Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Boiled Pork Belly With Ginger Shallots Oil Dip

I could never resist something delicious like pork belly, one of my favourite part of a pig.  Very often I made Bossam -Korean boiled pork belly  or braised pork belly .  Since I have a slab of pork belly in the freezer. I took the opportunity to cook this simple and yet delicious boiled pork belly.  How can a piece of boiled pork belly be delicious. The secret is the dip which is the accompaniment for the simple boiled pork belly.  You can either make this aromatic and addictive ginger and shallots dip or eat the boiled meat with kimchi wrapped in lettuce. Hubby loves it and as I have said, I could never resist this . I rather die happy then to abstain from eating this artery clogging pork belly with the most delicious dip.

Aromatic dip consists of 
chopped ginger, shallots, chilli and coriander
 Place the chopped ingredients and salt in a small bowl
and pour adequate hot rice bran oil, it should gives a sizzling sound

 slice the boiled meat into 1/4 inch thick
make sure the meat has cooled down before slicing

Boiled Pork Belly With Ginger Shallots Oil Dip


A slab of pork belly with rind on ( ng fa lam ) about 600 gm
a few slice of ginger
a stalk of spring onions- wash off dirt and tie into a know
1500ml water

6 shallots
1 thumb size  ginger
4 pieces of bird's eye chilli
a few sprigs of coriander leaves
2 tsp of sea salt
1/4 cup or more  rice bran oil


Boil 1500ml of water in a soup pot, , add in spring onion and ginger. Once the water is boiling, add in the slab of pork belly and lower heat, slowly simmer the meat till tender and cooked through.  Take out the meat and let it rest 10 mins .  Slice into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Arrange the slices neatly on serving plate with the dip sauce in the center of plate.

To make the dip

Chop the shallots, ginger, chilli and coriander leaves till fine .  Place all the chopped ingredients in a small bowl.  Sprinkle 2 tsp of salt on the surface of the chopped ingredients. Heat up the rice bran oil. Once it is smoldering hot. Pour over the chopped ingredients.  You will be able to hear a sizzling sound. Serve this dip with the boiled pork belly.

Enjoy !

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Steamed Stuffed Silken Tofu

Sometimes we need to create a dish which is soothing to the throat and yet satisfying to the stomach. What better dish other than tofu with minced meat fillings. This would suit the demands from my throat and yet the tummy will not complain too much.  So this was created. Silken tofu stuffed with minced meat fillings.  Simple , delicious and satisfying even to my hubby who is a meat eater.  I cooked a simple sauce to make it even more complete. Did a little decorative toppings to make elevate the dish to restaurant standard.  Food presentation makes a lot of difference.   This simple dish is easy to prepare and you order tofu dish from restaurants , the only thing is different preparation.   . A tofu dish which is soothing to the throat and yet satisfying to the stomach. The young and old will definitely enjoy this dish. Of course, I do sometimes steam them with soy sauce and garlic oil . Just as nice but sometimes if I want to impress the hubby, I will fill the silken tofu with minced meat fillings. A comfort food for the family .

I used three ingredients for the fillings ,minced pork , fish paste and prawn paste in the ratio of 3:2:1 , stir them together evenly with a dash of white pepper and sesame oil and a pinch of salt till it turns into a sticky paste.  Once it turns sticky , it is ready to stuff into the silken tofu. Such an easy dish to prepare .

use a teaspoon to scoop out a bit of tofu
in the center to make space for the fillings

 fill up the tofu with the meat fillings

decorate the top with sliced spring onions and
sliced red chilli

steam in boiling steamer for 10-12 mins till the filling
is cooked. 

make a sauce to go with the stuffed silken tofu yummz!

