回锅肉Doublecooked Pork Collar + Long Beans in Nonya Sauce – 13th Teban Gardens Community Breakfast on 10Jun2016

回锅肉doubecooked pork collar + long beans in nonya sauce

回锅肉doublecooked pork collar + long beans in nonya sauce

i made a 回锅肉doublecooked pork collar + long beans in nonya sauce for teban gardens community service centre’s friday community breakfast on 10.6.2016. ^^

this my 13th friday breakfast community meal at teban gardens community service centre.

i first started doing a community meal dish for teban gardens CSC on 8.1.2016.

the centre was started in 2002 after much effort & challenge by our RI friend who is a pastor of pasir panjang hill brethren church (pphbc) which owns & runs the CSC.

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long beans in nonya sauce

long beans in nonya sauce

for the long beans (quite a lot about 1 kg) i just fried with chopped garlic, cut chilli padi & a bit of gimson nonya sauce. i added oyster sauce & fish sauce & fried a bit more.

then i added some stock & covered to cook the long beans.

i reduced & tasted the dish, then off fire, added 1 tbsp of nonya sauce & mixed.

very tasty dish with unique flavours imparted by the nonya sauce.

回锅肉doubecooked pork collar after 4hrs in 90degC oven

回锅肉doublecooked pork collar after 4hrs in 90degC oven

for the 回锅肉doublecooked pork collar, i had about 1.3kg for 4hrs in a 90degC oven.

usually 回锅肉 uses belly pork. as some of my friends pointed out, belly pork kind of fatty for the older folks so i switched to pork collar.

i used a marinade or brine – 4tbsp shaoxing cooking wine, 2 tbsp mirin 1 heap tbsp sugar, 1 flat tbsp salt. i then fried 2 cinnamon bark & 4 star anise till fragrant & added the marinade mix. then i marinated the pork collar & placed in a oven-proof dish in the oven.

i use this method also to make “mock kurobuta” steak!

just fry the pork collar on high heat to brown the meat & serve like usual steak. 🙂

回锅肉doubecooked pork collar

回锅肉doubecooked pork collar

for 回锅肉doubecooked pork collar, it means to return to the wok & cook a second time, i sliced & fried the pork over high heat for 1/2min.

回锅肉doubecooked pork collar

回锅肉doubecooked pork collar

i added a tsp+ of the mala 麻辣sauce (& some oyster sauce) to flavour the pork a bit more. the older folks cannot take too spicy so i added very little just to give it colour & flavour, just as i added just 1 cut chilli padi to 1kg of long beans. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Pork Collar with Cabbage – 2nd Community Lunch for Newgate Learning Hub on 12Mar2016

community lunch @ newgate learning hub of bathesda community church

community lunch @ newgate learning hub of bathesda community church

this my 2nd community lunch dish for newgate learning hub on 12.3.2016. ^^

my 1st for newgate community lunch was on 27.2.2016. 🙂

pork collar with cabbage

pork collar with cabbage

as the dish is apportioned on each plate then serve to the residents, the main consideration was to have enough pieces to feed 80pax.

pork collar with cabbage

pork collar with cabbage

for this preparation, i used 1.4kg pork collar-

  1. i had the pork collar in a 90degC oven for 2hrs
  2. the slow braise made it more tender & flavourful & also easier to slice (i counted about 90+ slices)
  3. i browned a bulb of peeled garlic cloves, added 1 cut chilli padi & about 2cm sliced ginger, then added 1.4kg cut cabbage, added chicken stock, cornflour, oyster sauce & reduced. added salt to taste. the cabbage was done just right, soft still crunchy & very tasty with the reduced stock.
  4. fried the pork collar separately. this was a bit similar to 回锅肉, which means to cook the pork a second time by wok fry.
  5. then i mixed the pork with the cabbage.
pork collar with cabbage

pork collar with cabbage

it was a good dish to add to the beehoon & kuay teow.

pork collar with cabbage

pork collar with cabbage

pork was tender & tasty from the 90degC slow braise.

