Some beautiful people at my husband’s work organised a picnic lunch last weekend. It was a diverse mix of people – Australians, Germans, Chinese and a few Indian families. A father brought his son and some yummy curry cooked by his wife’s friend.
“Why your wife’s friend cooked for us, a bunch of strangers?” we asked.
“Our Indians always help each other out in the community”, he smiled, ‘my son, for example, lived with his aunt for a few years; and our neighbor had picked him up from school for many years, unpaid of course”.
That sounds lovely, and a dream for many of us.
I live in a suburb in Sydney. I like the area because it has lots of big trees and the community was warm and welcoming. Things changed over the past few years with skyrocket housing prices. Moms are now working more hours and the stress spreading in the air.
How I wish we could have a closely knit community who can help each other, or simply having the time to ask each other, “are you ok?”
Here is a large wonton ‘salad’ I prepared for the picnic, a dish perfect for sharing.
The dish is somehow Cantonese, spiced with a Hong Kong style XO sauce made with scallop, fish, garlic and chili; yet it is not quite Cantonese as it was served lightly chilled, a cooking style used frequently by Northern China called the ‘liang ban’ (cool-mix).
A video on how to wrap wontons is also attached below.
Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »
Meals for the homeless: stir fry pork with soy sauce, lemon juice, tomato sauce, port wine, turmeric and cumin (gluten free option)
Pork shoulders are cheap this week – $6 a kilo at the supermarket, perfect for a tasty budget meal for our homeless friends.
I bought two pork shoulders, which gave me about 3kg of good quality meat after I trimmed off the fat and skin. I marinated the pork slices with dark soy sauce^, light soy sauce^, lemon juice, tomato sauce, brown sugar, port wine, turmeric, cumin and white pepper. I also added a cup of corn flour. I mixed the ingredients well, and left the pork in the fridge overnight, covered.
The next day I pan fried the pork in small batches, using a generous amount of cooking oil. I used the highest temperature possible, so I could achieve an intense ‘dry fry’ texture and taste. After I finished cooking the pork, I added some saute capsicum slices and saute green shallot (scallion) for colors.
It tasted delicious. I hope our homeless friends enjoyed the dish.
^use a gluten free soy sauce for a GF option.
A common style of Chinese cooking is called ‘liangban’ or ‘liangchai’, which means a salad-like chilled dish. The ingredients for these dishes can be very diverse, from vegetables to different kinds of meat including offal. My husband’s favorite liangchai is Sichuan style liver and tongue. My favorite liangchai is pork hocks.
This week I made a liangchai with pig hocks. It took 2 days, but the process was very simple and easy.
Recipe is as follows:
I have been cooking for the homeless feed on some Saturdays. Trying to cope with work and the endless chores around the house, I was only able to cook simple meals for our homeless friends.
This week I made a simple Asian flavored pulled pork with plum sauce and Char Siu sauce. I used 5kg of pork shoulder. I first removed the skin and most of the fat under the skin; then I rub the meat with a jar of plum sauce, 1/2 jar of Char Siu sauce, 2 teaspoon of cumin powder and a few generous dashes of dark soy sauce; I marinated the meat in the fridge overnight.
The next morning, I placed pork in a pre-heated 180c (360f) oven for 30 minutes, tightly covered with foil; after 30 minutes, I reduced the temperature to 160c (320f), cooked the meat for further 30 minutes; then I turned the heat to 140c (280f) for further 2 hours. After that I left the meat in the oven for another 1 hour to settle, before I pulled the meat with 2 forks.
For the sauce, I mixed some corn flour with water; transferred half of the meat juice to a sauce pan, added the corn flour mixture, brought to a slow boil and stirred briefly as the sauce thicken. I poured the sauce on top of the meat.
We had some for dinner too, with boiled rice – tasted great.
Method is as follows:
I run an Asian food stall at the school fete each year to raise money for the school. It was load of work – a whole month of preparation rolling thousands of dumplings; the 2-hour sleep the night before the fete; and the stress about food quality and logistics.
But I loved it. I loved the families who helped to cook and served. I loved the families who enjoyed our food and left great comments on the social media. It is somehow all worthwhile.
Here is a quick video clip to share – families gathered at our house to wrap 1,000 dumplings a week before the fete. We then freeze the dumplings, boiled and then pan fried them on site at the school fete.
Years ago, my little boy loved a book called “The Tiger Who Came To Tea”. The story talked about a tiger who visited Sophie’s house and ate all their food. Sophia’s dad took Sophie and her mum out to a cafe, had a lovely supper with sausages, chips and ice cream.
‘How could sausages be lovely?’ my little boy asked.
So here is my version of sausages – a one pot meal with onion and capsicum, spiced with garam masala, turmeric and mustard oil.
Method is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »
Pork spare ribs are inexpensive in Sydney, a fraction of the cost of pork ribs. It is one of the most popular cuts of pork for Asian food, lovely when slow cooked in a rich salty, sweet and sour sauce.
Here is our dinner tonight – pork spare ribs braised in a soy sauce, red wine,sesame oil and vinegar, with a hint of ginger and cumin.
Recipe is as follows: