Friday, May 14, 2021

Pork Ribs Chinese Yam with Dried Hawthorne Soup

Lovely pork ribs, Chinese yam soup with a twist.  Just with addition of some Hawthorne slices [dried Hawthorne slices or Shan Zha [ๅฑฑๆฅ‚ ]  in Chinese.  Available at Chinese medical shops.  Some impressive benefits of Hawthorne slices are its anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants, aid digestion, may lower blood pressure, decrease blood fats etc. 

This soup is savoury and sourish. Very appetising and tasty soup to serve for lunch or dinner.   You can substitute Chinese yam with white carrots, too.
[serves 2-3]
400 gm meat pork ribs - cut chunky pieces
200 gm Chinese yam [shan yao] - skin remove and cut wedges
100 gm red carrots - peeled and cut wedges
10 dried Hawthorne slices [more if you like the soup sourish]
1 tbsp wolfberries
a few slices ginger
salt and pepper to taste
  1. How to wash pork ribs?  - Rub pork ribs with cornflour, then rinse with water several times.  Drained.  
  2. Boil pork ribs in a pot of water with a few slices ginger to remove the scums.  Remove and rinse well.
  3. Using a claypot, add in rinsed pork ribs, a few slices ginger, Hawthorne pieces and water.  Cover with lid, bring to boil for about 30-40 minutes or until ribs are tender.
  4. Add in Chinese yam, carrots and wolfberries.  Boil for about 15- 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste

Wednesday, May 12, 2021


This is an easy braised pork belly recipe but the end result is awesome.  The pork belly pieces are tender but still has a bite.  It has a nice unique aroma, not overly sweet or savoury or spicy with the addition of Sichuan peppercorns.  You can cooked it with some gravy or almost moist dry.  This dish can be served as it is or used to fry with capsicum, leeks or celery.  It is your choice.

This dish can be prepared way ahead of meal times and tastes much better after resting as the meat absorbs the flavours of the seasoning and aromatics. A good recipe to use if you wish to enjoy braised pork in a jiffy and use it for stir frying with some vegetables before serving.
[serves 10 persons]
1.2 kg pork belly with skin - blanched and cut bite size pieces
1 stalk spring onions and a few slices ginger [to blanch pork]
4-5 cloves garlic - peeled and sliced
4-5 slices ginger
1-2 pieces star anise
2 pieces bay leaves
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
1 inch piece cinnamon stick
2 tbsp rock sugar
hot water
2-3 tbsp light soy sauce
1-2 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 tbsp cooking wine
salt to taste
- some 3 coloured capsicum - cut into diamond shapes
  1. Add enough water to wok, add in whole piece of pork belly, ginger slices,  spring onions and some Shaoxing wine.  Turn on heat, bring to boil, then blanch meat until water turns clear [about 15-20 minutes]. Remove, wash and cool before cutting into bite sizes pieces.
  2. Heat a non stick wok, drizzle in some oil.  Add in the pork belly pieces in single layer.  Fry until lightly golden.  Remove excess oil.
  3. Add in the aromatics and seasonings.  Continue to until the ingredients are well mixed and fragrant.   Add in boiling water [enough to cover meat], bring to boil for 5 minutes.  Cover with lid, lower heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until meat is tender and gravy reduced.  Taste to adjust seasoning.  Dish out  to rest.
  4. Before serving, stir fry pork with capsicum or leeks or celery [according to your preference].  Serve immediately with rice.

Monday, May 10, 2021


If you love thick curry without the usual coconut milk, then this maybe what you like to try. It is not difficult to prepare so long as you add in all the aromatics, seasoning, kaffir leaves and tomatoes. You may not need to follow exactly the quantity of ingredients stated here. And if you like it a bit spicy, add more peppercorns.๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Recipe adapted from K L Liew's Youtube with modifications.
[serves 8-10]
6 chicken whole legs [1.5 kg] - chopped bite size pieces
2-3 tomatoes - cut chunky pieces
1-2 lemongrass - lightly bruised
several pieces kaffir lime leaves
1 large onions - peeled and thinly sliced
1-2 slices galangal 
30 gm gula melaka [palm sugar]
1-1.5 tsp tumeric powder
2 tsp salt to taste
3/4-1 cup warm or hot water [enough to cover the chicken pieces]
50 ml cooking oil
Blended Ingredients
100 gm dried chillies - soaked and drained
5 bird's eyes chillies
100 gm shallots
50 gm garlic
50 gm ginger
5-6 pieces candlenuts
1-2 tsp peppercorns
  1. Prepare the ingredients for blending.  Blend shallots, garlic, ginger, peppercorns, candlenuts until fine. Remove, set aside. Using the same blender, blend the remaining paste ingredients until fine and add in tumeric powder.  Mix well and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a wok, saute onions, galangal and lemongrass until aromatic and lightly brown.  Add in blended ginger, garlic paste.  Continue to fry until fragrant.  Add more oil if needed, add in chilli paste.  Stir fry until oil separates.
  3. Add in cut tomatoes, continue to fry until tomatoes are soft and well blended with the fried chilli paste.  Add in some salt, stir fry until oil separates before adding the chicken pieces.  
  4. Keep stirring until the chicken pieces are firm and turned whitish, before adding water.  Stir to mix well, cover with lid and leave to simmer for about 40 minutes.  In between simmering and stirring, add in salt to taste.  
  5. Remove lid, bring to boil, add in the kaffir lime leaves for added aroma.  Transfer to a pot.  Curry tastes better after resting.  Just reheat before serving.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021


This homegrown White Bittergourd [Taiwan specie] weighs about 450 gm.  A little over ripe when plucked.  The inside is not packed with seeds.
With the inner white pulp slightly scraped off, it does not tastes bitter at all.  Still crunchy though it looks a bit of golden.  A homey dish, stir fried with some minced meat, small red chillies and preserved fermented black beans that goes well with rice or porridge.
[serves 2-3]
450 gm white bittergourd - seeded and sliced
1 tbsp preserved fermented black beans - rinsed
50 gm minced meat
some chopped ginger and garlic
some small red chillies
some chopped coriander - garnishing
Seasoning - oyster sauce and mushroom stock granules
  1. Wash bittergourd under running water.  Cut halve, scrape off the seeds and some of the white pulp.  Rinse, cut into thick strips and sliced slantwise into pieces.
  2. Heat a non stick wok with some oil, saute chopped ginger and garlic until aromatic.  Add in the minced meat.  Fry until fragrant.  
  3. Add in the bittergourd, continue to stir fry until the ingredients are well combined.  Drizzle in some water to cook the meat thoroughly.
  4. Add in black beans, red chillies and seasoning to taste.
  5. Cook until bittergourd is soft before dishing out to serve. Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves.

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