pork collar with cabbage

pork collar with cabbage

& cabbage complemented well the meat dish. 🙂

pork collar with cabbage

pork collar with cabbage

tasting the dish is an important step in cooking. make sure that salt was to taste to bring out the flavours, pork & vegetables had the right texture etc.

pulut hitam

pulut hitam

the octogenarian father of our friend who started this meaningful & beneficial community activity 4 yrs back contributed a pulut hitam dish every week. i tried the dish. it was very good, not too sweet. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Easy Char Siew (Encore)

char siew

char siew

did another char siew this morning. ^^

same recipe as what i used previously here.

char siew

char siew

this is a really easy recipe as there is no basting needed, meaning there is no need to take the pork in & out & turning over & basting with sauce repeatedly!

char siew

char siew

pork collar this time less fatty. i added 1/2tsp red colouring & reduced dark sauce to 1/2tbsp.

char siew

char siew

flavour was excellent! ^^

char siew

char siew

i also reduced oven time from 20mins to 18mins as the collar was slightly thinner.

char siew

char siew

anyhow it looks like 18mins would be sufficient for charring the outside, cooking the inside, and keeping it moist & tender. 🙂

char siew

char siew

easy recipe, no turning over & basting required, just 18mins in oven.

& very tasty & tender & moist!

c.h.e.f. andy

Very Nice Char Siew

char siew

char siew

i have tried char siew quite a few times using different meats & preparations.

a rather successful one was almost 2 years ago using belly pork & an oven “sous vide” method at 60degC or 70degC over 4 hrs to 6hrs.

i used the same method for miso belly pork which was very nice too.

i must say while the miso belly pork is a more unique dish the char siew by the “sous vide” method is a bit more tedious & not really my favourite as one can buy cheap & good char siew easily outside.

char siew

char siew

but now i think now i found the right combination to reproduce easily very flavourful & tender, moist char siew, like so. a really excellent char siew. ^^

char siew

char siew

the key is (a) the marinade to produce the right flavour (b) the meat & preparation to produce a tasty, tender, moist meat.

so far, pork collar is the best choice. i tried the same recipe on belly pork but it was quite inferior by comparison.

char siew

char siew

i marinated the meat for 3 days in the chiller.

then i placed the meat on a rack in a preheated 250degC oven for 20mins.

it was as easy as that.

char siew

char siew

& the result was just perfect!

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 400g pork collar (i used frozen pork collar from sheng shiong S$9.90/kg)

marinade

  • 2 tbsp dark sauce
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp heap sugar
  • 1 cinnamon bark
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 chopped shallots

Directions:

  1. scald the pork collar & wash under slow running water to remove scum.
  2. add the marinade & transfer to a ziploc bag & place in the chiller for 2 or 3 days.
  3. bring out of chiller for 1/2 to bring to room temperature.
  4. place on a rack over a aluminium foil lined tray & place in a preheated 250degC oven for 20mins.

Chwee Kueh & Char Siew from Chinatown on 14Sep2014

char siew

char siew

wife went marketing at chinatown complex market today on 14.9.2014.

she also bought chwee kueh from our favourite stall bedok chwee kueh (#02-43) & char siew from the stall next to it, mayflower roasted meat specialist. 🙂

chwee kueh

chwee kueh

char siew

char siew

chwee kueh with chye por

chwee kueh with chye por

love the chwee kueh here. soft & firm texture & especially the chye por & chilli condiments. my habit is to cut the chwee kueh in 2 (a bitesize mouthful) using a teaspoon, spoon the chye pro & chilli on top & spoon the whole thing in to combine the flavours & texture. 🙂

the char siew was a convenient buy, probably not the best stall there, and often touch & go. today it was fresh, tasty with flavourful fatty bits. other times meat could be a bit dry. it was not comparable with imperial treasure teochew char siew OR charcoal broiled pork collar, and about the standard of a decent neighbourful coffeeshop roast meat stall.

