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

previous arrow
next arrow

Thai Rice Noodle Seafood Salad

Today’s new recipe is Thai Rice Noodle Seafood Salad but before I talk about this recipe I have some huge news. I QUIT MY CHEF JOB!

Yes, I handed in my notice on Saturday, packed all my belongings, handed in my keys and left. I haven’t had a chance to say goodbye to all of my colleagues who were really kind to me so I decided to use this blog post to tell them “thank you” for looking after me and for tolerating me during my “silly” moments at work. I’m proud to say I’ve made some real friends at work and will miss a lot of people. It was a really interesting 4 years, 6 months and 4 days (OCD side showing itself) and there were a lot of great moments I’ll remember.

However, I have been unhappy working as a chef for some time (not necessarily because of the place I worked at) and with recent events, my new career which is coming on really well and my husband picking up a lot more work we made the decision for me to quit work and focus full time on my illustration business. That’s not to say I won’t be cooking anymore, if anything the total opposite. Before with work, child, university and everything else I simply had no time for updating this blog but although I’m busy with the illustration side of things I’ll have a lot more time to cook new recipes and update this website.

Recently my health has been a bit funny. Earlier this year I had my gallbladder removed and with the recent travelling, stresses of dealing with my father’s death and jumping from 40C in Taiwan to Scottish autumn 12-15C, my body has been playing up so I’m really into eating light dishes like salads and seafood. I really love all of the main ingredients in this dish so I made a Thai Rice Noodle Seafood Salad. This dish is everything I need right now; sweet, sour, refreshing, light and a little spicy.

I used prawns, mussels and squid in this recipe but there are so many other kinds of seafood you can use for this dish such as scallops, fish meat, langoustine, crab meat etc. So in effect you can use any seafood you want in this recipe.

Hope you like my Thai Rice Noodle Seafood Salad recipe.


thai rice noodle seafood salad

Thai Rice Noodle Seafood Salad

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people



  • 250 g rice noodle
  • 150 g prawns
  • 500 g mussels
  • 200 g squid
  • 12 cherry tomatoes cut into half

Ingredients for dressing

  • 1 tbsp lemon grass finely chop
  • 1 handful coriander finely chop
  • 1 tbsp spring onions finely chop
  • 1 chili finely chop
  • 1 tsp ginger finely chop
  • 1 lemon zest and juice


  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Mix all of the ingredients for making the dressing in a bowl
  2. Clean the squid and cross-cut it
  3. Boil a pot of water and blanch the squid and rinse it in cold water after it’s cooked. The squid only needs 2-3 minutes to cook
  4. Blanch the prawns and rinse in cold water after they are cooked. Peel the shell after the prawns have cooled down
  5. Wash and remove all the dirt on the mussels. Steam for 3-5 minutes then leave to cool down. Once cooled down remove the shells
  6. Boil a pot of water to blanch the rice noodle and the soak rice noodle in cold water after it’s cooked. Drain the water and leave it aside. Use a pair of scissors to cut the rice noodles a few times just incase they are too long to eat
  7. Mix everything together in a big bowl and taste it. Adjust the seasoning for personal taste. Ready to serve!

Chinese Daikon Carrot and Tomato Beef Stew

Chinese Daikon Carrot and Tomato Beef Stew
Chinese Daikon Carrot and Tomato Beef Stew. One day while back in Taipei, I was watching TV with my grandmother and smelt this really awesome dish coming out of a neighbour’s home. So I asked grandma to make this dish for me. I know people might think I’m horrible asking my grandmother to cook for me but grandma is a very old fashioned traditional Eastern lady.

Few things make her happier than cooking a big meal for her family. She loves cooking for he children and grandchildren and when we say something along the lines of “Oh grandma, the food you made is so DELICIOUS! We love it!” you can often here her giggling. For a lot of older Eastern ladies, most of them are housewives their whole lives. They sacrifice themselves to their family and children so the “kitchen” is their stage. When my grandmother came to the UK in 2012 she brought her rubber gloves with her and when she was cutting vegetables she refused to let me help her, even though I’m a trained chef. This kind of thing always makes me laugh.

I cook most of the meals at home for my husband and daughter but a lot of times I really don’t know what to cook. I’m used to people ordering food from me at work so I guess this carries over at home so I usually present Chris with the question “Eastern or Western food” “noodles or rice?” then I have a pretty good idea about what to cook. I believe for a lot of mums who cook most of the food at home they must have the same feeling so whenever I go back to Taipei I always prepare a “list” of food for my grandma or my mum. This way everyone is extremely happy.