Stuffed Silken Tofu 


1 piece of silken tofu - cut into 6 equal pieces

mixed the filling ingredients together and stir till it turns sticky
60 gm minced pork
40 gm fish paste
20 gm prawn paste 
a pinch of salt
a dash of white pepper
1 drop sesame oil 


2 or 3 chilli padi
1 stalk spring onion - sliced
some coriander leaves

Thickening Sauce:
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
1 tsp of corn starch
1/2 cup of chicken broth


1. Cut the silken tofu into 6 equal pieces (cut half  then another 3 pieces on each half )

2. Use a teaspoon, scoop out a bit of tofu from center to make space for fillings.

3. Put the minced pork, fish paste , prawn paste, white pepper, a pinch of salt and a drop of sesame oil onto a bowl and keep stirring till you get a thick and sticky paste.

3. Gently stuff in the fillings onto the tofu. Repeat till all the tofu is done.

4. Arrange nicely on a plate for steaming. Garnish with sliced chilli padi, spring onions on surface of fillings.

5. Heat up steamer, once water is boiling, place the plate of stuffed tofu on the rack and steam for 10-12 mins or until the filling is cooked through.

6.To prepare the sauce. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl till well mixed. Give it a quick boil. Once the sauce has thicken, dish up and pour over the steamed stuffed silken tofu. Add coriander leaves on top of each stuffed tofu. Serve hot.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Masak Lemak Chili Padi Ikan Senangin

I could not believe  that I seriously cooked this dish for dinner.  I would normally order this dish from my office canteen when I was still working then.  This is not a planned one.  It was a moment craving and by being adventurous enough to try cooking this dish, it has taken my homecooking to another level. I seldom cook malay dishes besides nasi lemak. And having said that, I was happy that I cooked this dish.  Googled internet for a good one and found most of them doesnt have shallots .  So I prepared my own list and added shallots to it. Because I believe that shallots will add flavor and sweetness to the gravy.

I bought a lot of Ikan Senangin ( Threadfin Fish ) when it was in season the past one month and have stored them in the freezer. Ikan Senangin is perfect for this dish.  Homegrown turmeric made it even more special and delicious .  I have no regrets cooking this dish. It was awesome in taste and so appetising, even my Wildboar loves it.  That speaks volume as WB is not into fish. He is more a meat person than a fish person.  He loves the gravy which is tasty and delicious.  Will be trying out other Malay and Indonesian dishes in the future :)  

Ikan Senangin ( threadfin fish )

tip: add in salt before the gravy boils
to prevent the coconut milk from separating into oil 
( pecah santan )

just a few ingredients and a flavorful and
delicious dish for dinner

love it and will definitely cook this dish again

glad that Wildboar loves the gravy so much that
he asked to cook again, and more gravy since he doesn't eat fish.
I can cook this using chicken, it will be awesome too for sure.

Masak Lemak Chili Padi Ikan Senangin


1 whole Ikan Senangin -  cut into few pieces, rub salt on pieces
1/2 tbsp of  pounded fresh turmeric 
1 stalk of lemongrass - take the white part and crush it
2 pieces of tamarind slices
1/2 cup santan mix with 2 cups water
1 or 2 tsp of sea salt
3 shallots -pound
10 chili padi - pound

Put ingredients (A) into wok and simmer under medium  low heat.  Once the gravy boils, put in the pieces of fish and continues to simmer till the fish are cooked through.  Off heat and  serve hot with rice.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Homemade Sushi For Lunch

K-drama has in a way influenced my love for Korean dishes . My daughter has played a part too in influencing me towards  Korean and Japanese food.  In the past few years , my Wildboar has taken a  liking to sashimi and kimchi too.  It makes eating so much fun now that we both have common food interest.  We eat Japanese food quite often too.  Today post is on my homemade sushi ....

We had a sudden craving for some sushi and since there is still have half a bag of short grain rice in the fridge, I made some sushi for our lunch.  It is light and easy and fun time for me too.  Jusco is nearby ,  bought some chuka idako and some japanese cucumber and I am ready to go.  I cooked some chicken kimchi and egg omelette for fillings besides the chuka idako for the WB. Sushi is such a versatile rice roll.   You can have any fillings of your choice.  Hubby loves the sushi I made . Oh well, as long as he is happy, I am happy too . I don't mind making sushi, its fun and I love eating them.

