I’ve tried roasting pork loin a couple of times using the oven but the results were just alright. However, homemade char siu didn’t vow me that much until recently…

.. when i experimented char siu making using Happycall Pan.

Probably because i don’t quite know how to control the oven temperature or something perhaps? Hence, mediocre char siu tasting with the oven. My guess is, with Happycall, i am able to control the fire sooooo, tastier char siu for me? *shrugs* Oh, plus the fact that, i can have charred bits however much i like! ;)

Roast Char Siu using Happycall

serves 4

3-4 medium pork loins
1/3 – 1/2 bottle of Lee Kum Kee Char Siu Sauce
2 tbsp oyster/ hoisin sauce
3 cloves garlic, chopped

Method

1. Combine the all the ingredients above, mix well and leave it covered in the fridge overnight.
2. Heat Happycall pan with high heat and palm off the meats into the pan. Turn down the heat to medium. Lock the pan.
3. After 10-15 minutes, depending on the amount of meat you are using, unlock the pan and turn the meats over.
4. Do not lock the pan now.
5. Again, flip the meat over after 5 minutes and using medium high heat, it’s time for charred bits. ;)
6. Now, don’t move away but keep your eyes on the meat. Once the desired stage achieved, switched off the fire and let it to cook in the pan for 5 minutes before slicing away.

For the rice, the recipe can be found right here.

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Teeheeeheeeee!

I know i know.. Lee Kum Kee Char Siu Sauce?!?!

Really????

Oh well, i can and i will take shortcuts if i want to. :P

To be honest I’ve tried to make char siu sauce from scratch a few times before, but somehow… it just didn’t taste as good as Lee Kum Kee Char Siu Sauce. In fact, I’ve tried a couple of recipes and not just one. Unfortunately, the satisfaction was just not there. What more, the color.. it was never how i fancied it. But with this handy sauce + some oyster + garlic, i is can has homemade char siu that tastes as good as the ones sold outside or even better!

So.

Why not? ;)

Char Siu Rice, anyone?

:)

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Submitting this to Muhibbah Monday, hosted by Sharon of Test with Skewer.

It was during my last year’s Shanghai trip when da real thang blew me away.

Before that, Dong Po Rou didn’t quite make an impression. In fact, i don’t remember eating any prior to the trip. Because i read so much about Shanghai’s Dong Po Rou, it was a die die must eat dish when we were there. The first time we had it was when the gf’s brother brought us to this fabulous restaurant at a rather hip area for a meal. I did most of the ordering (HEH!).. a few dishes were quite disastrous but gawwwwwddd, the Dong Po Rou totally kicked ass. Like totally, totally. Sweet, sticky, melt in your mouth… it was as though we were observing a moment of silence when we sank our teeth into the meat. It was so good! More on this for my travel post..

It has been a year since the trip — i so missed the girlfriends and all the fun we had! — and this post is dedicated specially to the girlfriends who were there with me through thick and thin. :)

Dong Po Rou 东坡肉 / Braised Pork Belly

serves 2

500g pork belly
1 thumb of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 sprig of scallion, chopped into 3 cm lengths
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tbsp rock sugar or brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2.5 cups lukewarm water
2 cups boiling water
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
peanut oil
1/3 cup shaoxing hua tiao wine
1 tsp cornstarch

Method:

1.  In a wok on medium heat, add peanut oil. Saute scallions, ginger and garlic for 2-3 mins until fragrant.
2. Add sugar and further saute until sugar starts to melt. Add soy sauce, dark soy and wine. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off heat and add lukewarm water. Set aside.
3. While sauce is coming to a boil, slice pork belly into rectangular portions about 2.5 inch x 4 inch pieces. Place pork belly pieces on a chopping board or a tray and scald them on all sides with boiling water.

4.  Place the pork pieces skin side down in a pan large enough to fit all the pieces together and add the earlier sauce mixture.

