Tag Archives : cabbage

Twice-cooked Pork with Noodles

twice-cooked pork with noodles and vegetables

What my esteemed Chinese cookbook told me was that twice-cooked pork is a popular dish where pork is boiled and then stir-fried in chilli bean sauce. I rather thought that that would be a good way to use up the leftover roast pork.

What we would need for two hungry people:

  1. 150 g. of roast pork, sliced into bite sized pieces*
  2. 200 g. of yellow noodles**
  3. 1/2 onion, sliced
  4. 1 cup of sliced cabbage
  5. 1 cup of snow peas***
  6. a few green beans
  7. 2 tbsp of chilli bean sauce
  8. 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  9. 2 tbsp of shao hsing rice wine
  10. 1 tbsp of tomato sauce
  11. a few drops of sesame oil (more…)

Savoury Vegetable Pancakes with Smoked Salmon 5

savoury vegetable pancake with smoked salmon

This dish started off in our household as my attempts at okonomiyaki, which worked really well. I even added katsuobushi for the dancing fish effects. Josh, on the other hand, had decided that because I wasn’t around (this came about during my project in Singapore period) he was free to bastardise my okonomiyaki recipe however he damn wished.


I came home to find my recipe horribly butchered so, as a saving grace, I introduced the smoked salmon and sour cream components and it has worked out a treat since.

You will need for 6 rather large pancakes or many littler ones:

Pancake batter

  1. 3/4 cup of self-raising flour
  2. 1/4 cup of plain flour
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 2 cups of cabbage, thinly sliced*
  5. 1 large-ish carrot, peeled and grated
  6. 2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and grated
  7. 1 tbsp of chopped fresh mint leaves (optional)
  8. 1 tsp of salt
  9. 1 tsp of pepper
  10. 1 zest of lemon
  11. Some milk
  12. Some butter

Mix the flours, egg, salt and pepper together. Add the vegetables and loosen with some milk until the right consistency is achieved (sorry we generally don’t measure).

Add some butter to a non-stick frying pan, spoon the pancake batter and fry until both sides are golden brown.

salmon pancake

To serve:

  1. 1 slice of smoked salmon per large pancake**
  2. 1 tbsp of sour cream
  3. Fresh parsley, chopped

Spoon some sour cream on top of pancake and drape a slice of smoked salmon across. Sprinkle with some chopped fresh parsley.

* He used purple cabbage in the picture. I prefer green cabbage, it tastes better and the colour doesn’t look so wrong the next day.
** For vegetarian option, leave out the smoked salmon and squeeze in a bit of lemon juice into the batter. Serve with sour cream and parsley (or chive)

Roast Chicken with Real Gravy and Roast Vegetables 5

Haha! I made a roast! I am generally so impatient that roasts rarely get made in this household (if anyone doing the roasting, it’s usually Josh. He is the patient one). But I figured, hell, I’m unemployed anyway.

roast chicken dinner

So for our little Saturday roast dinner for two, there are a few components: roast chicken, roast potatoes, parsnip and carrots, gravy and braised cabbage. These are based on Jamie Oliver’s* Perfect Roast Chicken,  Roast Potatoes, Parsnips and Carrots, A Consistently Good Gravy and Braised Bacon Cabbage from his Ministry of Food book but with my own twists and limitations, obviously.

chicken roasting happily

Roast chicken: I send Josh off to do the neighbours a favour by pruning their way-overgrown rosemary bush. Meanwhile, I turn the oven on to 2oo c. (with fan on). I wash and pat the chicken dry**. I had to cough up and buy a lemon because the really nice lemons that Jim gave us are way too big for the chicken’s jacksie. I prick the lemon  few times*** and then nuke it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Good luck and timing have it, Josh came back with some rosemary sprigs. I put some rosemary leaves with the (hot) lemon up the chicken cavity. Dress the chicken with some olive oil, salt, pepper and some more rosemary. I also cut up an onion and a carrot into thick slices and place them on the roasting tray. I rest the chicken on the onion and carrot slices and pour a little bit of water on the roasting tray to prevemt the roasting tray drying out and cremate the veggies because I’ll need them for gravy later. The chicken (weighing about 1.5kg) goes in at 200′ c. for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Check the roast and baste the chicken when necessary. If the onion and carrots are drying out, add a little water to the tray. Not too much because you’ll end up steaming the chicken. Don’t forget to rest your chicken before serving for about 10 minutes.

roasting vegetables


roasted veggies

(After – yes I cremated them a little. Oops.)

