Caramelized Plum Sauce Pork

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Caramelized Plum Sauce Pork

This is one of the dishes that I came up with after seeing malt sugar pork in one of my Asian cook book. Of course, I did my own altering by adding and subtracting ingredients I don’t like. And instead of making it malt sugar, I added the plum sauce to give it a kick. This is a very simple dish to make and it taste so good with freshly steam rice. The sweetness of the caramelized plum sauce really compliments the crispiness of the pork.

The only requirement is to marinate it overnight so that it will be flavor and tender. I can’t tell you enough how I miss Asian cooking. So to appease my craving I have learned to perfect many dishes. This is one of my husband favorite dishes, therefore it will show up again next Chinese New Year. Of course I always like to cook different dishes every year, beside from my regular shark fine and mushroom and abalone. Those are the two dishes that a must for most Chinese home. It’s been in our family for many generations.


2 Lbs of pork butt or leg part with some fat
2 Tbsp of soy sauce
2 Tbsp of dark mushroom soy sauce
½ Tbsp of minced garlic
1 Tbsp of seasime oil
½ Tbsp of all spice powder

Glazed Sauce:

5 Tbsp of brown sugar
2 Tbsp of plum sauce ( in a jar at your Asian grocery)
½ Cups of water


1. Clean and cut the pork into small bite size strip. Combine all the ingredients well and marinated 6 hours or over night in the refrigerator.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 F on broil.
3. Skewer the pork, make sure it is not too close together. You want it to be crispy.
4. Put it in the oven and broil for 20-30 minutes, make sure to flip it half way through.
5. Make the glazing sauce by combining the sugar, plum sauce, water and bring it to boil. Shimmer it for about 5 minutes until it thicken. Remove from stove.
6. When the pork is fully cook, remove it from the oven and brush the plum sauce glaze over it thoroughly.
7. Put it back in the over for 5 more minutes to a caramelize texture.
8. Remove from oven and let it cool slightly. After it cool, removed it from the skewer and serves.


Recipes, Easy Recipes

Sea Cucumber and Abalone in Oyster Sauce

Monday, February 22, 2010

This dish is considered a delicacy all over Asia, due to the fact that they are very expensive and when done right melts in your mouth. Most Chinese New Year, wedding, birthday or important celebration is not really complete without this delicious dish. I've always anticipate every wedding banquet with glee, knowing that I will get to savor this yummy dish. When I say savor, I really meant it. This is one entrée that is rare and delicate and everyone will only get a piece each. And with each bite I often wish for more. Of course you have to grow up with the taste to truly appreciate it.

This is not a hard dish to make, but it required lot of preparation and timing. Most of the preparation is cleaning the abalone and sea cucumber and soaking the dried mushroom until nice and tender. If you’re using dried Abalone and dried sea cucumber you will need to soak in water and change water for a couple of days in advance. If you bought the can abalone and ready pack sea cucumber then it will save you a lot of time and headache.


3 Small sea cucumbers sliced
4 Pieces abalones in can sliced (more tender then the dried one)
12 Pieces of dried Asian mushrooms
3 Pieces whole pieces of bamboo stalk sliced(can version)
6 Pieces of bak choi
2 Tbsp of oyster sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp of corn starch
4 Tbsp of water
½ Tsp of kosher salt
1 to 2 Table spoon of soy sauce
1 Tsp of minced ginger
1 Tsp of minced scallion
½ Tsp of dark soy sauce


1. Soak the dried mushroom in warm water for at least 30 minutes.
2. Wash and cut the sea cucumbers and abalones, set aside.
3. Wash and prepared the bamboo slice into small pieces.
4. Soak the bak choi water to get all the dirt out, cut in half.
5. Heat the skillet until hot then add oil, then add the minced ginger and scallion until the lightly brown and it have a nice aroma.
6. Stir in the bamboo, mushroom and the oyster sauce, salt, soy sauce and dark soy sauce for about 5 minutes.
7. Add the sea cucumbers and the abalones and stir until fully cook about 10 minutes.
8. Lastly, mix the water and corn starch together and stir in with the rest of the ingredients until thicken, about 5 minute.
9. Remove from stove and serve.

Love this with hot steam rice!!

Chinese Braised Pork

Chinese Braised Pork

Just like it name, braised pork is a method that used to tenderized pork making it juicy and tender while it absorbed all the marinating ingredients. This is one of the other dishes that required some preparation and marinating a day head. This way the flavor will be more intense. If you like pork tender and full of flavor then this is a must try dish!

I got to admitted that I never had this before and this was my first time making it. It turns about a lot better than I’d anticipated it to be. It ends up being one of my favorite dishes this Chinese New Year. Needless to say, it will return next year and I will not try to alter anything about it. This is the perfect recipe for me! I do tend to experiment a lot with my cooking.


