Cantonese Roast Crackling Pork

Cantonese Roast Crackling Pork

cantonese roast crackling pork

Recently I’ve been seriously struggling with daylight. I planned to cook three dishes this week but with the sun now starting to go down around 2:30pm I can’t do a lot of photography after I have finished cooking. This is really annoying me! It’s very hard to take nice food photos without natural or studio lighting and I’m definitely not an early bird person on my days off. As a note I work from 9am typically until 12am-1am, once customers have ordered their final desserts. I’m not a wealthy person who can spend a couple thousand pounds on studio lighting and I’m not a housewife so time is limited.

So, rant over. Now I’m thinking about new ideas for my blog. Sometimes life’s difficulties are a good thing and it’s made me think about preparing quicker dishes to cook. Some of the most simple dishes are the tastiest.

I had a chat with one of my colleages the other day at work. She told me she really likes my blog but a lot of the dishes have too many ingredients and involve too much preparation. This conversation made me think a lot. I really value everyone’s opinion of food and what they like to learn or see from my blog, it gives me new ideas and a new point of view to my cooking.

Here is my latest recipe. This ideas of this roast crackling pork is from one of my favourite Chinese restaurants in the UK called “Imperial Palace”. Everytime I go there I want to eat this dish and it makes me keep coming back. So, I decided to give it a go. In the end it’s turned out not too bad.

Credits: Preparation photos were taken by myself but final photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com

 

Cantonese Roast Crackling Pork

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 850 g pork belly
  • 3 spring onions cut into 3cm lengthways
  • 3 slices ginger

Seasonings

  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan pepper
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • Soy sauce a small but no exact amount
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda

Instructions

  1. Wash the pork belly and cook in boiling water with spring onion and ginger. Cook pork belly for 5 minutes and prod a skewer inside pork. If no blood comes out it’s cooked. Soak in cold water immediately and dry it with a clean tea towel or napkin.
  2. Use a dry frying pan to sauté the Sichuan pepper until the aroma comes out. Then use a pestle and mortar to grind the Sichuan peppers into a powder.
  3. Prod the skin part with a skewer or the tool that I have pictured in this post. I bought this tool from local Chinese supermarket for about £5.
  4. Brush the soy sauce on every side of pork belly. Mix all the seasonings together evenly and gently rub the seasonings on pork belly. Leave the pork belly marinade for 2 hours.
  5. Tin foil wrap the side and bottom of the pork belly. Only leave the skin part unwrap. Put the pork belly on the middle oven shelf. Pre-heat the oven to 230 degrees and roast for 20~30 minutes.
  6. Take out the pork and brush a thin layer of oil. Roast in oven (temperature 180 degree C) for another 20 minutes.

 

Fried Wonton authentic recipe

Fried Wonton authentic recipe

fried wonton recipe

Wontons are a very popular dish in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Even different provinces in China have different names and different cooking styles for this popular dish.

There are many different stories about Wontons. My favourite story is about how Xi Shi created this dish. Xi Shi is one of the four most beautiful women in Chinese history. She originally comes from Kingdom of Yue during period of time called Spring And Autumn.

During a war with King Fuchai of Wu, King Goujian of Yue was imprisoned after he was defeated. After his imprisonment, King Goujian of Yue secretly planned his revenge. He trained beautiful women and offered them to Fuchai as a gift and Xi Shi was one of those beautiful women.

Xi Shi created Wonton during her mission for which she was to seduce King Fuchai. One day, during a big party, King Fuchai became sick of all of the food at his party and became annoyed. Xi Shi ran to the kitchen in a panic to try and find food to please King Fuchai. King Fuchai took one bite of her Wonton and was surprised by the taste of it. He asked Xi Shi “what is this tasty dish?”

Xi Shi thought King Fuchai was a completely ignorant, chaotic, stupid pig. In Chinese language, there is a word which sounds very similar to wonton which translates to chaotic, so she decided to call this dish Wonton.

So, this is basically how Wonton was created. Even though the name for this dish isn’t that affectionate it doesn’t affect the taste. I deep-fried the wonton today instead of serving it in more traditional wonton soup as I really like the crunchiness of the batter. I have to say I really love wontons whether they are in soup or deep-fried but my personal preference is for deep-fried.

Credits: Preparation photos were taken by myself but final photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com

fried wonton procedure
fried wonton procedure

 

Fried Wonton authentic recipe

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 25 wontons

Ingredients

  • 250 g prawn
  • 100 g pork shoulder meat cut into small dices
  • 3 spring onion chop roughly
  • 2 slices ginger chop roughly
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice wine
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 30 sheets wonton pastry

Instructions

  1. Process half of the prawn, pork, spring onion, ginger and all the seasonings in a food processor.
  2. Roughly chop the other half of the prawn and mix evenly with step 1 (this ensures the filling texture tastes better).
  3. Put 1 teaspoon of filling in the centre of the pastry and use your fingers to gently close the pastry tightly as shown in the procedure photos.
  4. Heat a wok with some oil at full gas power. Put the wontons into the wok and turn off the gas and let the wonton fry until the wonton turns a nice golden colour.

