of days.
- rice flour = 600g
- 2 cups hot water
- 4-5.5 cups cold water
- 1/4 cup dried shrimps (soaked and chopped)
- 1/4 cup Chinese sausage (finely chopped) = approx. 2 links
- 1/8 cup Chinese preserved meat (looks like pork belly), finely chopped (if unavailable then replace with more Chinese sausage)
- 8 pcs dried Chinese mushrooms (soaked, finely chopped)
- 3-4 sprigs coriander, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup spring onion, finely chopped
- 2 TBS white sesame, toasted
- oil
- five spice powder
- white pepper
- chicken powder
- 8 pcs Chinese preserved olive, finely chopped (optional)
- sliced preserved (pink) ginger, finely chopped (optional)


1. Combine 600g rice flour with 1 TBS salt, 1.5 tsp sugar, 1 tsp five spice powder, 1 tsp white pepper, 1 tsp chicken powder, and mix well. Add 2 cups hot water and mix. Then add 4 to 5.5. cups of cold water, depending on how "smooth" or firm you want the end product to be. (I used 4 cups; next time I may try 5.) Mix well until all lumps disappear into the void.

2. Fry the dried shrimp in a wok with oil and a bit of Chinese cooking wine until lightly brownded.

3. Add mushrooms, fry.

4. Add Chinese sausage (and meat if you have it), together with a mixture of 1.5 TBS light soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sugar, some sesame oil, and cooking wine.

5. Add the taro cubes and stir around a bit. Add enough water to just cover the taro, and cover the wok. Cook for 10 min until the taro is soft.

6. Add the coriander and half the spring onions and stir. There should be very little water left in the wok at this point. Remove and add the mixture to the batter, stirring well.

7. Clean the wok and add enough water to reach the steaming stand, and boil the water. (Or use whichever steaming device you are using.) Grease the cake pan(s) / line with baking paper if you wish (for spring forms). Ladle batter into the cake pan(s). When the water is steaming, place the pan(s) onto the steaming stand in the wok / steamer and cover. Steam for about 1 hour to 1.5 hours depending on how large your pan(s) are.

(I used two smaller pans, and steamed for 45min - 1 hr. If using one large pan (8cm deep and 27 cm diameter), try steaming for 1.5 hrs.)

8. Cakes are done if a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

9. Sprinkle the tops with toasted sesame and the rest of the spring onions and steam for an additional 5 min.

10. Remove from heat. Sprinkle the top with more five spice powder and the chopped olives and preserved ginger (if using).

11. To serve: either serve it freshly steamed or slice up and pan fry. Serve with oyster sauce and/or hot sauce of your liking (typically Chilli Bean Sauce a.k.a. do ban tjan).

Et voilà!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Clams in Miso Soup


300 grams clams + salt
3 tbsp white miso
1 tbsp Dashi stock powder
*soy sauce, mirin, yuzu juice


1. Even if you get de-sanded cleaned clams, de-sand them again so that they spit out any old digested material by soaking them in lightly salted water for 2 to 3 hours.

2. Procedure for de-sanding: Immerse a colander or sieve in a large bowl, and put the clams in. Fill with salted water. This way the clams won't re-absorb any sand or other things they spit out.

3. Put the soaked and cleaned clams in a pot with cold water and heat. After a while some scum will rise to the surface. Skim that off and add the dashi stock granules. Don't overcook the clams.

**The tofu and the mushrooms and any vegetables would come into the pot here.

4. Add the miso, but taste the liquid in the pot first to see how salty it is. White miso is preferred. Don't let the soup come to a boil after adding the miso.

**Alternative: mix together the miso with 2 tsp soy sauce and 2 tsp mirin first, add 1 cup of clam broth, before adding to the rest of the broth. Ladle into bowls, then add a few drops of yuzu juice. Garnish and serve.

5. Top with some chopped green onions etc.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Quiche with Stilton


butternut squash (roasted in the oven)
quince paste [?]
double cream

= adapted from Ottolenghi

1 large butternut squash, peeled, cut into 2cm cubes and deseeded (700g net weight)
1½ tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper
250g best-quality shortcrust pastry
200g stilton, crumbled
75g membrillo (quince paste), cut into 1cm dice
3 free-range eggs
150ml double cream
150ml crème fraîche
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Toss the squash in the oil, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and some black pepper, and spread out on a baking tray. Roast for 30 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Set aside to cool and lower the oven temperature to 170C/335F/gas mark 3.

Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface and transfer it to a 24cm quiche tin – leave some pastry hanging over the edge. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Line the tin with parchment paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, and cook the quiche case for 10 minutes longer, until the pastry is golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool.

Spread the roasted squash over the base of the quiche, dot the stilton around and about in the gaps, and sprinkle the membrillo all over.

Put the eggs, cream and crème fraîche in a mixing bowl with a quarter-teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Whisk and pour over the squash, making sure you leave some of the filling exposed. Sprinkle over the parsley and bake for about 40 minutes, until the custard has set. Remove from the oven and allow to rest before removing from the tin and breaking off the overhanging pastry. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Rocket pesto (for crab etc.)

This week I made a rocket sauce with vinegar and oil, a bit like a pesto, then served it in a green moat around a pile of freshly picked white crab flesh. Stuff a handful of each in the food processor and whizz in enough oil to make a thinnish sauce. Sharpen it up with white-wine vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice. The faint bitterness of the dressing that comes from the rocket leaves is just what the sweet white crabmeat needs.
(From online recipe describing how to dress a crab)