While I was back in Taipei recently dealing with the death of my father, I was away from home sorting things out and grandma, being the cute old lady she is, even phoned me to ask me if I want her to put tomatoes in this beef stew she was cooking. I told her to cook it anyway she likes, which she will really love hearing but in all honesty the addition of tomato was perfect. It made the beef stew less fatty/greasy. I cooked a very similar dish in my cookbook without tomato and I have to admit this recipe tastes so much better.

So this is my grandmother’s recipe for Chinese Daikon, carrot and tomato beef stew:

Chinese Daikon Carrot and Tomato Beef Stew


Chinese Daikon, Carrot and Tomato Beef Stew

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 people



  • 1 kg beef flank or shin or any slow cook beef, cut into big dice
  • 480 g vine tomato chop roughly
  • 120 g onion or 1 medium size onion, chop roughly
  • 10 g ginger slice thin
  • 200 g carrot peel and slice 2cm thick
  • 600 g daikon peel, slice 2cm thick and cut into quarters
  • 1 ltr boiling water


  • 200 ml light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 70 ml rice wine
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/4 cinnamon stick you could add tangerine peel for extra flavour


  1. Boil a big pot of water and add the beef. Boil for 5 minutes to clean any dirt off the beef. After 5 minutes, use cold water to wash away any dirt on the surface of the meat and drain the water. Leave the beef aside for later
  2. Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil and stir-fry the ginger and onion until the fragrance comes out. Add the beef and stir-fry for another 3-5 minutes
  3. Pour the rice wine in and cook for 30 seconds. Add light and dark soy sauce and boil
  4. After step 3 has boiled, add tomato, water, star anise, cinnamon stick and tangerine peel (optional)
  5. Cook for 1.5 hours. The beef should be nearly soft and then add the carrots and daikon. Cook until the carrots and daikon are soft. Check the seasonings to suit your taste before serving

General Tso Chicken Recipe

General Tso chicken is a really popular Chinese dish all over the world. There are several stories behind this dish but my favourite is about General Tso‘s son who is a drug addict. During a period of time when the Chinese government tried to ban people from using opium, General Tso was really worried about his son so he lost all of his appetite. General Tso‘s chef was really worried about him so he made up this chicken dish and hoped the flavours from this dish would help General Tso to enjoy food again.


authentic general tso chicken
I honestly don’t know if this dish actually helped General Tso or not but this dish and the story has certainly helped my appetite after recent events that have happened.

On the 30th August my father passed away after suffering a heart attack. He needed open heart surgery but due to other underlying health issues which needed fixing first he wasn’t able to make it to surgery and suffered a heart attack at home from he sadly passed. So one week after he died I flew back to Taipei for three weeks to sort out his funeral and other family things.

The last time I spoke to him was just two days before he passed away and on that day he looked well so when I received the news on the 30th I completely broke down and I’m still in total shock one month on. Right now I’m suffering badly. I’m completely depressed, I have no will to illustrate and I can’t even think about going back to work right now. During the last conversation I had with my father on Skype the only positive I can give is that he saw Amelia playing and being really happy. A lot of my conversation was me complaining about my work situation. I won’t name where I work but suffice to say as a part time worker and a woman working conditions are pretty awful. We don’t get breaks and the more senior chefs bully the junior and part time chefs. I could honestly write a whole book about the disgusting things that have been said to myself and other colleagues but of course this conversation has left me riddled with guilt. Why couldn’t I have been more positive or even told him I loved him? Now I don’t have a chance to do so. Even the day before he passed away he told my mother that he was really worried about me and my mother.

After my father passed, all I have left from him is his diary and on every single page he wrote about how much he loved me and wished he could spend more time with me. He felt like he never did a good job in raising or looking after me but now he has passed I really understand that he was a great father and did the absolute best he could despite all the problems he faced. But still, even now I wish I could tell him once more how great he was, how much I loved him and tell him about all the great memories I have with him.

Right now, all I want to do is curl into a ball and hide inside my bedding. But unfortunately, life has to move on. I still have my family to look after, although my husband has been great with his support, and I still need to complete my University degree which my father always wanted me to achieve. I was expecting he and my step mum (I refer to her as my mum as she is 1000x times a better mother than my birth mother) would come to the UK to see my graduation. This won’t happen now.