I realised I have not been active in blogging since I retired but that does not mean I have stopped cooking :) in fact I have been cooking more than before , just can't find the time to blog. I have been very preoccupied with the garden and photography :p 

fillings - chuka idako, egg omelette and chicken kimchi


this may need practice :)

I need to practice more for a perfect looking sushi roll

happy that I managed to make a perfect one and that the fillings
did not oozed out of the roll :p

serve the sushi on the new piece of pine wood for serving
from Daiso

the chicken kimchi is as good as the chuka idako maki

Sushi Rice ( adapted from Sushi Tales by Roger Wong )
250 gms short grain rice
500 ml water
1 piece 10cm x 10 cm konbu ( kelp) * optional


20 g fine salt
75 g fine sugar
100 ml Japanese rice vinegar

1. Mix salt, sugar and vinegar in the pot and simmer over heat till mixture is dissolved. Set aside.
2. Using both hands, wash rice gently for a few times till rice water becomes perfectly clear then drain. Add some water and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Drain and add 500ml water. Add in the konbu and cook for 15 minutes in a rice cooker. When the rice is cooked, let it stand in rice cooker with covered lid for 15 minutes before removing lid.
3. Transfer cooked rice into a wooden rice tub, pour prepared seasonings mixture evenly over sushi rice and stir well with wooden lade . Use a fan to cool the rice for 5 minutes. The rice is ready for use.
** ( I used only 3/4 of the vinegar mixture )

Omelette Nigiri ( adapted from Sushi Tales by Roger Wong)

1 piece roasted seaweed sheet
400g sushi rice


12 eggs
70g sugar
2 tsp salt
40 ml Japanese rice wine (sake)
180 ml fresh milk
1 tbsp cornstarch

1. Combine all omelette ingredients and bet evenly.
2. Heat up some oil in a square pan. Swirl the pan to ensure the whole pan is glazed with oil. Pour in about 90 ml of omelette mixture and cook over medium heat till 90% done. Fold it up to the side with a thickness of about 6cm using chopsticks.

3. Heat up some oil again on the empty part of the pan and add more omelette mixture. Lift up the omelette slightly at the side to allow the newly added omelette mixture to flow underneath. Cook till 90% done then fold it up again and set it on top of the previous omelette.

4. Repeat the steps until all omelette mixture is used up. Square omelette with a wooden block and remove. Leave to cool.

Cut omelette into 20 slices. Cut roasted seaweed sheet into 20 strips of size 10.25cm X 1 cm
Mould sushi rice into 20 rice balls. Place a sushi rice ball on top of each slice of omelette and press each rice ball into rectangular shape. Flip over and press a few more times till omelette is secured to the sushi rice. Wrap rice ball with a roasted seaweed strip and serve.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Hakka Pork Belly with Taro (Wu Tau Kau Yoke/芋頭扣肉)

After the steamed yam cake that I made two days ago , I have half a taro/yam left for making another dish with it.  What better use of the leftover half yam other than to cook this dish for dinner as it has been a while since I last cooked this Hakka Pork Belly with Taro.  Though it entails a bit of work, it is worth every ounce of energy spend preparing it.  I have not lost touch as it turned out delicious....perfect taste and it is as good as those prepared in restaurant. The only thing I lose out is the presentation of course :p   Anyway, this dish is flavors packed and is an appetizing dish. I cooked enough for two servings. One serving is for one dinner and the other serving kept in freezer for another meal.  That is the beauty of this dish. The longer you keep , the better it taste .

