Feb 15, 2017 by Liv Wan

Blood Orange Quinoia Salad: The best summer salad

Apr 9, 2017 by Liv Wan

Caramalised Pineapple Coconut Rice Pudding

Feb 04, 2017 by Liv Wan

Prawn and Lemon Butter Pasta

Jan 15, 2017 by Liv Wan

Chinese Fish Fragrant Omelette

Nov 20, 2016 by Liv Wan

Red Cooked Pork Belly with Lotus Root

Feb 20, 2017 by Liv Wan

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Jan 22, 2017 by Liv Wan

Thai Steamed Fish with Coconut Quinoia

Oct 20, 2016 by Liv Wan

Dan Bing: Taiwanese Egg Crepe. Delicious!

Oct 10, 2016 by Liv Wan

Stir Fried Beef with Thai Chive Flower and Bean Curd

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Caramelised Pineapple Coconut Rice Pudding

Caramelised Pineapple Coconut Rice Pudding. This is the first time I’ve made this caramelised pineapple with coconut rice pudding. My daughter has been eating rice pudding at her nursery recently and she mentioned it a few times so I thought I’d have a go at making rice pudding from scratch.

Almost everyone loves rice pudding and I like it so much I decided to illustrate this recipe as well as cook it. The recipe I used for the illustration is a variation of a recipe I learnt while working in a restaurant kitchen (I forget which one) but for the actual dish I cooked I changed a few ingredients as I found some improvements could be made. So you’ll see the illustration recipe shows one thing but the real food is a little different. Both are really delicious though.

I’ve made recipe pudding plenty of times in my life but like most people I’ve always used milk to make rice pudding. Today I decided to use coconut milk for a different taste. You can choose whether to use milk for this recipe or coconut milk as I used. You can even go half and half but this is entirely up to you.

I’ve also made caramelised pineapple many times before but this is the first I’ve combined these two delicious desserts together and I have to say it’s delicious! The other reason I used coconut milk in this recipe is because I think the coconut flavour goes really well with all the spices and caramelised pineapple. It makes this dessert taste very “tropical”!

If you are vegan then you can use only coconut milk in this recipe and you can also replace the butter with vegan butter. I used salted Kerrygold butter in this recipe, I think bar deli shop/real farmhouse butter, Kerrygold is the most delicious butter available commonly here. I’m not a huge sweet food fan so I added a little bit of salt to balance out the sweetness. In fact whenever I bake I nearly always add a little salt.

For the rice, I used Thai fragrant rice for this recipe. It cooks really quickly and is delicious. This is a dish to warm your heart and tummy. I hope you like this delicious and easy to make Caramelised Pineapple with Coconut Rice Pudding.

For the rice, I used Thai fragrant rice in this recipe. It cook really quickly and taste delicious. This is a dish to warm your heart and tummy. I hope you like this delicious and easy dessert recipe.

caramelised pineapple cococnut rice pudding

Caramelised Pineapple Coconut Rice Pudding

Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 people


Ingredients for Caramelised Pineapple

  • 80 g dark brown or demerara sugar
  • 1 small pineapple peeled and sliced thick
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 60 g butter
  • 150 ml water

Ingredients for Coconut Rice Pudding

  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 400 ml semi skimmed milk
  • 125 g long grain rice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 150 g caster sugar or demerara sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg


Procedures for Caramelised Pineapple

  1. Add sugar, pineapple, cinnamon and star anise into a large frying pan

  2. Cook at medium-low heat until the sugar has melted. 

  3. Add butter into step 2 and cook until the butter has melted then add water and bring to a boil. Once it has started to boil simmer until the syrup is thick and ready to serve.

Procedures for Coconut Rice Pudding

  1. Add coconut milk, milk, rice, sugar and salt into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil then turn the stove to medium-low heat and cook for 10 minutes, stir often. 