Recipe Notes

** Oil temperature is about 180 degree. Turn off the gas after placing the wonton inside so it cooks through. This will ensure the outside doesn’t burn but the inside isn’t raw.

 

Deep fried chicken legs with savoury sticky rice

Normally for female chefs it’s very hard to get promotion and near impossible in my home country but no matter how hard you work men always seem to get the promotions first. So after I left college I worked as a chef for a period of time but couldn’t go anywhere with it and gave it up for a few years. Then I moved to the UK in 2007 and found I could get a job as a chef fairly easily and have gone on from since then.

During my time in the UK I have worked in two really top quality restaurants and a number of lesser quality restaurants but as some may now getting promoted as a chef takes time. So, I joined the Witchery in March of this year and after six months I have a promotion. When I was told I have it I nearly danced across the kitchen and almost cried my eyes out but I was afraid he would think I’m a lunatic.

So, it’s now time for me to share a new recipe with you. I saw this “Deep fried chicken leg with savoury sticky rice” dish a long time ago but I’ve always wanted to try to make this dish and now it’s the time for it.

Even though the cooking method for this dish is deep fry it’s not entirely deep-fried. The chicken legs must steam first to make sure the whole shape has set but then you can deep fry it to make the skin turn crispy. I hope you can try it and give me some feedback.

 

Ingredients for savoury sticky rice:

2 cups sticky rice, soak with 3 cups of water for 1 hour
300g of pork belly. Remove the skin and cut it into rectangle shape as per the procedure photo.
4 dried shitake mushrooms, soak in warm water to soften it and thin slice it after.
2 tablespoons dried shrimp, soak in warm water to soften it and chop roughly after.
2 slices ginger, chop roughly
2 cloves garlic, chop roughly
1 spring onion, chop roughly

Seasonings for savoury sticky rice:

½ tablespoon rock sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cut soy sauce
1 ½ cup water
1 tablespoon rice wine

 

Procedures for savoury sticky rice:

  1. Cook the sticky rice in the steamer or rice cooker. The water and rice percentage should be 0.9: 1. So, if it’s 100g of sticky rice and you should pour 90g of water in the rice to cook with. I, personally use a rice cooker to cook my rice so I put my sticky rice and water in a big bowl and pour a cup of water outside of the bowl to cook. It will take around 45 minutes to cook the rice.
  2. Heat a wok with 2 tablespoons oil and stir-fry the garlic, ginger, spring onion. Add the rock sugar after the aroma starts to come out of the wok.
  3. Add pork to stir-fry it until the pork is cooked on the outside.
  4. Then add shitake mushroom and dried shrimp, mix evenly.
  5. Add all the seasoning and water. Boil it first then simmer it to reduce down the sauce.
  6. Mix everything together with cooked sticky rice and pour ¼ teaspoon of sesame oil. This is the savoury sticky rice done.

Ingredients for Deep fry chicken legs with savoury sticky rice:

2 chicken legs, including thighs. De-bone them but we keep the skin.
Some sticky rice

 

Seasonings for Deep fry chicken legs with savoury sticky rice:

1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
½ teaspoon rice wine
Some corn flour

 

Procedures:

  1. Marinade the chicken legs with salt, black pepper powder and rice.
  2. Wrap some sticky rice within the chicken legs and wrap up with cling film. Steam for around 15 minutes.
  3. After the chicken legs have cooked. Cool it down before you remove the cling film and coat them with corn flour and deep-fry it in 180-degree oil until the ouside is a nice golden colour.
  4. Cut it into 1.5 cm ~ 2 cm slice to serve with some sweet chilli sauce or ketchup.

* Chicken legs must cool down first before removing the cling film or they will easily break up and cause a problem when deep-frying them.

Credits: Preparation photos were taken by myself but final photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com

Stir fried Cats Ear Noodle

Stir fried Cats Ear Noodle

stir fry cats ear noodle

I can imagine what you are thinking. Oh no, an Eastern person has cooked her cat! Don’t worry, our cat Popo still has his ears. Cat’s ears noodles is an interesting dish with an interesting story behind it.

During the Qing Dynasty, one day the Qianlong Emperor dressed himself as an ordinary person and travelled to West Lake, Hangzhou. He hired a ship and travelled along the West Lake.

Suddenly the weather turned really horrible. It was raining really heavily so they, it’s raining heavily, so they had to stop of the lake until the weather improved and they could continue their journey. However the rain continued and the emperor felt really hungry so he asked the old boatman for some food to eat.

The old boatman told him: “I have some flour but I don’t have a rolling pin to make noodles for you”. When they didn’t know what to do the boatman’s daughter, who was holding a pretty little kitten in her arms, told the boatman “it’s ok that we don’t have a rolling pin, I can use my hands to make noodles”. After she had finished making the noodles, the old old boatman cooked these noodles and mixed it with some sauce and gave Qianlong a bowl of noodle to eat. Qianlong had a bite of the noodle and was surprise about how tasty this noodle was. So he asked the boatman’s daughter for the name of the dish and she answed “Cat’s ears” due to the shape looking a bit like a cat’s ear). Afterwards the Qianlong Emperor went back to his palace and he hired the boatman’s daughter to be his chef and gave her and her family a lot of money and jewellery.