Roasted Potatoes, Parsnips and Carrots: Because they only need about 30 minutes in the oven, you can do this while the chicken is roasting in the oven. Start by peeling the 4 small potatoes, halve them if they’re too big and cover with cold water. Bring to boil for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, peel two parnsips and two carrots (again halve them if they’re big). Add to the boiling potatoes for about 3 minutes. Turn the heat off. Put the carrots and parsnips aside while you shuffle the potatoes around in the pan so the outside of the potatoes are a bit mashed up. This is this bit that will get really crispy. Bang them all on the tray with some more crushed garlic, rosemary and olive oil, salt and pepper. Put this in the oven when you have about 30 minutes to go on the chicken on the top shelf.

Braised Cabbage: Slice 1/4 of a cabbage into thin strips (I usually just roll up the leaves and chop them). Pour a bit of olive oil and saute a finely chopped strip of bacon. Add a glug of white wine and a knob of butter and a table spoon of Worscestershire sauce. Add the cabbage, cover and turn the heat down to braise for about 6-7 minutes.

roast chicken and roast potatoes, carrots and parsnips

Real gravy: I love gravy! I drink it. I sometimes eat roasts with a spoon so I can get more gravy on it. When we go to Josh’s family for dinner, he usually says ‘don’t drink it all up’ when he passes me the gravy and I have to restrain myself from dumping the whole lot on my plate. Once you’re done with your roast, take out the tray and place the chicken aside to rest covered in foil. Your tray should now have mushy onion and carrots and roasting juicesand fat (some celery would be nice but there is none). Very important: skim off as fat much as possible otherwise your gravy ends up being too fatty.

making gravy

Bung the roasting tray on the stove and add 2 cups of water and bring to boil. I also splash in a bit of white wine (hen’s night leftovers. I’m really not a wine person) and crumble in a vegetable stock cube. Try to mash into the carrots and onions to get as much flavour out of it as possible. Add 2 tablespoons of plain flour and stir until the gravy thickens and the flour is cooked (about 2 minutes). Turn off the heat and sieve off all the veggies and any lump of flour. That’s it. Best gravy ever.

Plate them all up. Bon Appétit.

* Jamie Oliver is god. I worship him. End of public announcement.
** It’s probably better to take the chicken out of the fridge and leave it outside to bring it up to the room temperature before you cook it. In Melbourne weather, this is about 1/2 hour. In Singapore, this is about 10 minutes. Don’t do leave it out too long if you live in a really warm place (but then you’ll probably not be making roasts if you live somewhere really warm anyway). Do not refreeze/refridgerate this chicken. You must cook it.
*** I learn that you prick the lemon too much, the chicken ends up with a lot of lemon juice inside it and steamed rather than roasted.

PS: We did the following with the leftover roast chicken:

  1. Chicken, cheese  and salad sandwich – cold chicken, Colby cheese slice, tomato, rocket, lettuce, raddichio on Turkish bread roll.
  2. Chicken roll – hot chicken, hot gravy in warm Turkish bread roll.
  3. Tossed into Leftover Curry Briyani (story for another day).

Edit: who noticed the sad potato?

Pad Macaroni – Stir-fried Pasta! 4

This is bastardization at its best. It’s basically pasta with, um, tomato sauce. And when I say tomato sauce, I mean tomato ketchup. So I suppose a brilliant Thai person read about how the Italians eat pasta with tomato sauce and decided that ketchup should be used to flavour pasta! It’s one of those favourite childhood dishes simply because kids just love it. If you grew up in Thailand, you’ve had it. It featured in every school dinner.

We want to start off with some cooked pasta (macaroni, as the name suggests is generally the popular choice). As this being a bastardized Thai pasta dish, we want to overcook the pasta. No, I’m not kidding. I am suggesting you can forget all the al dente principle and just cook the hell out of the pasta the way the Thais generally do. This, after all, is a Thai dish. We also need half an onion, sliced. Half a carrot, sliced. A handful of sliced cabbage leaves and some chopped spring onions.

Just like my omuraisu, I used a hot dog (which is a very normal thing to do by the way) but you can used sliced chicken breast. Prawns are another popular choice.

So just like any other stir-fry, it’s a quick and easy thing. We start by frying off the hot dog in a bit of butter until it’s browned. Throw in the carrots, onion and cabbage. Toss around until the veggies are cooked (it might be a good idea to nuke the carrots for a minute or so in the microwave actually). Add the cooked pasta. three tablespoon of tomato sauce and a tablespoon of light soy sauce and stir around for a minute or so. Once it’s come together nicely, push the pasta to one side of the wok and crack an egg in. Scramble the egg around until it’s set slightly and toss the pasta over it (pretty much the way you would do to a fried rice). Fry until the egg is well cooked. Top with the chopped spring onions.

It may sound horrid but it’s really not bad. One has to wonder how one comes up with this. I have seen something similar at a Vietnamese restaurant but never got around to trying it (love the pho too much!)

And yes, I realise that I make a lot of pasta dishes.

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