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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Red Cooked Pork Belly with Lotus Root

Red-cooked pork belly, or as some people called it Chinese braised pork, is one of the most popular dishes in many Chinese and Taiwanese households.

There are many different ways to prepare this dish. You can add vegetables to accompany this dish, including carrots, taro and potatoes, but for this recipe I used something a bit more unique; lotus root.

People often ask me how to cook different Chinese vegetables and one of the Chinese vegetables I can asked more often about is lotus root. It seems like a lot of people have no idea what kind of Chinese vegetables this and even less of an idea what to do with it.

So for this reason, I have tried to include different ways of preparing lotus root in both my blog and also in my cookbooks.

Lotus root is a super food in both Chinese medicine and cuisine. Chinese people believe lotus root can improve your digestive system, help blood circulation, improve energy and help with anti-aging. It’s also high in fiber. Some Chinese people also believe lotus root juice is very good for getting rid of hangovers.

I simply like lotus root because of both the taste and texture of it. Nowadays, it’s much easier to get hold of lotus root outside of the East. You can usually find lotus root in Chinese/Asian supermarkets in their fresh produce fridge section.

You can serve this delicious dish with some hot rice and different kinds of green vegetables. I didn’t use a lot of water to cook this dish with, but if you think it’s a little bit dry while cooking, you can add more water.

You can also use a slow cooker to finish cooking this dish but it naturally takes a longer time to cook. Typically with a slow cooker, if you cook at a high heat it will take roughly 6 hours to cook. This can vary depending on the brand of your slow cooker but please check with your slow cooker provider or the cooking instructions provided with it for advice.

red cooked pork belly with lotus root ingredients

 

 

Red Cooked Pork Belly with Lotus Root

Ingredients

  • 1 kg pork belly (slice into 1.5cm thick slices)
  • 700 g lotus root
  • 2 Spring Onions (slice)
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 slices licorice root
  • 1 chenpi
  • 500 ml water
  • 6 Sugar snap peas (just a handful and not an exact amount)

Marinade for pork belly

  • 3 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce

Seasonings

  • 2.5 tbsp demerara sugar (or rock sugar)
  • 3 tbsp Rice Wine (or shaoxing rice wine)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Salt (to taste)
  1. Slice the pork belly into 1.5 cm thick slices and marinade with light soy sauce and dark soy sauce for at least 30 minutes. Don’t discard the soy sauce left over from marinating the pork.
  2. Wash and peel the lotus root and slice it into 2 cm thick slice and cut each slice it into quarters.
  3. Peel garlic and leave aside.
  4. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan or skillet. Pan fry the pork belly until both sides of the pork belly are golden brown. Leave aside.
  5. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok and stir-fry spring onion, ginger, garlic and all the spices until it’s aroma.
  6. Add the sugar into step 5 and turn down the fire to medium-low heat and gently stir until the sugar starts melting.
  7. Once the sugar has melted add the pork belly back in and mix evenly. This allows the sugar to coat the pork all over.
  8. Add all the seasonings and the left over soy sauce into step 7. Gently stir and mix evenly.
  9. Transfer everything from step 8 (pork belly, sauce and spice) to a stock pot and add lotus root and water. Bring it to a boil first and let it boil for a couple minutes then simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours. Add more water if it’s too dry and check it a couple times while simmering, just in case the sauce dies out. If you decide to cut the pork into different shapes, for example big cubes, the simmer time might increase. So please be aware of this.
  10. You can garnish with some blanched sugar snap peas or snow peas. Serve with some cooked rice.

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.

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.

Deep Fried Prawn Balls with Almond Flakes

deep fried prawn balls with almond flakes
Today’s recipe is Deep Fried Prawn Balls with Almond Flakes but before I get onto the recipe I’ve now been back in the UK from Taiwan for a month now and my life has been very busy but I’m really happy I’ve finally quit my job as a chef. Sometimes you just have to take a jump from one career to another and now I’ve quit working as a chef I’m suddenly got a lot of illustration enquiries so it’s perfect that I’m now working for myself.

I’ve also finally caught up with most of then projects I have been working on but I’m still struggling to find enough time to balance studying, commission projects and family. I have absolutely no idea how I managed to work in a kitchen and do all my other work as well.

With regards to my cookbook, I am always monitoring stock levels of my cookbook on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com so I can get an idea of how well the book is selling (it appears to be selling well). It also allows me to chase up my editor to make sure there is enough stock.

So back to today’s recipe for Deep Fried Prawn Balls with Almond Flakes, this is a dish really suitable for banquets and special events. I’ve always loved seafood, especially prawns, and the deep fried almond flakes are crispy and delicious. Prawns and almonds are a great combination both in terms of texture and flavour and if you put these Deep Fried Prawn Balls together properly they both look and taste great, making them perfect for banquets and special events. So maybe you can make this dish to treat your friends and family.

deep fried prawn balls with almond flakes
 

 

Deep Fried Prawn Balls with Almond Flakes

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 13 balls

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 380 g prawns peeled
  • 120 g fatty pork
  • 75 g onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp spring onions finely chopped
  • 150 g almond flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp potato starch or corn flour
  • 1 egg white
  • 600 ml oil for frying the prawn balls

Seasonings

  • 1/2 tbsp potato starch or corn flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper

Instructions

  1. Use a food processor to process the fatty pork first. Process the pork until it looks like fine mince.
  2. Add the prawns to the mix and process for a further 1-2 minutes. Move everything into a big bowl once the prawns and mince are finely minced.
  3. Add all the seasonings, onion and spring onion. Mix the the mixture clock wise for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Roughly chop the almond flakes and spread onto a plate. This way the almond is smaller and easier to stick to the prawn balls.
  5. Wet both hands with cold water and take a little bit of mixture and roll it into a ball. Repeat this procedures until all the mixture has been rolled into balls.
  6. Coat the prawn balls with almond flakes.
  7. Heat up the oil in a wok and fry the prawn balls at the lowest heat for 3-4 minutes. Moving the prawn balls around gently will help the prawn balls keep a nice round shape. After 3-4 minutes turn the stove to the highest temperature and try the balls until they turned to a nice golden colour.

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

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 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

Seasonings

  • 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

Instructions

  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