Thursday, February 22, 2018

Roast Pork

I remembered the first time that I made my own roast pork  was 3 years ago when my boy came back from Singapore for his year end break . He actually requested for it and mommy Piggy cannot say no. A challenge I took up and I used Sonia's first original recipe before she updated her recipe.

3 years later , I made it again but this time , I used Sonia's updated recipe .  The taste is really good and I have a new tool to prick the skin of the pork belly. The more prick holes the better, it helps the skin to crackle up more. I managed to get it from one of the crockery shop in town.  The roast pork is one of this year pre CNY dinner dish.  Love the crackling skin of the roast pork and the beautiful flavor which Sonia has recreated and has updated on her blog . A keeper for sure :)

this new prick tool is more solid and makes 
pricking so much easier compared to the previous
I had which has a plastic handle

after seasoning the pork belly, sprinkle salt on surface
and let it rest in fridge over night with skin 
facing up and uncovered

I am happy with this piece of roast pork that I made
for our pre CNY dinner

Roast Pork - Updated version from Sonia

3 kg pork belly , with skin on
3 tbsp salt (prefer normal and cheap salt )

Dry Rub
3 tsp garlic salt 
2 tsp salt (perfer normal & cheap salt)
2 tsp + 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1 tsp ground white pepper


1.  Try to have a flat and even level of pork belly( for even browning when roasting) by cutting off those extra meat underneath).  Blanch the pork in a pot of boiling water for 5 mins.
2.  Remove and wipe dry with paper towels.
3.  Prick the skin all over with a prick tool ( picture of tool shown above) , the more holes you can make the better.
4. Then use a sharp knife to lightly score the skin.
5.  Massage the dry rub into the meat. For the skin, rub the salt and just leave the excess on the skin.
6. Place pork on a wire rack, uncovered, place in the fridge and let it dry out slowly overnight.
7.  Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the prk , skin side up, on a wire rack in the oven, and place a tray underneath to catch the drippings.
8.  Roast for 30 mins at middle rack and then switch the oven from bake to grill function ( upper heat only ) increasing the temperature to 230C. Grill until the skin is evenly blistered and browned (around 50 mins)
9.  Remove to a wire rack to cool slightly. Cut into long strips then slice and serve warm.


The Haunting At Kellie's Castle: Truth or Fiction?

 pic credit: tripadvisor

I’ve heard a lot of stories about Kellie’s Castle. Some say it is one of the most haunted places in Malaysia, some say it has the most beautiful architectural heritage ever. So, which one is it? I’m not much into telling scary stories in my page, I can’t say that I really believe or not the thought of something living among us that we cannot see. I’m not undermining those who believe in it and I can’t say I’m a believer myself. I think it depends on perspective. So, now, Kellie’s Castle, what’s the story?
Kellie’s Castle is in Ipoh, you can get there by either driving yourself if you are already in Malaysia or take a plane ride there. You can find Malaysia Airlines offering a route to Ipoh and you can easily book the flight ticket at Traveloka. I’ve been hearing about them a lot lately since the KL2017 and Asia’s Got Talent. I got curious and checked out their site and mobile app - just wanted to see what’s so different. Turns out, they have cool features that I find convenient to use. I’m not going to explain it here though, you can go check out their site and look it up.

So, Kellie’s Castle was built by a Scottish planter named William Kellie-Smith. From what I read online, some say he built this castle as a gift to his wife. Talk about competing with Taj Mahal, right? Another side was that he built this castle as a home for his son. Which is the truth, who knows? So, if you haven’t seen or know about Kellie’s Castle, it’s a huge castle that looked very aesthetic in terms of its architectural essence. The castle was built of Scottish, Moorish, and Tamilvanan Indian influence.

  pic credit: tripadvisor

70 craftsmen from India worked on this castle and seemed very fond of Mr Kellie-Smith for his generosity towards them. The story took a sad turn though when William died of pneumonia at the age of 56. He had fallen ill during his trip to Lisbon, Portugal in 1926. By the time of his death, the construction was still going on. His wife was too devastated to stay and returned to Scotland. The castle was left unfinished.
And the haunting story goes…

I did a little digging on some of the stories people have documented when they visited the place. One common story was that when they visit the castle at night, they saw the apparition of Mr William Kellie-Smith himself wandering around the castle - looking for his wife. Chills, man. Some say they also saw other family members of the Smith family, particularly his daughter in one of the rooms and the bathrooms. International paranormal investigators even considered this castle to be haunted. I’ve never been to the castle myself, so I can’t say for sure if I believe it to be haunted or not.

From the looks of it, yeah, it does have that haunted castle vibe to it because of its age and the structure of the castle itself. Any old castle looks haunted when it’s been abandoned for so many years. It’s no surprise why people feel the chills when they come across this place.

  pic credit: tripadvisor
A beautiful ruins…

Looking past the image of a haunted castle, Kellie’s Castle has a very aesthetic structure. The form is so beautiful. It has all the original influence of India and European mixed into one. Although the castle was not fully finished, just from the front, you can see how intricate the designs are. I find it fascinating when I first look at the picture of the place.

The rooms inside was decorated in a way that is suitable for tourist, of course. The statue of himself built by the craftsmen was still there too. The view from one of the rooms in the castle was breathtaking. I must say, maybe I’ll take a trip there sometime and let you know if there’s anything weird going on there. If you are one of those people that love the paranormal activity, you can probably go there too. If you are the one that loves architectural ruins, you can probably go there too. I think what makes Kellie’s Castle stand out is the fact that even if it’s haunted or not, it is still a good historical place that holds its own unique story to it.

Hotpot And Grill At Home

Hotpot and Grill has always been the family favourite ' cook yourself meal '  .  For us, it is a time of having good food and great bonding time while waiting for the food to be cook.  Of course this is one of the highlight of Chinese New Year 2018 dinner for the Piggies family.  We had grill and hotpot at the same time.  I love the grill more as I can have my korean style of eating..grilled meat wrapped in lettuce with kimchi and roasted seaweed sheets.  This year is a bit special as I have added canned wild Abalone for the hotpot and Scallops for the grill. It was a well balanced meal with lots of delicious meatballs (pork and beef), tofu and fresh grey oyster mushrooms , pork butt slides (very tender as it is perfect for hotpot and grill ) and we had large sea prawns and golden promfet to complete the seafood galore. Not to forget the crispy beancurd skin and chicken sausages (Ayamas brand) We had a great time not just tucking in the food but the great bonding time is enjoyable too. 

canned wild abalone  and scallops


when the soup is boiling, just blanch the ablone and scallop for
3 mins and they are ready for consumption..easy and delicious


thick and succulent canned wild abalone...yummz


 not to forget the crispy beancurd skin

Ayamas sausages too the hubby...grilled ones taste good

grilled scallops...yummz

sea prawns smell good when grilled

not to forget eating the grilled seafood and meat slices 
wrapped in lettuce with kimchi and roasted seaweed

my all time favourite korean style of eating grilled meat

try putting the whole lump of wrapped lettuce 
in your mouth .... different flavors bursting 
inside your mouth as you chew on them

a must have side dish..homemade kimchi

crispy and crunchy fried garlic  and oil
a must have for hotpot for the Piggies

this is the whole spread of raw ingredients for our 
hotpot and grill....nothing beats having this 
at home which we often refer to  'cook yourself meal '

Have a great day and thanks for dropping by!

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