There are many ways to make cat’s ear noodle. I know some people like to make cat’s ear noodle soup or just stir-fry with some dried shitake mushroom and other vegetables. But today I use broad beans and prawn to cook with this cat’s ear noodle because I love broad beans with prawn and stir-fry broad beans with prawn is also another childhood dish for me. I hope you like my story today but also my recipe.

Credits: Preparation photos were taken by myself but final photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com

 

Stir fried Cats Ear Noodle

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Ingredients for cat's ear noodle

  • 1.5 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water

Ingredients for stir-fry cat's ear noodle

  • 1 cup broad beans
  • 250 g baby corn cut into small dices
  • 500 g prawn
  • 1 small carrot diced into 0.5cm squares
  • 2 cloves garlic chop finely
  • 2 thin slice ginger chop finely
  • 1 chili remove seeds and chop finely

Seasonings for stir-fry cat’s ear noodle

  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

Procedures for cat’s ear noodle

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together and use your hands to knead the dough until it’s nice and smooth.
  2. Cover the dough with cling film and leave it for 20 minutes.
  3. After 20 minutes, cut the dough into 3 portions and use a rolling pin to flatten each portion individually, Use a knife to cut it into small dices.
  4. Use your thumb to press down the small dices of dough individually first and then gently push forward. You will see the dough starts curling like a shell.
  5. Boil half a pot of water to cook the noodle. Pour a cup of cold water in the pot when it’s boiling. Repeat this procedure twice and when the noodle is floating on top of the water it’s cooked. Place the noodle into a big bowl and toss with some oil or sesame oil and leave it on aside. It’s now ready to serve.

Procedure for stir-fry cat’s ear noodle

  1. Heat up one tablespoon oil in a wok set to full gas power and stir-fry the garlic, ginger and chilli first until you smell they have cooked. This will take around 10-20 seconds.
  2. Add broad bean and carrot into the wok and stir-fry for 1 minute. Pour water into wok and bring it to the boil.
  3. Once the water is boiling turn the gas power to the lowest temperature and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add all the seasonings into the wok and mix evenly. Place cat’s ear noodle into the wok and stir-fry together for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the prawns to the noodles and continue to stir-fry until the prawns have cooked.

 

Donkey rolling on the ground 驢打滾

Donkey rolling on the ground 驢打滾

donkey rolling on the ground chinese desert

The Fringe Festival is finally going to finish soon and my life can finally can go back to normal. I’m sorry that I can’t reply messages lately but I did try my best. I really miss updating new recipes on my blog and cooking some tasty Chinese or Taiwanese dish at home. The most important thing is to share my recipe with all of you.

Because of being too tired, I started doing some silly things lately. I usually finish work, go home and found out I can’t open my front door by my key. I realized I tried to use my locker key to open my front door when I’m going to knock my door to ask Chris ”Why you lock me outside of our home!” or I always try to open my locker with my front door key and start panicking, what about “Why I can’t open my locker! Ah….I need my knives for work!”

I was planning to cook some tasty Chinese ribs today but unfortunately I’ve done another stupid thing. I left my keys hang on my lockers and I realized it when I arrived home. Thank god, my colleague is such a sweet heart keeping my key for me until I go back to work on Monday.  But I kind of lock myself at home today so I can’t go to supermarket to buy some ingredients for cooking. (sigh….)

Today I’ll share with you this Chinese dessert recipe which has a really funny name in Chinese. It’s called “Donkey Rolling on the Ground” (驢打滾). I know it’s a strange name for a dessert. But this dessert gained this funny name from the look of it. It looks like a donkey rolling on the ground with all the dust cover on the body. It’s really yummy and easy to make. I use peanut powder instead of the cooked soybean powder because I can’t find the soybean powder. But in proper recipe for this dessert should use soybean powder. (I think I should use walnut powder because Taiwanese and Chinese believe walnut is good for your “brain” and I think I really need it at moment LOL). I hope you will enjoy this recipes and also hope you don’t do something silly like me.

Credits: Preparation photos were taken by myself but final photos were taken by Chris at: Chris Radley Photography

 

 

Donkey Rolling on the Ground

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

Ingredients

  • 250 g glutinous rice
  • 250 g water
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 250 g red bean paste
  • Some peanut powder
  • Some honey or dark brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Cook the 250g glutinous rice with 250g water in the steamer or rice cooker.
  2. Pour the cooked glutinous rice into a mixing bowl with 40g caster sugar and use a rolling pin to pound the rice until the rice looks like dough, but you still can see a little bit rice shape in it.
  3. Separate the rice into 3 portions and flatten it into a long  rectangle shape.
  4. Roll the red bean paste into long stripe shape and put it in the middle of the rice.
  5. Roll it with rice into the column shape. Cut it into 3 cm long and coat it with peanut powder.