  2. Pour it into a greased baking dish and sprinkle the nutmeg on top. 

  3. Cover it with tin foil and bake at 160c for 1 hour, stir it and checking it often. Cook until the rice is tender. 

  4. Serve with caramelised pineapple, pomegranate and pistachio. 

caramelised rice pudding illustration

How To Make a Basic Japanese Ramen Noodle Soup

Ramen is one of my family’s favourite Japanese dishes. In a city like Edinburgh where it’s almost always wet and/or cold, ramen (along with hot pots) are the perfect dishes for warming yourself up.

A good ramen is one of the most rewarding dishes you can eat, full of noodles, meat, eggs and with a really thick delicious broth but it does take a long time to prepare and there are a lot of procedures. So be aware, this recipe is kind of long but don’t be afraid, as long as you prepare all the ingredients, such as the ramen eggs, char siu pork and stock a day before then on the day it’s pretty quick to prepare.

I personally spent around two hours making the stock for this dish. I didn’t want to simmer it for too long simply because of time constraints but in really good ramen restaurants it’s not unheard of stock be cooked for half a day to a day or even more. As with most stocks, the longer you cook, the better they taste and ramen is true of this.

A good example of preparing the ingredients in advance as I mentioned above is the stock. Quite often I’ll cook a LOT of stock then I’ll separate it into small portions and store in a freezer. You can do the same thing with char siu pork as well.

Some cooking tips:

  1. If you like the egg quite runny then set your timer to 3 minutes. I like to cook them for 3 ½ minutes but some recipes online say 4 minutes but personally I think this is a little too long.
  2. I always cook a couple extra eggs for two reasons. The main reason is just in case the egg shell breaks during cooking, if this happens you may end up with only 3-4 beautiful boiled eggs and the others will look alien. The other reason is the eggs taste so good and my husband has sticky fingers so inevitably a couple/few eggs go missing during cooking.
  3. Please consume these within 2-3 days and always use fresh eggs!
  4. I used red onion in this recipe for making the char siu pork but you can also use white onion. I just use the ingredients I had at home.
  5. I used a banana shallot in this recipe which is really quiet big in size so I only used 1. If you use a normal sized shallot, use 3 cloves.
  6. As mentioned before, if you have any extra stock you can separate into small portions and store in a freezer for another dish or meal. Stock can be stored for up to 1 month in a freezer.

I will also keep the char siu pork sauce and ramen egg sauce in the freezer so I can use for another time. You can keep them in the freezer for a month and re-use them for 2-3 times.

ramen recipe


Course Main Dish
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 2 minutes
Servings 6 servings


Ingredients for ramen eggs

  • 6 large fresh eggs

Seasonings for ramen eggs

  • 120 ml light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar caster or demerara
  • 120 ml mirin
  • 200 ml water
  • 100 ml sake
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic

Ingredients for ramen stock

  • 800 g pork ribs
  • 20 g katsuobushi also known as bonito flakes
  • 15 g kombu
  • 1 onion cut into half
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 ltr water

Ingredients for char siu pork

  • 2 kg pork belly skinless and boneless
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 banana shallot sliced thick
  • 1 spring onion slice into half
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic

Seasonings for char siu pork

  • 200 ml light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 100 ml mirin
  • 200 ml sake
  • 1 ltr water
  • 3 tbsp honey


Ramen Eggs Procedure

  1. Add all the seasonings into a saucepan and bring it to a boil and let it boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the fire and leave to cool down.
  2. Place 8 eggs into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring it to a boil and once it’s boiling set a timer to 3-3.5 minutes. Gently stir the eggs while cooking so the egg yolk will be in the middle.
  3. When the timer has stopped, immediately cool down the eggs under running cold water.
  4. Gently peel the eggs and marinade the eggs with the sauce from step 1. You can store the eggs with sauce in a freezer bag or container and leave them to marinade for 1-2 days.