c.h.e.f andy

Affordable “Nouveau?” Lunch Sets @ Nuvo on 8Sep2014

spiced carrot soup

spiced carrot soup

a friend recommended nuvo. the ongoing S$15pax set lunches looked ok (even though it had a lot of supplements for dish selections) so 6 of us went for lunch on 8.9.2014. chef mark richards hailed from keystone (which i went several times when it was accepting palate privileges – 50% discount for 2pax ala carte. i viewed keystone as the standard of saint pierre & slightly less expensive), and excelled in sous vide techniques. 🙂

the restaurant was located at the food edition at marina square at the corner facing citylink mall & suntec convention centre. it was nice, bright & airy & had a attached bar that was directly overlooking raffles link & raffles boulevard. we all commented this a place to be to watch the F1 (though i always prefer the couch at home..haha..not to mention it cost S$500 to come here & watch the cars turn round a corner!).

we were debating the name. i googled afterwards but there was no special meaning associated with the word so likely nuvo was just short for nouveau. 🙂

i was late, arriving at 12.15pm. the restaurant soon filled up & i would say perhaps >60% occupied during lunch hour on a monday.

a practice that did not find favour with me was NOT serving tap water.  we ordered 1 still & 1 sparkling for 6pax. they cost S$4.50each for a 500ml bottle. for me, i looked at the overall price vs the food & experience so paying S$9 for bottled water for 6pax (which also meant we have to drink less water) was not a big issue.

olive focaccia

olive focaccia

olive focaccia with herb butter

olive focaccia with herb butter

the olive focaccia bread with herb butter was pretty good, ok. 🙂

cha smoked salmon

cha smoked salmon

there were 3 choices of starters & main courses & 2 choices of dessert.

i thought my spiced carrot soup (top photo) with mascarpone, croutons & honey was really good & of fine dining standard. it was creamy, smooth in texture & flavourful, looked wonderful as well! 🙂

the smoked salmon with wasabi cream, furikake & baby spinach came with S$3 supplement. it looked great & appetising. the thick square cuts looked more like ceviche, cured or sashimi. my friends all liked the dish. 🙂 i asked 1 friend afterwards. he said the combination of flavours with the baby spinach was great. 🙂

tempura soft shell crab

tempura soft shell crab

the tempura soft shell crab had S$4 supplement. soft shell crab not my favourite dish but this looked fine & no complaints on the taste. 🙂

grilled pork collar

grilled pork collar

grilled pork collar

grilled pork collar

3 of us took the grilled pork collar on our friend’s recommendations. 2 took the risotto & 1 took the pesto cold soba.

the pork collar had good consistent texture of sous vide. the chef is famous for his sous vide cuisine. the friend who took cold soba & i both commented that the pork collar was kind of lean. i personally would prefer it the usual fatty collar. the 2 other friends preferred it lean. 🙂 fries were good. mash/cold slaw? were good too. i didn’t take much of either.

kabayaki squid risotto

kabayaki squid risotto

the squid risotto looked a bit skimpy to me. 5 or 6 pieces of squid on risotto. maybe it was the minimalist philosophy (just kidding…lol). i asked 1 friend afterwards. he agreed it was kind of plain.

pesto cold soba

pesto cold soba

the friend who took soba said it was too salty & maybe the set lunch was not that great for the price. i said a zaru soba could cost S$12 to S$15 so everything depended on how good the taste.

panna cotta with honeycomb

panna cotta with honeycomb

panna cotta with honeycomb

panna cotta with honeycomb

green tea kochi with melon

green tea mochi with melon

i hardly ever ordered panna cotta in singapore. so i started with the green tea mochi. when the dessert were served, i thought the panna cotta with honeycomb looked quite good so i asked to change the dessert (S$4 supplement).  i had excellent panna cotta at pizzeria balognett at tremezzo, i thought i would give the singapore version a try since it looked quite good. it was pretty good – light, smooth texture – but nothing amazing. the green tea mochi also looked competent. 🙂

overall including S$1.50pax for the mineral water, my share came to S$25++ (S$30nett). to me it was pretty ok & something i would not mind doing again. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Genuine HK Standard Roast Meats & Beef Noodles @ Noodles Restaurant on 6Sep2013

roast duck & char siew (S$18)

roast duck & char siew  – S$18

a friend organised lunch at noodles place restaurant at centrepoint on 6.9.2013. it’s a prima group restaurant, i could hardly recall when i last visited.

