Pineapple Prawn Fried Rice

pineapple prawn fried rice

One of my favourite dishes when I was young is this pineapple and prawn fried rice. Possibly the most endearing memory of this dish is having the fried rice served literally in a pineapple. It’s just so much fun to see food that has been served in a pineapple rather than ordinary plates or bowls.

I’m not really a big fan of pineapple, I won’t eat it as a fruit on itself, but I really like cooking dishes with pineapple in them. These include this prawn and pineapple fried rice dish as well as sweet and sour dishes in general. I just think pineapple once “cooked” tastes so delicious.

You can also add some toasted cashews or sweet cashews to give this dish a little bit of a nutty and earthy aroma. If you have a shellfish or seafood allergy you can replace the shrimps/prawns with chicken.

I think the most difficult part of this recipe is how to dig out the pineapple meat from the pineapple. We will use the shell of the pineapple to serve our pineapple fried rice inside. I have included procedure photos with information on what to do in this article.

pineapple prawn fried rice ingredients
Procedures for how to dig out the pineapple meat:
pineapple prawn fried rice

1. Take a whole pineapple

pineapple prawn fried rice
2. Slice the pineapple along the middle
pineapple prawn fried rice
pineapple prawn fried rice

3. Cut around the inside of edge of the pineapple in a square pattern

pineapple prawn fried rice
pineapple prawn fried rice
pineapple prawn fried rice

4. It’s easiest if you cut out the pineapple meat in square or rectangular sections. This method is much tidier

pineapple prawn fried rice

5. Pineapple meat has been cut-out. You may need to pull the meat out by hand but this is perfectly fine.

 

Pineapple Prawn Fried Rice

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 25 pcs prawns peel, de-vein and clean
  • 800 g pineapple 1 small whole pineapple including skin, head, etc
  • 450 g rice cold or leftover
  • 2 spring onions keep all parts
  • 100 g Frozen peas and sweetcorn
  • 100 g carrot small diced
  • 4 eggs large

Seasonings

  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • Salt to taste

Marinade for prawns

  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1 tsp rice wine
  • 1/4 tsp coarse black pepper

Instructions

  1. Marinade prawns with marinade for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Mix 3 eggs yolks with cold rice and leave aside.
  3. Beat the other egg, egg whites and leave aside.
  4. Cut pineapple into half and dig out the pineapple, then cut the pineapple meat into small dices.
  5. Boil water in a small saucepan and cook carrots until al-dente and add peas and sweet corn to finish. Drain the water and leave aside.
  6. Heat up a little bit of oil in a wok and stir-fry onions first until they are soft. Then add pineapple to stir-fry for 20 seconds.
  7. Add prawns and stir-fry until it starts to change to a red colour. Cook until prawns have completely turned red in colour then place on a plate and leave them aside.
  8. Clean the wok and dry it. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and stir-fry the green part of the spring onion first until the fragrance comes out.
  9. Add beaten eggs and stir-fry it like scramble eggs. When you see the eggs still half runny, add rice and stir-fry it. Use a wooden spoon to gently press the rice and mix up to try to loose any lumps in the rice.
  10. Add white part of spring onion and vegetables (carrot, sweet corn and peas) then keep stir-frying for another 30 seconds.
  11. Add prawns and pineapple back in the wok and stir-fry for a further 20 seconds.
  12. Add salt and soy sauce into rice and stir-fry for another 20 seconds. Ready.

Simple Chinese Garlic Chicken with Quinoa Salad

Simple Chinese Garlic Chicken with Quinoa Salad. Quinoa has become a really popular grain/food in recent years. There are more and more talking about quinoa so I decided to get my hands on some of these little seeds. Yes, quinoa is actually a “seed” and it’s not to be confused with any kind of cereal.

Here are some of the health benefits of quinoa:

  1. Quinoa is a nutritious dense grain.
  2. Quinoa is gluten-free
  3. Quinoa contains high levels of protein and is one of a few plants to do so
  4. Consuming Quinoa regularly can help your body to reduce the risk of inflammation
  5. Quinoa is also high in fibre so it can also help your body to maintain healthy levels of blood sugar
  6. Consuming Quinoa in your diet regularly can also help your body reduce the risk of allergies
  7. Lower your cholesterol and help maintain HDL cholesterol level.

Quinoa is also high in iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and Vitamin E. So it’s no wonder people often called quinoa a superfood.

Before writing this blog post I had never eaten or cooked quinoa before so to be honest I just followed the instructions from the packaging on how to cook. Turns out it’s a really easy thing to cook.

I just love the texture of quinoa. i think it tastes better than cous cous and if you like your quinoa quite soft then you can add a bit more water to cook but if you like it a little al-dente then reduce the amount of the water you use to cook it.

