Fed up with slow-paced, mundane jobs and coming home to see the same boring and tedious food from yesterday? Here’s something to spark up your taste buds! With the hottest chilli peppers and juicy slices of marinated pork, be sure to expect a dazzling surprise! Ideal as a stir-fry side dish to your main course.
- 4 Fresh red chilli peppers
- 4 Fresh green chilli peppers
- 200g Pork Loin (Expensive) or Pork Belly (Cheap)
- Knob of root ginger
- Spring onions
- Bunch of coriander
- Cooking wine
- 1 Tbsp Soy sauce
- 1 Tsp Five spice powder
- 1 Tbsp Sesame seed oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Vegetable oil
- First, cut the pork into thin slices using a large, wide blade (size of the slice may vary depending on preference). Be sure to slice on an angle and against the lines of the flesh. Place in a bowl and season with salt, pepper, cooking wine, diced ginger, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Mix thoroughly and seal with plastic film; leave to marinate for 15 – 30 minutes.
- Next, clean the chilli peppers, removing all stalks and cutting off any unpleasant ends. Carefully clear away the seeds and tips (or just skip this step if you are feeling adventurous!). Slice diagonally into long, thin strips.
- Fry the pork slices first, on high heat with vegetable oil and five spice powder. When caramelization begins, remove and drain well. Then, using the same oil from before, stir-fry the chilli peppers. Be sure to keep the peppers in constant motion, as they tend to loose their ultimate crunch quite easily. Add finely chopped spring onions and 1 tablespoon of sesame seed oil. Immediately add the cooked pork slices and simmer for 1 minute.
- Serve with a generous sprinkle of coriander.
Tips & Tricks
- When stir-frying, always wait until oil is extremely hot (smoking slightly) before adding anything. This is to make sure every ingredient remains juicy and tender.
- Never fry the chilli peppers for too long (maximum 2 minutes), to preserve its crunchiness.
- Sesame seed oil tends to overbear the natural flavors of pork and peppers. Use sparingly.
As one of the most famous dishes in China, it has a multitude of variations and twists. Coming down to the most basic, modest form, it is irresistibly rich and truly delicious, especially when served with a bowl of steamed rice and vegetable stir-fry. Watch the calories though, this delightful pork dish will have you craving for it day and night!
- 750g Pork Belly ( Wu Hua Rou)
- 4-5 Dried Red Chillies
- 2 Star Anise
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 2 Tbsp Rock Sugar
- 4-5 Pieces Root Ginger
- Spring Onions
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil or Vegetable oil
- 3 ½ Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- 3 ½ Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Cooking Wine
- Cut the large sheet of pork belly into neat 3cm cubes. Bring a wide pan of water to the boil, and lower the pork belly into the pan; simmer for 5 minutes, or until cooked on all surfaces. Drain the pork belly and cool slightly. While the pork is cooking, chop spring onions into short cylinders, and ginger into thin slices.
- Using a wok or wide, deep pan, heat oil and rock sugar over a low-medium heat to melt the sugar. Once sugar begins to caramelize, turn to high heat and add spring onions (save half for later), ginger, one cinnamon stick and star anise. Fry until the aroma of the ingredients really begin to kick in. Slowly add in the pork pieces. Careful of oil spitting!
- Stir fry in the wok for 3 minutes, then add cooking wine, dried chillies and both soy sauces. Rest again for 3 minutes, then pour in about ⅓ of a cup of water, and bring to a gentle simmer on low heat. Cook for about 1 ½ hours, or until very tender.
- Plate up the pork when it is ready, leaving the juicy sauces behind. Boil the sauce until it is reduced to a syrup. Pour the hot, creamy liquid over the pork belly, and sprinkle with the remaining spring onions.
Tips & Tricks
- Serve with steamed rice as the pork belly is likely to be quite rich.
- Avoid using too much oil, as the pork itself will contain some fat.
- Look for pork belly which has 5 defined layers in the flesh.
Riceballs are the true Asian dish, blending together the authentic creamy texture of sticky rice with a crunchy chestnut + mince filling. A small, delicious snack that is so easy to make and far tastier than your ubiquitous ready-made versions in supermarkets or lunch-bars. They can be enjoyed at any time! Perfect for kid’s parties or as an add-on to your Sunday roast.
- 5-6 Water chestnuts
- 5-6 Shiitake mushrooms
- 5-6 Shelled shrimps
- 200g Mince
- 250g Sticky rice (glutinous)
- Spring onions
- Root ginger
- 1 Tsp Sea salt
- 2 Tbsp cooking wine
- Sesame seeds
- 1 Mexican round chilli (Optional)
- Before you start, soak the sticky rice in a large bowl, filling it with water up to 1 ½ cm over the surface of the rice, and leave to stand for 3 – 4 hours. Do the same with Shiitake mushrooms, after cleaning and cutting off stalks.
- Place the mince in a deep, round bowl, and season with salt, pepper, cooking wine and finely grated or diced ginger. Then grab a wooden spatula or wide spoon, and stir the mixture in one direction only for 10 minutes. This makes the filling firm, preventing sogginess and softness. Add finely diced water chestnut, shrimps and Shiitake mushrooms. Stir the mixture again until it forms a large clump.
- Break off a small knob of filling, and make a small ball of about 2 ½ cm in diameter with your hands. Pour away any excess water from the sticky rice bowl. Roll the filling ball on the surface of the sticky rice, until all surfaces are coated, then place in a bamboo steamer. Repeat the steps until you have used all filling. The mixture should make approximately 20 riceballs. Roughly chop up some spring onions (plus the Mexican pepper if you wish) and sprinkle over the riceballs to give it some extra kick.
- Bring a deep pan of water to the boil, and stack the steamers on top of the pan. Cover with a lid and steam for 10 – 12 minutes. Remove spring onions and chilli. Serve immediately with a scatter of sesame seeds.
Tips & Tricks
- Do not be tempted to remove the lid of the steamer to check on the progress of the riceballs. This will simply ruin the cooking pressure it has build up.
- If the mixture is still slightly watery after stirring, add 1 teaspoon of starch powder to help it stick together.
- Make sure the ingredients that are added to the filling are diced as finely as possible, to avoid clumps.