People asked me this question very often. Why bother to cook for just the two of you when you can eat out ..."easy and cheaper to eat out " .   The answer I always give is " self satisfaction and I know what I am eating "  LOL!  Nothing beats having homecooked meals everyday.  Thus that explains why I love cooking and the self satisfaction is something money can never give you :)


ingredients used for making the sauce

use aluminium foil to cover the top to prevent
water from dripping into the bowl

let it cool down 5 mins before you invert into serving plate

you may place a bigger serving tray and invert the pork belly 
quickly so that the sauce is intact.

the yam turned out fluffy and the pork belly juicy and tender

Hakka Pork Belly with Taro (Wu Tau Kau Yoke/芋頭扣肉)


1 strip of pork belly 
1/2 yam - cut into 1/2 inch thick
enough cooking oil or  rice bran oil for frying the yam slices

pork marinade:  marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight
1/2 tsp five spice powder
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp soybean paste ( tau cheong )

4 cubes of red fermented beancurd - mashed
1 tbsp of sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of soy sauce
some white pepper
3 tbsp of Shao Sing wine
4 shallots - chopped
5 cloves of garlic - chopped fine
2 cups of water


Boil a pot of water and blanch the strip of pork belly for a few minutes to remove odour and impurities. Take out and prick holes with fork to allow marinade to be absorb into the meat. Marinate for at least 1 hour.  Leave aside while preparing the yam slices.

Heat up wok , add in enough cooking oil , fry the yam slices till lightly brown.  Place the fried yam slices on paper towel to drain off excess oil... With the same oil, fry the whole strip of marinated pork belly with skin side down first.
Turn over and  fry the other side lightly brown. Take out and drain off excess oil. Cut into 1/2 inch thick slices.

Heat up 2 tbsp of oil, add in garlic and shallots saute till fragrant. Add in mashed fermented beancurd, seasoning and the marinade water from the pork and water and bring to a boil. Taste sauce and adjust accordingly if required. The sauce should taste stronger than normal as it would get diluted once it is braised together with the rest of the ingredients.

Assemble and steam the pork belly and Taro 
Arrange the pork belly (skin side down) and alternate with yam in a bowl. Pour in sauce which should fill up to ½ of the bowl. Finally cover with aluminium foil. Bring water to boil in the wok/steamer. Place the prepared dish of pork belly and taro in the wok/steamer. Steam for about 1 hour in the medium heat or until the pork belly becomes really tender. Next, using a pair of tongs, I gently transferred a piece of pork belly together with a piece of yam and invert them on a serving tray then poured the sauce over them. Let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Or you may place a bigger serving tray and invert the pork belly quickly so that the sauce is intact.

Garnish with spring onions/coriander leaves and serve with rice.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Seafood Jjigae

I love korean food. I took a liking to Kimchi Jjigae ever since my bestie Jo introduced me to Korean cuisine eight years ago.  When your kids grew up, roles are revised, she became my  mentor and I became her student and bestie *wink.   After my first taste of Kimchi Jjigae, there was no stopping me from making my own kimchi and many other Korean dishes using kimchi .  Kimchi is not only a condiment and pickle, it is also used as an ingredient in many cooked dishes. And Kimchi Jjigae is one of them. The kimchi provides a deep favour to the broth. You can also add beef to your Jjigae  but for today , I used the leftovers seafood from the steamboat we had two days ago. Dinner was just this bowl of seafood jjigae cooked straight in my favourite stoneware bowl , from the stove to the table :)

homemade kimchi and I always have a tub ready
as I always serve kimchi as a side dish

fish and baby octopus, tofu and enoki were leftovers
from the steamboat we had two days ago

love the taste of kimchi jjigae
or kimchi soup 

Seafood Jjigae
2 persons serving


5 baby octopus -clean, wash and drain
1 small sized Ikan Senangin ( silver threadfin )- clean and cut into 2 pieces
1 soft silken tofu, cut into 1"cubes
1 pkt of enoki
1/2 carrot - sliced
half a cup of kimchi plus gravy
3 to 4 cups of chicken broth
1 stalk of spring onions - sliced for garnishing


Pour broth and half cup of kimchi into stoneware bowl or pot.  When it boils, add in the fish, enoki, carrots, and octopus. Once the seafood are cooked, add in the tofu last. Off heat once the soup boils , garnish with spring onion and it is ready for serving.


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