Ramen Stock Procedure

  1. Cut kombu into small pieces (3cm long) and place into a stock pot with 3 litres of water for 20 minutes.
  2. After 20 minutes, place step 1 on a stove and use medium-low heat to cook for 10 minutes then turn the fire to highest temperature and bring it to a boil.
  3. Blanch the ribs and wash with cold water. Leave it aside.
  4. Add Katsuobushi into step 2 and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off fire and leave it to cool down.
  5. Pass through the stock with a sieve and keep the katsubushi and kombu on the side.
  6. Put the stock back into the stock pot and add ribs, onion and garlic. Bring it to a boil first then simmer for 1 ½ hours.
  7. Pass through the stock with a sieve and leave it aside.

Char Siu Pork Procedure

  1. Roll the pork belly and use cling film to wrap it very tight. The pork belly should resemble a cylinder shape. Freeze it for few hours.
  2. Take the pork belly out of the freezer once it has turned hard. Remove the cling film and use string to tie it up.
  3. Heat up some oil in a frying pan or skillet and pan-fry every side of the pork until it’s golden brown in colour. Leave it aside.
  4. Use the same frying pan and the oil left over to fry red the onion, shallot, spring onion, ginger and garlic until it’s aromatic.
  5. Put all the seasonings apart from the honey into a big stock pot. Place step 4 and the pork belly into this stock pot.
  6. Bring it to a boil first then add honey and simmer for 1 ½ hour or until the pork belly is tender. Leave it to cool down.
  7. Place pork belly and remaining sauce into a container and store it in the refrigerator over night. Slice it before serving.

Final Preparation

  1. Cook the ramen noodles by following the cooking instructions on the packaging.
  2. Heat up the stock in a saucepan and put the miso in a small bowl then mix with a little bit of warm stock evenly. Make sure there are no lumps and pour this mixture into the stock and bring it to a boil. Season the stock with salt and pepper. Turn off the fire.
  3. Place the ramen noodles in a big bowl and pour the hot ramen stock from step 2 into the bowl.
  4. Garnish with char siu pork, spring onion, seaweed and eggs. Ready to serve!

Recipe Notes

Notes about serving ramen: 250ml ramen stock per person ½ tablespoon miso per 250ml stock 3-4 slices of char siu pork 2 slices of seaweed Some julienned spring onion 1 ramen egg, cut into half Some salt and pepper to taste

ramen recipe

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich

buttermilk fried chicken sandwich
I’ve always been a big fan of fried chicken but recently I kept seeing “buttermilk fried chicken” on both the internet and menus in local restaurant. I rarely have  a chance to visit restaurants and if I do I usually go for sushi/Korean/burger, those kinds of things, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how good the texture and taste of buttermilk fried chicken will be so I decided to give it a go myself.

Also because I’m not working for about.com anymore where I was publishing dozens of articles about just East Asian food I’ve decided to become a bit more adventurous with my food blog and that’s why if you compare my website recently to say a couple years ago there’s more diverse food.

Why am I doing this? Well sure I’m from Taiwan, my grandparents were from China etc etc and I have a lot of knowledge about Eastern food but I studied Western cooking at food college and I worked in Western restaurants for many years so I do know a lot of Western style recipes. I also like to eat out and try different cuisines when I can. Who knows I may end up doing some Indian curries at some point.

I’ll certainly go back to cooking some of my favourite Taiwanese, Chinese and other East Asian foods in the near future but right now I’m on an inspired food journey and I’m having lots of fun on it.

Today’s dish is a completely new dish to me and while I’ve cooked lots of fried chicken at home and in professional kitchens, I’ve never made buttermilk fried chicken before so I researched a good few buttermilk fried chicken recipes online and in the end I came up with this recipe that I think tastes delicious (my husband and daughter definitely approved!).

I’m a big fan of paprika so I put some paprika in the chicken marinade. In fact one of the favourite simple dishes in my home is chicken marinated in paprika and finely chopped garlic served with roast vegetables. My husband loves roast garlic which amuses my daughter when he tells her “it’s to keep away the vampires”.

So I put a decent amount of paprika in this dish but you can adjust the amount of seasonings in this dish to suit your own taste.

