Gu Long Stewed Pork Slices with Rice Porridge


First and foremost, yes yes I know I am slightly obsessed with spring onions and seem to overload most of my Asian dishes with what seems to look like too much spring onion topping... my bad!

Every once in a while, eating something that comes out of a can is not the end of the world. Quite the contrary with a select few cans that can ONLY be found at Asian Grocers. I grew up eating rice porridge - whenever I'm sick and unwell, my mom or dad would make me a bowl of porridge. Sometimes it's just plain porridge with salted egg or century egg. Other times I get a lovely bowl of "bak moi" or pork porridge. Either way, a good bowl of porridge can be the ultimate comfort food!


Which is why I'd like to share this product with my readers - Gu Long Stewed Pork Slices - available at most Asian Grocers in Australia and supermarkets everywhere in Malaysia.

To cook plain rice porridge, just boil 1 cup of white rice in 6 cups of water until rice is soft and forms a smooth, creamy porridge. Serve porridge in a bowl. Remove half of the contents of the Stewed Pork Slices can and heat in a separate bowl for 1 min in the microwave. Top the heated pork slices (and its juices for flavor) on top of the porridge and sprinkle chopped spring onions. Enjoy while it's hot!


Easy Spanakopita Recipe


In order to cook one of my previous blog posts Pumpkin and Spinach Casserole, I bought some spinach from CostCo. To those of you who may not know, if you buy spinach from CostCo, you end up buying 1kg worth of spinach. That is A LOT of spinach.

I don't normally cook vegetarian dishes, so I had no idea what to do with that much spinach! So I sent a message to my sister in law who IS a vegetarian and she recommended this Spanakopita recipe. Since then I have done some Google searches to find out more about this dish, and turns out it is a Greek classic so I decided to give it a go!

By the time I cooked this dish, a few weeks have actually passed since I bought that massive bag of spinach so I had frozen spinach to work with. Very different to the recipe my sister in law gave me, so I had to make some slight changes. Obviously, frozen spinach once thawed becomes blanched spinach and therefore I had to squeeze out any excess water before finely chopping it. I also decided to COOK the spinach with the onion and garlic to make sure any excess water evaporates and the spinach is as dry as possible. Anyway, all method will be revealed in the recipe below :-)


Ingredients:
750g spinach, finely chopped
500g feta cheese, crumbled
6 eggs
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 packet frozen filo pastry sheets
250g butter, melted

Method:
If your spinach is frozen, make sure it is thawed completely. Squeeze excess water from spinach and chop finely. Heat olive oil in a frypan and saute red onion, minced garlic and spinach until fragrant. In a bowl, mix together feta cheese and eggs, then add the sauteed onion and spinach mixture into the bowl and mix well. 

Meanwhile, brush a rectangular casserole dish with some melted butter using a brush. Start by lining the dish with one single sheet of thawed filo pastry, with its sides hanging on the edges of the dish. Brush the filo sheet with butter and layer another sheet on top. Keep repeating this process until the bottom pastry layers is about 10 sheets thick. Make sure it is well buttered between each layer.

Pour the filling mixture onto the sheets and fold excess filo on the sides over the filling. Top with at least 5 layers of filo pastry, also making sure it is well brushed with melted butter between each layer and especially at the top layer for a nice, brown and crispy finish.

Bake at 180C for approx. 30-40 minutes.


Kimba's Notes: This was my first time fiddling with Filo Pastry so I found it quite challenging! The sheets were sooo fragile and super thin. Do not stress if it keeps tearing though, just keep layering them and use the butter to keep them together. I have no idea where my bottom layers of pastry disappeared to, so I would suggest layering them much thicker at the bottom. The top layers of pastry though, delicious and crispy!



Simple Homemade Curry Puffs


Here's a really simple idea on how to best use those potatoes you include in your Chicken Curry that no one seems to want to eat (well, most of the time the actual chicken in the curry tastes so good people would eat less of the potatoes to avoid "filling up" their tummies too quickly).

This brilliant idea was suggested to me by a friend whose grandmother does this all the time. It is GENIUS! Plus it is so simple. It makes me want to include MORE potatoes in my future Chicken Curries just so I can have more filling for my Curry Puffs, lol.