5. Bring to boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat to a low simmer and braise the pork for 30 mins, covered.
6. After 30 minutes, flip the pork belly pieces over so the skin is shown on top and continue braising covered for a minimum of 3 hours, basting the skin occasionally.
7. When ready, remove pork belly pieces gently and set aside. Strain remaining sauce into a saucepan and bring to a low simmer.
8. Mix cornstarch with 50ml of water and gently pour it into the sauce. Stir well until sauce becomes a shiny, sticky glaze. Turn off heat.
9. To serve, gently place a piece of braised pork belly onto a plate and spoon over the sauce. Serve immediately with warm steamed rice or steamed buns. Enjoy!

this is how you should eat it – further thicken the gravy and dress it up pretty and shiny!

(adapted from here)

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Note : i DOUBLED the recipe. I mean, since i’m already at it, might as well double it right? I cannot imagine braising this for 3 hours for 4-5 pieces of meat. Not worth it in my humble opinion but then, that’s just me. :P

So, how was the porky pork?

WE LOVED IT!

Though i didn’t manage to replicate the sticky sauce which i had in Shanghai, i’m not complaining. The pork was so so soft, and the fats.. of the fats, — no one should ever remove the fats when eating this. period. yeah, screw the cholesterol and whatnots — doesn’t need further elaboration i believe. Grin. This porky dish is insanely good and if you’ve guests who is pork belly crazy, be prepared for the WOW-ed guests. ;)

And yes, we polished off the entire 1kg of pork belly that night if you must know.

One of my childhood breakfast / lunch that my mom used to ta-bao for me was glutinous rice. I don’t remember loving it this much when i was younger actually. These days, i literally go ga-ga over it!

Do you know for this batch of rice that i cooked on Saturday, i almost had them all by myself! But not at 1 go of course. I’d probably need to be hospitalised if i did because glutinous rice can be quite unkind. It makes one feel bloated and it can last for hours sometimes. For 3 consecutive days, i had glutinous rice either for lunch or dinner, together with copious amount of fried ground nuts!

It was cwaazeeee i tell ya!

I usually eat it with sambal ikan bilis but when one needs to cook it for her own family, then it’s really quite another story altogether. No need so ma fan lah! Any sambal would do especially when the cook happens to be me. Moreover, the boys don’t eat it with sambal. It’s just me.

I’m not sure about you but for myself, i prefer my glutinous rice to be on the soft side and really sticky. For many, they like it QQ and a little dry. So if you happen to be those who like the rice a little QQ, do reduce the amount of water used.

Oh, and feel free to omit the fried ground nuts. But just so you know, adding freshly fried ground nuts onto your rice brings this rice dish to another whole new decadent level. Sticky, soft rice with crunchy peanuts….

Seriously.

Do not skip the nuts!

Black Glutinous Rice

(serves 6)

450g glutinous rice
640ml water
1/2 tsp salt
120g shredded pork
45g dried shrimps
20g dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked and shredded)
5 tbsp oil
100g shallots, sliced
1 tbsp chopped spring onion

Seasoning
3 tbsp water
2 1/2 tbsp dark soya sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
pinch of pepper

Optional : fried ground nuts

Method

1. Wash the rice. Then soak it in water for 5 minutes. Drain.
2. Heat oil in a wok and fried sliced shallots over low heat until golden brown. Strain and set aside.
3. Use the same oil to fry dried shrimps till fragrant. Add pork and mushroom. Stir well. Pour in seasoning and bring to boil. Then, add the rice and the cooked filling from step 3. Fry the rice for a couple of times before stirring in the water and salt. Pour everything into rice cooker.
4. Turn on the power and cook the rice as your cooker’s instruction.
5. Garnish the rice with nuts, crispy sliced shallots and chopped spring onion before serving.

*Recipe adapted from Singapore Hawker Food by Jimmy Chua

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Hope you’ll like it as much as i do! :)

Submitting this to this month’s Muhibbah Malaysia, hosted by Suresh from 3hungrytummies!

And before i forget, heartfelt thanks to Kristy from My Little Space for the award. Kristy can cook and whip up many beautiful dishes. Do hop over to check it out! ;)

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