So. Food has always been a big comfort for me and I feeling cooking (not for work) and eating is one of the best remedies when you feel sad. While I was back in Taipei my grandmother cooked a lot for me and her food always has a tremendous amount of love in it, so that was a huge comfort and really helped me. So I’ve decided to start cooking for my food blog again to try to help me find some peace. I love cooking for myself and my family and I’ve always loved sharing recipes and receiving wonderful feedback so here is my first dish for this blog in a really long time.

I’m really sorry this is not a happy blog post but no matter, I really wanted to share this really simple but really delicious recipe with you. I’ve got a whole load of new recipes in the pipeline so I promise there won’t be anymore five month gaps between posts in the future.

As a final note, for General Tso chicken you can adjust the usage of sugar if you would like this to be a little sweeter.


General Tso Chicken Recipe

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 3 people



  • 500 g chicken thigh fillets
  • 2 chilis remove the seeds and slice 3cm lengthways
  • 2 spring onions slice 2-3cm lengthways
  • 1 ltr oil to fry the chicken. Use sunflower or vegetable oil

Seasonings for chicken thigh fillet marinade

  • 1 tsp rice wine
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 egg beaten
  • 2 tsp potato starch or corn flour
  • 1 tsp oil sunflower or olive oil


  • 1.5 tbsp ketchup
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar


  1. Cut chicken thigh fillets into big dices and marinade with seasonings for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat up 1 liter of oil in a wok and add one chicken dice at a time into the wok. Fry until the chicken turns golden brown in colour. Drain any liquid/oil from the chicken and leave aside.
  3. Mix all the seasonings in a bowl. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok and stir fry the chilli for 20 seconds until the fragrance comes out of the wok.
  4. Add the chicken into the wok and stir fry for 10 seconds. Pour the seasonings form the bowl into the wok and stir fry until the sauce has reduced down. Add spring onion and stir fry it for 10 seconds.  Sprinkle a few drops of sesame oil and add a little bit of ground pepper. The dish is ready to serve.


Fen Jen Ro Steamed Pork Belly in Rice Powder with Sweet Potato

fen jen ro

After finishing off my cook book and breaking up from University for the summer I’ve suddenly had some spare time (shock!) which I’m really happy about. I’ve been running this blog since the end of 2009 and I have so many great memories from this blog. From all the great people I’ve met through my blog and all the great feedback it’s been a great experience sharing my recipes. Of course there are some smart-arses who like to make snide comments but they really are an absolute minority so, with great joy, I’m now back cooking for this blog and my first recipe is one of my husband‘s all time favourite dishes called Fen Jen Ro.

Fen Jen Ro (粉蒸肉 in Chinese) or probably easiest translated as “Steamed Pork Belly in Rice Powder with Sweet Potato” is a commonly served dish in Chinese and Taiwanese households. This is also one of my grandfather’s favourite dishes so I’m very familiar with this dish. In Taiwan, we use rice cookers to steam most dishes and for Taiwanese people or even people who have spent some time in Taiwan will know, rice cookers in Taiwan and possibly Chinese are used for a lot more than just cooking rice. Taiwanese people will use rice cookers to steam cakes, make soups, make Chinese buns, make rice of course(!) and many more uses.

For the first few years I lived in Edinburgh and the UK I just used a really cheap rice cooker solely for cooking rice and even though I have now bought a more expensive one that can steam, make soup etc, I haven’t gotten round to messing around with the functions so I still use a very traditional method of steaming my food. The way I steam food is to place a steam rack in the middle of a wok, pour some water inside (measurements below) and steam.

There are a few different origins and stories about this dish. One of my favourite stories is about a couple who ran a small restaurant that had poor business. The husband also had a terrible gambling habit and when his wife one day gave him some money to buy some plates, bowls and food from the market he squandered it on gambling. Upon returning home his wife was really angry and they had a big fight. After the fight they were both really hungry but they thought they had no food to eat. The husband then suddenly remembered he had some pork so he marinaded the pork with some soy sauce and he picked some lotus leave to hold the food (they were so poor they didn’t even have bowls or plates). The wife steamed the pork and when they unwrapped it they discovered the pork was really tender.

