Browsing Category: "Lunch"

Chinese Roast Pork

Chinese, Dinner, Lunch, Pork March 13th, 2007

roast pork

My mother-in-law made some chinese roast pork when we were in Kuching for the Chinese New Year. Chinese roast pork here refers to siew yuk (in cantonese) or sio bak (in hokkien). With a crispy crackling roasted skin and semi-tender meat, you can be assured of spoonfuls after spoonfuls of rice to go with it. No wonder I put on weight over Chinese New Year!

roast pork salt

In Malaysia, there are many roast pork rice stalls around. It is very popular. A plate of white / fragrant rice with a few cuts of these roast pork and a couple of pieces of sliced cucumbers can cost about USD1.00 on the average depending where you go to. Very cheap, right? Absolutely.


This is my mother-in-law’s recipe for Chinese Roast Pork and the measurements are approximate only because she cooks it more by feel than using a strict recipe to follow.





  • 1 piece of pork belly weighing approximately 1 kg
  • 3 tablespoons of coarse / rock salt
  • 2 tablespoons of fine salt
  • 1 tablespoon of five-spice powder




Clean pork belly and pat dry with kitchen towel. Rub fine salt and five-spice powder on meat. Rub coarse salt on skin.


Heat up oven at gas mark 4 (about 180 degrees celcius). Place pork belly on a rack with a tray underneath to catch dripping oil. Roast the pork belly for at least 30 minutes and until the coarse salt crystalises just like in the picture above.


Remove the salt crystals and continue to roast till the skin is crispy. (Alternatively, what my mother-in-law did was to remove the pork belly and fry the pork belly in a wok with skin-downwards and without oil on medium heat till the skin turned crispy)


I have heard of some of the chinese roast pork recipe which called for the pork belly skin to be poked with a sharp knife so as to enable the fat to ooze out faster during roasting. You can try this additional step as well prior to rubbing the coarse salt.


Cut into small bite sizes prior to serving.

Technorati Tags: recipe, chinese, roast, pork, food

Belacan Miding

Dinner, Lunch, Vegetable March 12th, 2007


miding belacan

Fancy a dish of paku miding or miding fern? I tell you, it is absolutely delicious! So far, I have not encountered it in the markets in Kuala Lumpur but it is available in Kuching, Sarawak. If you were to ask me to choose between Belacan Kangkong and Belacan Miding, I will go for the latter anytime. The fern is very crunchy to the bite and tastes wonderful with belacan (shrimp paste).


Miding is quite expensive nowadays. The small bunch above costs RM2.00 per bunch but that is not all. Only the tip of the fern is used in cooking and the rests and discarded due to its tough fibrous feel. On the other hand, the tip is tender yet crunchy to the bite.


miding close up

Back in the years when I used to stay in Kuching, I’ve seen some women gathering the miding fern from thick bushes along the road side. It is no mean feat as much needs to be gathered. The tip of the fern will wilt during cooking and thus, the volume of the dish will decrease. I suppose many people like this dish because it is probably pesticide free. Nature’s good stuff!

And here is my recipe for Belacan Miding


  • About 500 grammes of paku miding (pluck tips only like what is shown above, discard the rest)
  • About 20 to 40 grammes of belacan
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 5 cloves shallots
  • About 30 grammes of dried prawns (pre-soaked for 15 minutes)
  • 5 red chillies (remove seed if you prefer it less spicy)
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons cooking oil (palm oil preferred)


Pound or blend belacan, garlic, shallots, dried prawns and red chillies.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in wok and saute belacan mix till aromatic (approximately 1 minute). Add another tablespoon of oil if belacan mix too dry or begin to burn.

Add miding to belacan mix and stir-fry briskly. Add water and continue stir frying till water almost dried up (but miding is moist).

Dish up and serve with steamed white rice.