Quinoa is not a typical food in Chinese cooking so I will say this dish is a bit like Chinese meats Western type of food. I use the marinade in this post for chicken legs really often and you can use the marinade with pretty much any kind of meat. You can also coat the meat with some flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs to deep-fry the chicken after marinading. You can also roast it in the oven and either way will taste really good. If you’re not a fan of chicken legs then you can use chicken breast instead.

What I will often do to save time and hassle is buy a few chicken legs or chicken breasts, depending on what I fancy, and marinade in this way then separate into smallish portions. I’ll bag them in a freezer bag, free them and that’s dinner sorted out for at least a couple meals.

This is an ideal week day dinner or lunch for any household.

chinese garlic chicken and quinoa salad

Ingredients

chinese garlic chicken and quinoa salad

How to Debone a Chicken

chinese garlic chicken with quinoa salad
chinese garlic chicken with quinoa salad
chinese garlic chicken with quinoa salad
chinese garlic chicken with quinoa salad
chinese garlic chicken with quinoa salad
chinese garlic chicken with quinoa salad
chinese garlic chicken with quinoa salad
chinese garlic chicken with quinoa salad
chinese garlic chicken with quinoa salad
chinese garlic chicken with quinoa salad
chinese garlic chicken with quinoa salad
chinese garlic chicken with quinoa salad

 

Simple Chinese Garlic Chicken with Quinoa Salad

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken de-boned, including thigh and drumstick
  • 100 g white quinoa
  • 500 ml boiling water for cooking the quinoa
  • 100 g cucumber cut into half then slice 0.5cm thick
  • 8 cherry tomatoes cut into half
  • Coriander and mint finely chop

Marinade for Chicken legs

  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp coarse black pepper

Seasonings for Quinoa Salad

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 lime zest and juice
  • 1/2 tsp demerara sugar
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil

Instructions

  1. De-bone the chicken legs and marinade with all the seasonings from the light soy sauce to coarse black pepper for at least 30 minutes. I would recommend you marinade overnight if you can as everything will taste much better.
  2. Follow the instructions on the packaging of the quinoa. I rinsed the quinoa under cold water a few times to wash away the bitterness of the quinoa.
  3. I soaked the quinoa in cold water for five minutes and drained the water completely. Put boiling water and quinoa in a saucepan and bring it to a boil first. Then turn to lowest heat, simmer and cover the quinoa until the water is nearly dry and the quinoa is tender. Then it’s ready (this will take around 15-20 minutes).
  4. Use a fork to loosen up the quinoa and mix with all the seasonings from salt to olive oil. Then leave aside to cool down.
  5. Pre-heat an oven to 200c.
  6. Heat up some oil in frying pan or skillet. Place the chicken legs skin side down and fry each side for 2 minutes then put in the oven and roast for 10 minutes.
  7. Use the remaining oil in the frying pan to quickly fry cucumber and cherry tomatoes for 20 seconds.
  8. Mix step 6 cherry tomatoes, cucumber, chopped coriander and mint with the quinoa.
  9. Let the chicken legs cool down a little bit then slice and serve with some quinoa salad.
  10. You can garnish this dish with some chopped coriander, mint and some lime.

Green Papaya and Sirloin Salad

Nothing is better on a hot summer day than a big delicious bowl of salad. This green papaya and sirloin steak salad isn’t exactly an authentic Chinese or Taiwanese dish but it’s more like an Asian inspired salad dish that I really like.

As I live in Scotland, we don’t really get any “summer”, at least not the kind of summer that I was used to when I lived in Taiwan or China. In China and Taiwan, the temperature can reach a sweltering 38 degrees or even hotter but in Scotland right now the temperature is around 16 degrees.

I’m still wearing long sleeves as for me it’s still a bit cold. Chris and I were talking about eating hot pot soon as recently it’s been raining quite a lot and every time it rains the temperature drops. Sometimes the temperature can be as low as 8 degrees in Edinburgh on a summer day.

For this you can replace the cucumber, onion and even green papaya for other vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, peppers and celery. You can even try to add in apple or Asian pear if you wish. I improvise my cooking a lot of the time as there are so many ingredients from the East I simply can’t get hold of in the UK so after years of living in Edinburgh I have learnt to improvise and adapt my food to the ingredients I can get here.

green papaya sirloin salad

Also, please feel free to adjust the seasonings for the marinade and sauce. If you want the sauce to be more sour then add more lemon but if you want to cut down the amount of salt you eat then leave the salt out of the sauce.

I garnished this dish with some chopped mint. Mint is hot a herb we usually use in Chinese cuisine but as explained earlier this is an Asian influenced dish so I added mint because I think the flavour of the mint compliments this dish perfectly.

green papaya sirloin salad

If you are not a fan of red meat, you can use chargrill chicken or pork instead of the steak. You can also use prawn or fish to replace the steak and you can even use horseradish instead of wasabi to give the dish a different kind of flavour.