1 Lb pork leg with skin intact
1/4 Cup of rice wine
3 Tbsp dark sweet soy sauce
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesames oil
1 Tbsp of minced ginger
½ Sea salt
1 Tsp of all spice
2 Star anise
½ Tsp of minced garlic
1 head of broccoli for decoration purpose


1. Clean and marinate the pork thoroughly with half of each of ingredients like the dark soy sauce, soy sauce and used all of the all spices, sesames oil, star anise.
2. Put it in the refrigerator overnight.
3. Take pork out and paper dry it.
4. Put enough oil in pot to cover the pork and deep fly it for 10 minutes until skin look crispy.
5. Take the pork out and put it in the pot that to be braised with the other half of the dark soy sauce, soy sauce, minced ginger,garlic and rice wine.
6. When it starts to boil, lower to medium and braised for 2 hours.
7. When the pork it tender it done.
8. Use the remaining juice to blanch the broccoli.
9. Now for decoration purposes, put the broccoli all around the plate and slice the pork and arranged it nice in the center then pour some of the juice on top of it.

Voila! Your done!

Roast Duck

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Roast Duck

I have contemplated a long time what to make for Chinese New Year this year. Roast duck was one of the main dishes that I’ve decided to make due to the reason we haven’t had it since last year. As mention earlier, it is hard to get any authentic Asian cooking in my small town populations of 100,000. The closest to roast duck is a 5 to 6 hours drive and it doesn’t taste as good as the one I had in California. So I decided to experiment on my own roast duck and try to make it as close to home as possible.

Now I have always wanted to try to make roast duck, but I was very intermediated by the fact that it is very difficult to make. After much planning and drooling over it since, I decided that I’ll just wing it and whatever happens, happen. Lol

Upon deciding to go for it, I done some research on some recipes, but can’t seem to find the one that is closes to the one that I used to have in California. So by reflecting on that flavor before, I am able to come up with this recipe. I have to say that I was really happy that it came out right. The flavor was very bold and sharp, and it complimented the sweet and tangy sauce perfectly. I think I did a pretty good job, but the best part was that my sons and my hubby love it. So that all that count!

Now to prepared I did the following:


1 Duck clean and dry
1 Half pieces of ginger minced
2 Tbsp of brown sugar or palm sugar
1 Tbsp of minced garlic
2 Tbsp of rice wine
3 Scallions
3 Star anises
4 Whole cloves
½ Tsp all spice
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
2 to 3 drops red food coloring
1 Tbs corn starch
3 Tbs soy sauce
1 1/2 Tsp of kosher salt
Enough water for bottom of pan about ½ cup to 1cup

Dipping Sauce:

Juice of cook duck
1 Tbsp of plum sauce


1. Clean and patted duck to dry with paper towel.
2. Rub the salt inside the duck marinated for at least 3 to 4 hours.
3. With a big needle poke hole in the duck skin, so that the marinate will absorb better. Mix the salt, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, food coloring, corn starch and all spice together and rub all over the duck and inside.
4. Cut the ginger and scallion and combine with the star anises and whole cloves and stuff inside duck. Sew it up.
5. Marinate over night.
6. Preheat the oven to 300 F on broil.
7. Bring water to boil,
8. Place the duck on rack over roast pan with the boiling water under it. Don’t let the duck touch the water.
9. Roast breast side up first for 45 minute then turn for another 50 minutes and turn temperature to 425 F for the last 20 minutes.
10. Remove and serve.

Dipping Sauce:

1. Using the juice from the duck, bring it to boil.
2. Add the plum and shimmer it on low until slightly thicken.
3. Removed, let it cool and served.

• Perfect with steam rice! Enjoy!

Vanilla Macaron with Mango Whip Cream

Thursday, February 11, 2010

For my very first post I will do away with my mini obsession for macarons. The feeling of making something from scratch and seeing the finishing product is very rewarding. Especially, when it turn out just right. My moto in cooking or baking is that “If it look good, it taste good” therefore look is everything. The most delicious dish will not show it true flavor if it is not presented right. .