Technorati Tags: recipe, asian, malaysian, miding, belacan, vegetable

Sugar Snap Peas with Tiny Anchovies

Chinese, Dinner, Lunch, Vegetable March 9th, 2007

snap peas


After all the excesses from the last fattening recipe, it is time to go for moderation a bit. Hence, this recipe of Sugar Snap Peas with Tiny Anchovies. And these tiny anchovies are probably the smallest fish that is served on people’s plates. For hokkiens, we call them “ghun he”. I don’t know what they are called in English…suffice to say, they only measure on the average 10 – 15mm long.


So, this recipe calls for sugar snap peas and tiny anchovies plus the compulsory garlic and oil. Seasoning? Just oyster sauce will do. Simple, isn’t it? That’s what I like about this dish. The sugar snap peas are sweet (why else use the word sugar?) and the tiny anchovies lend a hint of saltiness to it. To prepare the sugar snap peas, you must remove strings which run across the pod. To do this, pinch the very tip of the pea, getting hold of the string. Pull the string up the straightest side toward the stem end; pinch off the stem end and continue pulling the string until there is no more.


This is the recipe for Sugar Snap Peas with Tiny Anchovies




  • 200 grammes or 1 bowl of sugar snap peas
  • 2 tablespoons tiny anchovies (give a quick very rinse of water to get rid of dust / dirt)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoon of cooking oil (palm oil)
  • Warm water for sprinkling



  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce



Heat oil in wok. Add tiny anchovies and reduce heat to medium. Fry the anchovies till golden brown. Remove anchovies and set aside to cool.

With remaining oil in wok, add garlic and fry till aromatic. Increase heat to high and add sugar snap peas. Stir fry continually for 2 to 3 minutes whilst adding oyster sauce. Sprinkle some warm water occasionally to prevent drying up.

Serve on plate and sprinkle fried anchovies on top of the sugar snap peas.


Technorati Tags: sugar snap peas, peas, anchovies, recipe, chinese, vegetable

Stir Fried Celery with Prawns and Straw Mushrooms

Chinese, Dinner, Lunch, Seafood, Vegetable February 14th, 2007

celery prawns


I am quite fond of celeries. This vegetable is highly fibrous and good for health. When made into celery juice, it does reduce the bad cholesterol of some patients. But I don’t really like celery juice because it tastes rather funny. Saltish, I would say. Most of the time, I would just stir fry the celery with carrots, mushrooms and prawns.


I really did not intend to cook the straw mushrooms on this occasion. That morning, i bought a can of straw mushrooms only to drop it whilst driving and thus causing a dent on the can. Since the can is dented, I cannot be keeping the can of straw mushrooms longer for fear of possible leaching of iron (I am still struggling to understand this bit). Anyway, the dish turned out well and we truly had an enjoyable meal. The crunchiness of the celery and carrots were balanced by the smoothness of the mushrooms. The prawns lended its sweetness to the dish. Voila!


This is my recipe for Stir Fried Celery with Prawns and Straw Mushrooms


  • 1 stalk celery (cut to 4 cm lengths)
  • 1 medium sized carrot (sliced)
  • Half can of straw mushrooms (about 10 pieces – you can use more, it doesn’t really matter)
  • 8 pieces of medium sized prawns (deveined, leaving shell intact)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • Corn starch (mix 1 tablespoon corn flour with 100 ml water)
  • 50 ml warm water
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (palm oil)


  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of fish sauce
  • a couple of dashes of white pepper powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of MSG (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of chinese cooking wine



Heat oil in wok and saute garlic till beginning to brown. Add prawns and stir for 15 seconds. Remove prawns and set aside.


Add celery, carrots and straw mushrooms into the wok and continue stir frying for 1 minute. Add seasoning and water and bring to boil. Return prawns into the rest of the ingredients.


Cook for another 2 minutes and add corn starch to thicken gravy (if necessary).


Serve hot with white rice.


Technorati Tags: Recipe, Food, Malaysia, Chinese, Celery, Prawns

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