I also made some pickled vegetables and a sriracha mayo to accompany the buttermilk fried chicken in the sandwiches which I made. If you think there are too many ingredients then you can leave them out. As with a lot of East Asian dishes and especially my own cooking, seasonings are entirely adjustable.

A bit of sweet and sour pickled vegetables contrasts perfectly with the greasiness of the fried chicken and makes the whole dish more balanced. If you have some pickled vegetables left over you can store them in a clear container in your refrigerator for up to 7 days. If you want you can make the pickled vegetables and sriracha mayo the day before you make this dish to save time, although this is a pretty quick dish to make.

buttermilk fried chicken sandwich
5 from 1 vote

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 sandwiches


Main Ingredients

  • 1 kg chicken breast cut into long strips
  • 1 cucumber peel it like a long ribbon
  • 1 shallot sliced
  • 1 carrot peel it like a long ribbon
  • 6 raddish slice
  • 2 long baguettes
  • 650 ml oil

Ingredients for chicken marinade

  • 180 ml buttermilk
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Ingredients for pickled vegetables

  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 lemon grass
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 250 ml water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients for spice flour

  • 170 g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp butter milk

Ingredients for sriracha mayo

  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise


  1. Marinade chicken overnight with all the ingredients for the marinade. If you can’t marinade overnight marinade at least 1 hour before cooking. The longer you marinade the better the taste.

  2. Mix all the ingredients for the pickled vegetables into a small sauce pan. Bring it to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes. 

  3. Put the sliced radish, sliced shallot, ribbon cucumber and ribbon carrot into a container or bowl. Pour the step 2 sauce into the bowl and gently mix it evenly. Leave it for at least 30 minutes. 

  4. Mix flour, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, baking powder evenly in a bowl then mix with buttermilk. You will see the flour will look a bit lumpy but that’s ok. 

  5. Heat up oil in a saucepan or deep skillet. The oil temperature should be 180 c. 

  6. Coat the chicken with the spice flour from step 4 and leave it for a couple minutes. 

  7. To check if the oil is the right temperate, you can put a piece of the spice flour crumb into the oil and if the crumb immediately bubbles and floats on the oil then the temperature is perfect for frying the chicken. 

  8. Deep-fry the chicken until golden brown. 

  9. Slice the baguettes 12cm long and slice horizontally. 

  10. Spread some sriracha mayo first then put a couple slices of fried chicken and some pickled vegetables into the sandwich. Make sure to drain the vinegar from the vegetables before you put them in the sandwich or otherwise the sandwich will be soggy. 

buttermilk fried chicken sandwich

Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad

blood orange

Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad

Course Salad
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 3 people


Main Ingredients

  • 155 g quinoa
  • 310 ml water
  • 500 g tuna
  • 2 blood oranges peel and slice
  • 4 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1 handful salad leaves
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate
  • 100 g feta cheese
  • 5 mint leaves fresh and chopped finely

Marinade for Tuna

  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp mirin


  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 blood orange


  1. Put all the ingredients for marinading the tuna into a deep plate or bowl and mix evenly. Place tuna into the bowl and gently coat the tuna with all the marinade. Leave it to marinade in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Occasionally turn the tuna while marinading so the flavour will be even on every side of the tuna. 

  2. Coat the tuna with black and white sesame seeds and wrap in cling film individually and leave in the freezer for 20 minutes to set. 

  3. Cook the quinoa by following the instructions on the packaging. 

  4. Mix the seasonings for the dressing in a small mixing bowl. 

  5. Mix 2 tablespoons of dressing with quinoa and check the seasonings. If you like a strong flavour then add more salt or pepper. 

  6. Remove the cling film from the tuna and heat up some oil in a skillet or frying pan. Sear the tuna 40-50 seconds on each side and remove from the pan. 

  7. Toss the quinoa, salad leaves, pomegranate and dressing together. 

  8. Slice the tuna. 

  9. Garnish step 7 with the sliced tuna, sliced blood orange, mint and feta cheese. It’s ready to serve. 

Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad
Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad

Prawn and Lemon Butter Pasta

prawn and lemon butter pasta
At the end of 2016 we moved to the Marchmont area of Edinburgh and one of the many great things about Marchmont are the really incredible ingredients we can buy locally. We like just two streets away from two really great greengrocers and we also have quite possibly the best fishmongers in Edinburgh; Eddie’s Seafood Market.