I didn’t use a lot of wasabi in this recipe because I worry maybe it’s too strong for some people’s tastes but I personally really enjoy that special kick the wasabi gives to this recipe so personally I put a lot of wasabi in this dish when I make it at home.

Green Papaya:

green papaya ingredient
green papaya ingredient

You can purchase green papaya in local Chinese/Asian supermarket or Amazon.

You can also use green papaya make a soup. Check out my recipe for green papaya soup on about.com.

To learn about all health benefits of papaya check out this article: http://www.well-beingsecrets.com/papaya-health-benefits/

 

 

Green Papaya and Sirloin Salad

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 700 g sirloin steak
  • 200 g green papaya julienne
  • 70 g cucumber julienne
  • 85 g onion julienne
  • 1 chili remove seeds and julienne
  • Mint just for garnish

Marinade for sirloin steak

  • 1.5 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 pinches coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp demerara sugar

Ingredients for sauce

  • 1/4 tsp wasabi
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce

Instructions

  1. Marinade the sirloin stead for 30 minutes. If you have time leave it to marinade longer.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce evenly and leave aside.
  3. Mix the julienned green papaya with a couple pinches of salt and leave it aside for at lease 10 minutes.
  4. Chargrill the steak to how you like it then leave it aside to cool down.
  5. Mix all the vegetables together and place on a serving plate.
  6. Slice steak and put on top of the step 5.
  7. You can pour the sauce on top of the steak or pour the sauce on top of the green papaya salad as you wish.
  8. Garnish the dish with some chopped mint and grilled lemon. Ready to serve.

Shanghai Style Sweet and Sour Pork

It’s very likely at some point in your life you’ve eaten something sweet and sour. If you’ve eaten sweet and sour you’ve almost certainly eaten Cantonese style sweet and sour and it had either pork or chicken. But have you ever tried “Shanghai Style Sweet and Sour Pork”?

Shanghai style sweet and sour pork is one of my all time favourite dishes and is a dish my grandfather used to cook for me when I was a child. My grandfather was a great cook and this combined with all of his love made me madly fall in love with this dish.

To be very honest with you I’m not really a fan of sweet and sour pork that is made with ketchup (Cantonese style). I just think ketchup based sweet and sour pork is too strong for me but I love this Shanghai style sweet and sour pork.

This dish uses “black vinegar” instead of rice vinegar and you can use any kind of sugar you want for this dish. I personally prefer to use demerara sugar or rock sugar for this dish because these two types of sugar have much more flavour than caster sugar.

You can use pork ribs cut into small cubes if you want to (I cooked this dish with pork ribs for my upcoming cookbook “Home-Style Chinese Cooking”) or you can use pork belly (my favourite), pork loin or shoulder roast. If you don’t like pork at all you can substitute pork with diced chicken breast.

As of June 2016 I’m finally finished with studying at university and my life over the last five years has been absolutely manic. My illustration business is really busy at the moment and it looks like I’m going to be very busy until next Spring at least. This is making me immensely happy and with my four year old daughter at nursery four whole days a week I’m now making time to update this food blog again. A lot of my illustration work and a lot of my work in general is because of food and I love updating this blog when I can so I’m back.

I also have a third cookbook which I’m going to have published soon. The title of the book is “Home-Style Chinese Cooking” and I have to admit it’s been bloody hard work combining working part time, working and studying as an illustrator as well as raising a four year old energizer bunny but I’m proud of what I’ve created and can’t wait to see the book. Please stay tuned!

 

shanghai style sweet and sour pork

 

 

Shanghai Style Sweet and Sour Pork

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 800 g pork belly skinless and cut into cubes
  • 1.25 litres water for cooking the pork belly
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 750 ml oil for deep frying the pork

Ingredients for marinading the pork belly

  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp salt

Ingredients for batter

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 tbsp plain flour

Seasonings

  • 3 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp demerara sugar you can use caster or rock sugar instead
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp black vinegar

Instructions

  1. Marinade pork belly with marinade for couple hours.
  2. Boil 1.25 litres water and 2 slices of ginger in a stock pot and add pork belly. Bring it to a boil first then simmer for 40 minutes. Drain the water.
  3. Mix step 2 pork belly with all the ingredients for batter.
  4. Heat up 750ml oil in a wok or deep saucepan. Deep fry the pork belly until it’s golden colour, take it out from the oil and drain the oil.
  5. Heat up 3 tablespoon water and 3 tablespoon demerara sugar and cook until the water and sugar turn into thick syrup.
  6. Turn the fire to medium temperature. Add pork belly in and keep stirring for a couple minutes until the syrup looks like it has coated the pork belly.
  7. Add light soy sauce and keep stirring for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Add black vinegar and keep stirring for 1 minutes. Ready to serve.