Chicken Curry recipe here: http://www.kimbaskitchen.com/2010/05/chicken-and-vegetable-curry-recipe.html
Basically, all you do is extract the leftover potatoes from your Chicken Curry, leave just enough curry sauce to add to the flavor and mash the potatoes. You may conveniently use Frozen Puff Pastry from the supermarket, defrost them, then cut them into circles. Spoon potato filling onto the centre of the puff pastry and seal well on its sides using the "rope method" (a good YouTube instruction on how to fold curry puffs here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ-lKp6qtK4).


The result is ready to be cooked in the oven at 180C for approx. 15 minutes, or you may freeze them uncooked, ready to be cooked anytime later on! Enjoy!


Homemade Kolo Mee with Minced Pork & Wontons


Anyone born and raised in Sarawak and have moved overseas like me would understand this when I say... "Sometimes we just want a big bowl of KOLO MEE!!". Sarawak Kolo Mee is one of the most common noodle dish from Kuching, Sarawak - and nowhere else in the world does it like the locals from my hometown in Kuching. It is basically a noodle dish cooked in a special sauce topped with char siu, minced pork, sometimes fish cakes and spring onions. I like my Kolo Mee also topped with "kiaw" or most people would know them as wontons.

This recipe probably doesn't taste anywhere near the real deal, but for now it will do. It satisfies my craving for dry noodles and I'm very happy with the soft wontons and texture of the dry, slightly oily noodles. For something relatively simple to prepare, it is really as close as I can get to the real Kolo Mee!

Ingredients:
1kg minced pork
5 tbsp sesame oil
5 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp fish sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 packet wonton skins
1 packet dried noodles
3 tbsp chicken bouillon powder
3 litres water, for boiling
Chopped spring onions, for topping

Noodle seasoning:
Char Siu sauce
Light soy sauce
White pepper
Oil
Fried onions


Method:
To prepare the wontons, mix the minced pork with sesame oil, light soy sauce, fish sauce, and season well with salt and pepper. Place a small teaspoon of meat onto wonton skins, wet the sides and press them together onto a triangle shaped wonton to seal the filling.

Meanwhile, heat a frypan with a bit of oil and fry some of the minced pork until it turns brown.

To prepare the broth for boiling the noodles and wontons, cook the water and chicken bouillon powder in a big pot until it starts to boil.

Meanwhile, prepare the noodle seasoning in a bowl by adding 1 tsp of char siu sauce, 1 tbsp light soy sauce, a dash of white pepper and a teaspoon fried onions.

Cook the dried noodles in the pot of boiling broth for a few minutes until noodles are soft. Remove the noodles from the broth using a strainer and toss / mix well in bowl with prepared seasoning.

Cook the wontons in the pot of boiling broth for a few minutes until the wontons are soft and filling cooked through. Remove the wontons from the broth using a strainer and place on top of noodles. Top also with cooked mince and spring onions.


Foochow "Mee Sua" Recipe


Once again I find myself getting "hit" with a craving for food from home. It's really amazing because just when I thought I have attempted all the dishes there is to learn to cook from Malaysia, there's always a few more dishes I have yet to attempt for the very first time. I am so thankful that Asian Grocers in Australia have a pretty comprehensive range of ingredients readily available to purchase so I can try cooking these dishes! I cannot imagine how deprived I would feel if I didn't have access to these ingredients. Yes, I have to drive at least 20 minutes to get to the nearest Asian Grocer, but it is so worth the trip!!

This noodle dish is no stranger to the Chinese community, particularly the Foochows in Malaysia. It's actually really simple to cook... you just need the right ingredients, especially the right noodles. Usually this dish is cooked with Chinese Red Wine, but because I can't seem to find the right wine - I have substituted this recipe with just a little bit of scotch whiskey from hubby's liquor collection, hehe!


Ingredients (Serves 2-3):
5 tbsp sesame oil
1 inch cubed ginger, julienned
6 chicken drumsticks
1 litre chicken liquid stock
1 tbsp whiskey
"Mee Suah" noodles
10 pieces of Dried Tea Mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Heat a non stick pot, add sesame oil, ginger and chicken and fry until chicken turns brown.

Add chicken liquid stock, whiskey and dried tea mushrooms. Season well with salt and pepper. Simmer until the mushrooms are soft and chicken is thoroughly cooked. You may want to simmer for approx. 1 hour for the chicken to be deliciously soft and tender. Add extra water if required.

Meanwhile, prepare a pot of boiling water. Cook "Mee Suah" noodles for just a few seconds in boiling water, as it softens very quickly. Strain noodles and place in a bowl. Serve broth over the cooked noodles with some chicken and mushrooms. Enjoy while it's still hot!


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