Perfecting Macarons

Macarons…macarons…macarons what can I say? I have a mini obsession for macarons. It all started one day when I was just browsing through delicious looking food at and saw this cute looking French pastry. So I decide to jogged down the recipe and try it. Let just say that it was horrific! You see macaron is one of those pastries that require you to follow direction down to perfection or it will not turn out right. One wrong measurement or too many stirring of the batter or wrong temperature will not do. As for when my obsession really started, it is the moment I asked to my sister (who live in France and understand what a true macarons is about) if she ever make macaron. Her first reaction was a laugh not the loud kind, but the I know what you’re talking about kind. Anyway, she said that she love macarons and she loving making it. She also mention how hard it is to make and that it took her 15 tried to finally got the result she was looking for.
Then she sent me some recipe in French and link to the technique of making them. The only problem is, my two year of French didn’t help much. I can’t decipher what it was saying. So I decided to do my own research by reading every recipes, techniques and tips from every macarons experts online. I was craving any information from tips, techniques to details and errors. Finally I stumble upon a book that is very easy to follow and have a step-by-step photo called “I Love Macarons” by Hisako Ogita. Her book give you tidiest detail down to the tee. And so my journal to perfecting the perfect macarons began….

Now when I mention perfecting macarons, it just my definition of what a perfect macarons should look and taste like. The perfect macaron to me is pretty to look at and have a taste of crispy shell with chewy texture inside. The filling is just to compliment the rich and intense flavor of the macarons. When I said rich and intense I really mean it. It is very sweet cookies that are not to be indulge too many in one sitting. It is best to savored one at a time. Of course telling that to my two years old daughter Jassi is impossible. She doesn’t believe in one or two, because at these stages everything belongs to her. Making the word MINE meaning it belonging to her and only her. Alas, she a great asset to all my baking experiment. We always manage to finish everything together since the boy don’t really care for dessert!
For those of you who doesn’t like to bake you can always find it in a store near you, unless you happen to live in a small town like me…there none. So you really have to start baking or at least attempt to bake. lol

Vanilla Macarons (French Style)
Make 24 halves depending on the sizes or 2 dozens


¼ plus 3 tbs cup of almond meal (flour)
¼ cup of powdered sugar
1 large egg (leave it out for room temperature for 24 hours)
3 tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp of vanilla extract
1 or 2 drop of desire food coloring ( I used yellow in this one)
A pinch of meringue powder (optional, this will stabilize the shell better, but harder)

Whip cream filling:

¼ cup of heavy whipping cream
¼ cup of icing sugar
½ tbsp mango puree (too much the whip cream will not stiff)

*After the shell is baked. Whip the heavy cream on high until it starting to take shape then slowly added the powder sugar and flavor. Continue whipping until it stiff and glossy whip cream texture like. I like my filling light since the cookies are very rich.

Let get started:

* Prepared by drawing a quarter or half dollar size circles on wax parchment paper. Put aside.

1. Mix the almond flour and the powdered sugar together. Put it a food processor and pulse it 4 to 5 pulsed or until fine. Do not over grind or it will get oily. Take it out and shift it and place it aside.

2. Next separate the egg yolk from the white. Put the white part in a clean and dry metal bowl. Whip the egg white on high until it started to foam then add the granulated sugar slowly. Whip until stiff peak and glossy then add food coloring. When egg white on the whip will not fall off when lift up.

3. Add in the dry mixture and fold gently until it is fully blended. Then stirred it about 20 times until the mixture is right. It should have a thick paste like consistency also known as “magma”. Over stirring will make it oily.

4. Pour the mixture into the piping bag with round tip and squeeze down to make sure to let the bubbles out. Pipe out batter onto the pre drawn circle on the parchment paper. Now pick up the baking pan and bang it on the table once or twice to let the bubbles out. This also help for a better forming shell and pied. Using double baking tray will ensure that it will not get burn on the bottom.

5. Let it air dry for at least 15 to 30 minutes. This step is to ensure that the shell is dry and take it shape. Drying process is completed when touching it will not stick to your finger.

6. Preheat the oven to bake at 300 F to 325 F (depending how hot your oven and double tray. I put mine on 315 F for 13 minutes). When the shell is hard when touch, put it in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. Removed and cool. When the macarons is starting to form pie or feet put a aluminum foil or wax parchment paper on top of it to prevent burn top.


As mention above, I have tried making these cuties pie many time and many different way. Due to the fact, that I love a good challenge I never quite. So this is what I noticed.

• Make sure to use room temperature egg that is left out at least 24 hours. Old eggs whip better therefore making better shell. Fresh egg will make the shell fragile and crack.
• Make sure to use all the sugar that call for or it won’t form feet or also know as pied. (from experiences)
• If used the higher temperature don’t bake the whole 15 minutes or it will burn the top.
• Over stirring of the batter will make the shell oily. So don’t get stirring happy!

*Bonus: Keep the yolk for other dessert like cream brulee..

Now if you do mess up, don’t worry. We’ll never know. Just start over again. lol

Bon Appetite!

There I did it! Hope you will enjoy making and experimenting with it just as much as I do. Take lots of picture and relish your accomplishment..
Now it time to prepared myself for Chinese New Year meal.

Recipes, Easy Recipes

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