 

The Illustrative Chef Illustrated Cookbook

illustrated cookbookillustrated cookbookillustrated cookbookillustrated cookbook

The Illustrative Chef 30 Illustrated Recipes by Liv Wan” is my first “illustrated” cookbook. Two years ago I published my first cookbook, which was a great thing to do, but just in the last week my second cookbook has come out and this time it’s entirely illustrated. For me as an illustrator this is a really big achievement.

At the beginning of 2015 a really popular and wonderful recipe illustration website called “They Draw and Cook” announced they would publishing books for a few illustrators throughout the year. I believe only 5 or 6 illustrators will be published but their competition was to come up with 30 recipes, submit them to their website and certain illustrators would be selected. I was one of them.

So over the last six months I had to illustrate close to 30 brand new recipes and I can tell you now it wasn’t easy. There are multiple reasons for this including having a child, my studying at university etc but the biggest challenge was to literally challenge myself to create the best illustrations I could produce. If you look at some of my old illustrations compared to these you’ll see there is a night and day different. My way of working in terms of layout, style and colour has completely changed. Some of the recipe are in children’s book style while some focus just on the ingredients.

So let’s talk about the recipes and food as this might be interesting for the foodies who visit my website. Some of the recipes have been accumulated from my time working as a chef, some are personal favourites that I eat at home and some are from memory. All of the recipes are delicious though and most are very easy to follow and generally quick to make. There are a couple exceptions, the Ramen recipe being an example, but one thing I will point out is I made every single recipe while making the book just to make sure they tasted great.

So this book “The Illustrative Chef 30 Illustrated Recipes by Liv Wan” is not only a feast for your tummy but it’s also a feast for your eyes.

This book is only on sale on Amazon but you can purchase it at any Amazon. Amazon has many great things going for it including free delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books and if you want to purchase my book for your friends or family, Amazon even provide a gift wrap and gift card service.

If you are thinking about buying a special and beautiful cookbook that full of delicious recipes, this is the book for you.

The Illustrative Chef Amazon USA

The Illustrative Chef Amazon UK

illustrated cookbookillustrated cookbookillustrated cookbook

Cockle Meatballs Recipe

cockle meatballs recipe

Today’s recipe is a Chinese cockle meatballs recipe I learnt whilst I lived in Shanghai but before that a little update about things.

I really expected when I quit my job working as a chef my life would become quieter and while it’s an awful lot less stressful I’m busier than ever with my freelance illustration work. I’ve picked up a few commissions recently, two of which came from my home country Taiwan. One job is to initially create 6 illustrations based on popular tourist spots in Taiwan for a Taiwanese souvenir company. The other is to illustrate a children’s interactive book this time for a publisher in Taiwan. I’m also working on a top secret commission job which I can’t discuss right now but this is also something I’m really excited about. One thing I will say, my illustration for the last project will be viewable in supermarkets soon.

Back to the food, I made these cockle meatballs around a month about but due to Chris and myself having absolutely tonnes of work to do we literally haven’t had time until now to sort out the photos and type up the recipe.

I ate these cockle meatballs while I lived in Shanghai but in Shanghai restaurants they use clams (蛤) instead for making this meatballs dish and they cook this dish with super sweet soy sauce, which is a bit too sweet for me. But in general, I really like this dish no matter the flavour or the presentation. So I remade this dish at home myself based on my memory of this dish but turn down the sweetness. Also, I found cockles are quite salty, so please be careful with the the seasonings.

cockle meatballs recipe

 

Cockle Meatballs Recipe

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 14 meatballs

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 14 cockles shelled
  • 250 g pork mince you can also use beef mince
  • 1 tsp ginger chop finely
  • 1 tbsp spring onion chop finely
  • 1 egg white

Seasonings

  • 1 tsp potato starch or corn flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Ingredients for sauce

  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 150 ml stock vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce or sticky soy sauce
  • 1 tsp potato starch mix with 2 tbsp water. Makes potato starch water

Instructions

  1. Leave the cockles to soak in water for a couple hours to get rid of any dirt.
  2. Pick the cockles meat out. Keep both meat and shells.
  3. Mix the mince, ginger, spring onions, egg white and all the seasonings in a big bowl. Use your hand to mix it evenly in the same direction for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Chop the cockles up and mix with step 3.
  5. Roll the mixture into small balls and put back into the cockle shells.
  6. Steam the meatballs for 7-9 minutes until the meat is cooked all the way through.
  7. Pour the oyster or stocky soy sauce, sugar and stock into a small sauce pan and boil at first then reduce down the liquid to about half the original amount. Gently stir the potato starch water into the sauce and keep the stove at a lot heat. Keep stirring while cooking and turn off the fire after the sauce has started to boil.
  8. Place the cockle meatballs on a plate and pour the sauce on it. The dish is ready to serve.

cockle meatballs recipe