Eddie’s are well known in Edinburgh for supplying many of the top restaurants in Edinburgh with their seafood and yes their seafood is a little more expensive than fish from supermarkets but the difference in quality is night and day. Have you ever bought king prawns from the supermarket and thought they are tasteless? Not from Eddie’s, I popped over a couple days, bought 500g of prawns and three sea urchin’s for £10 and the prawns were stunning, so full of flavour and the texture was beautiful.

I also love going to Eddie’s because Eddie and his family run the store and they are from Hong Kong but speak Chinese so I can go there and have a chat in Chinese. They also often give my daughter free sweets so she loves going there as well.

Importantly though they have a huge selection of fresh fish available. I’ve reduced my daughter’s hours at nursery and last Friday we had a trip around Marchmont which included painting a couple pots at Doodles Ceramic Workshop, grabbing a freshly baked 10” pizza from the local takeaway (£4 I think) and a trip to Eddie’s. As mentioned above I bought three sea urchin for £1 and they might be one of the ugliest things on the planet inside but they taste absolutely amazing. I’ll pop over again next week and if they are selling sea urchin I’ll buy some and use it in a dish.

Finally Eddie’s have an old fashioned Chinese business tradition to them. I originally got to know the staff at Eddie’s when I was working at the Witchery by the Castle and Tom from Eddie’s would deliver the fish. I would often sign for it and have a chat with him. I remember when I lived in Taiwan, sometimes I went to a traditional market with my grandmother and the vegetable vendors would always give their repeat customers extra ginger, chili or spring onions, those kinds of things. I think this is just how Eastern people do business. Eddie’s often do the same, a few extra prawns here and there so they absolutely rock.

But back to the dish today.

If you’re on a diet, this is probably not the dish for use. I used a lot of butter in this dish although you can adjust many of the ingredients including the amount of butter and lemon used. This is totally fine.

If you don’t have fresh chilli then you can use chili flakes. Lemon zest is optional but I highly recommend you to put lemon zest in as it will make your pasta taste so good!!

You may have also noticed this is my first pasta dish on this website! Well I’ve decided 2017 is the going to be the year where I start cooking a lot of different cuisines for this website. Even though this website is predominately about Chinese and Taiwanese food, my culinary training and the vast majority of my “working as a chef” experience is in Western food. So even though I know hell of a lot of Eastern recipes, I also know hell of a lot of Western dishes. So keep posted for all kinds of recipes this year.

prawn and lemon butter pasta ingredients

Prawn and Lemon Butter Pasta

Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 3 people


Main Ingredients

  • 600 g fresh prawns peeled and devined
  • 700 g cooked linguine
  • 140 g butter I used Kerrygold
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 chili remove seeds and chop finely
  • 30 g fresh parsley chop finely
  • 2 lemon just the zest
  • 1.5 lemons juiced


  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 pinch salt to taste
  • 1 pinch pepper to taste


  1. Peeled and devein the prawns. 

  2. Follow the packaging cooking directions to cook the linguine pasta. Once the linguine has cook to the texture you like, immediately drain the water and quickly rinse under cold water and drain. Drizzle some olive oil on the pasta and mix it up evenly. This will stop the pasta stick together. Leave it aside.

  3. Gently heat up butter in a skillet or deep frying pan at low-medium heat. 

  4. Add garlic and chili into step 3 and gently fry the garlic until it starts to turn a light golden colour.

  5. Add prawns into step 4 and once the prawns start changing their colour to pink then add the garlic powder, lemon juice, zest and pasta.

  6. Cook the pasta for a further 2 minutes and mix evenly with all the ingredients. 

  7. Add parsley and mix evenly, season with salt and pepper. Ready to serve!

prawn and lemon butter pasta