Even though the pork was really tender it lacked some flavour so they combined it with jenrofen powder which is basically a glutinous rice powder, steamed it some more and it was absolutely delicious. They then served this dish in their restaurant and people came from afar to eat this dish which is still immensely popular to this day and the husband also managed to quit his gambling habit. Here is my favourite recipe for Fen Jen Ro.


Fen Jen Ro

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings 4 people



  • 800 g pork belly
  • 250 g sweet potato peeled and sliced 1cm thick
  • 150 g jenrofen powder only this kind of powder


  • 1 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp chili bean sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 70 ml light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp rice wine
  • 1/2 tsp ginger finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp spring onion finely chopped


  1. Slice pork belly into 5cm wide and 1cm thick sections. Marinade with all the seasonings for at least 1 hour
  2. Coat the pork belly with jenrofen powder/rice powder and leave it aside
  3. Prepare a 21.5cm wide bamboo steamer or similar size heat proof bowl and line it with baking paper
  4. Place a layer of sweet potato on the bottom of the bamboo steamer then layer the rest of the bamboo steamer with the pork belly. Sprinkle some extra jenrofen powder on top and cover with the bamboo steamer lid
  5. Place a steam rack into the wok and pour 1 litre of water into the wok. Boil the water first then put step 4 on the rack and cover everything with the wok lid. Turn the gas power to medium and steam it for 2 hours. Check occasionally but make sure there’s always water in the bottom of the wok


fen jen ro ingredients
fen jen ro ingredients

Home Style Taiwanese Cooking Cookbook

Last October I got a surprising email from an international publisher called “Marshall Cavendish” asking me if I’m interested in publishing my first cookbook. After the initial shock I didn’t hesitate at all and immediately agreed, once I read the terms of the contract of course, to publish this book with them. The result is Home Style Taiwanese Cooking.

Publishing a cookbook has always been one of my dreams and this invitation from a large international publisher has made this dream come true. So for the last 6 months Chris and I have been really busy with this book. I was originally contacted around September/October and we were asked to provide 60 recipes and photographs of these recipes before Christmas. However, without really diving into photographic techniques, the core lighting in our food photos is natural lighting but here in Scotland during the winter it’s dark from 3pm to 8am (sometimes seems later if the weather is really bad which this winter it really has been).

This was a huge headache so it meant lots of extra nursery sessions for Amelia and literally I would have days where I would prepare 8 dishes and present and photograph them in rapid succession. Stressful doesn’t even come into it. It was also difficult as Chris is out working everyday as a photographer so his time is also a major factor but just yesterday I received a few copies of my cookbook in the post and I’m absolutely delighted with it.

Naturally through the process of making the book there were some “interesting” moments where the publisher wanted something but we wanted to do it differently but in the end, with a little compromise on both ends, I think the book looks absolutely fantastic.

So the first photo below is how the cover of the book will look like and the photos following that are photos of the book taken in the back garden. I might redo these photos but when I received the book I was so super excited that as soon as Chris got back from his morning photo job we quickly rushed outside, took some photos, then I went to work.

Home Style Taiwanese Cooking

This book is literally about Home Style Taiwanese Cooking. I chose dishes that I will eat when I go home, dishes that many Taiwanese mothers and grandmothers will cook at home. Many of these dishes I learnt from my grandparents on both sides of my family and there are also dishes that I know are very common in other people’s homes. There are a couple recipes that are more Taiwanese street food style but street food is a whole other thing and if the sales of this book go well I would love to be able to make another book about street food.

This book contains 65 recipes and 99.9% of the ingredients are available in local Chinese supermarkets and normal supermarkets. The only ingredient I can think of off the top of my head that I definitely couldn’t buy in Edinburgh (bearing in mind Edinburgh doesn’t have a China town) was marinaded cordia but otherwise practically everything else I sourced locally.

Here is Amazon UK link for my book

Here is Amazon US link for my book

Here is Waterstones link for my book

Book Depository link for my book

Here is Penguin Books Australia link for my book.

There are many other online bookstores in different countries that sell my book. So if you need to help to find my book in your home country please leave message or comment for me and I will be more than happy to search for you or contact my publisher and ask them for information. To be honest I’m not too sure how many countries will sell my book but so far all of the English speaking countries that I can think of do sell it.

Home Style Taiwanese Cooking
Home Style Taiwanese Cooking
Home Style Taiwanese Cooking
Home Style Taiwanese Cooking
Home Style Taiwanese Cooking
Home Style Taiwanese Cooking
Home Style Taiwanese Cooking