beef brisket noodles 牛腩面 - S$8

beef brisket noodles 牛腩面 – S$8

roast duck & char siew - S$18

roast duck & char siew – S$18

we were only 3pax so we went with the classic hong kong fare. each of us ordered a beef brisket noodles 牛腩面, and we ordered a roast duck & char siew combinations (双拼) to share. 🙂

we were there at 1pm & the open cafeteria styled restaurant was only 1/2 full, but it filled up a bit more later. i must say i was pleasantly surprised that the food was really genuine hk standard. the roast duck was fatty but really flavourful, perhaps even better than some places in hk. the char siew was also top quality in texture & taste, though the bbq pork collar at imperial treasure teochew was more marbled & textured.

the beef brisket noodles 牛腩面. i was lamenting that we were missing hk standard 牛腩面. the shanghainese/ taiwanese version 牛腩面 at crystal jade lamian xialongbao & sicc were well & good, but not my preferred hk version. the ones here though were excellent. they did not quite serve the beef belly type cut, but the brisket was indeed very good & it is true that most Singaporeans would prefer this leaner cut. 🙂

my friend bought lunch. i estimated the price would be about S$48nett for 3pax. i liked the roasts & the noodles and i will back for sure. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Recipe = Miso Char Siew (or Miso Belly Pork)

miso char siew

miso char siew

N.B. subsequently i did a wonderful melt-in-the-mouth miso belly pork dish for a homecooked japanese-themed dinner on 12.12.2013, but finished by pan-charred over butter instead of oven broiled.

i can call this a self-invented recipe. 🙂 basically, after i started making a rather good Nobu miso cod, i was trying to re-use the miso (didn’t want to make miso soup all the time and didn’t want to discard the miso after 1 use). also i was having a hard time making char siew both getting the texture right & also charring the outside. & not to forget the very lovely miso belly pork we had for the wonderful set lunch at pollen @ gardens by the bay! 🙂 just a note – though i started my experiment by reusing the miso, for best effect the proper way of course is 1 use & discard (or make miso soup..haha..) & for sure i would not use the miso cod miso for belly pork or vice versa, so if reuse then use second time only for the same meat!

miso belly pork

miso belly pork

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anyway i put the belly pork to marinade in miso for 3 days as i would when preparing miso cod. before that i rinsed the belly pork with boiling water, then cleaned up in cold water & then cut off the skin. unlike miso cod which you don’t want it to be too sweet, i added one more heap tablespoon sugar to the marinade. when cooking, i took out the belly pork & placed it in an oven dish with lid with the marinade just covering the pork for 1 hr to get it to room temperature. i then placed it in the preheated oven at 90degC for 1 hr. after removing it from the oven, i placed the pork on a rack over an aluminium foil lined baking tray, and preheat the oven to the highest temperature at 250degC. i then turned it to broil & cooked the pork for 11 minutes, turned over & broiled for another 5 minutes=total broiling time 16 minutes.

i did this for 600g of belly pork + pork collar combined about 3/4 portion was served as in the top photo. i did a second time for about 250g (the belly pork portion in the 2 photos below which included kurobuta steaks), and i had to adjust the timing to 8minutes + 5minutes=total 13minutes. if you have a meat thermometer, you can also check for 170degF or 77degC .

1170884_10151764629369494_1919242589_n IMG_4469

the result = a very tender consistent inside texture & a charred & flavourful layer outside (with miso helping the charring) & overall a very tasty dish! 🙂

note the broiling time is key – though it is important to char the outside the inside will overcook if the timing is wrong!

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 2 long strips of belly pork (about 600g)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp miso paste
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup cooking sake

Directions:

  1. boil saké and the mirin  in a medium saucepan over high heat for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol, turn to low and add the miso paste, stirring to dissolve the miso completely, then turn to high again and add the sugar, stirring constantly so that the bottom of the pan doesn’t burn. cool down marinate mix to room temperature.
  2. rinse belly pork with boiling water, then clean in cold water & then cut off the skin. place belly pork strips in a ziplock bag & pour in the cooled marinate and leave in fridge for 3 full days. turning over once in the morning & once in the evening to ensure all sides are fully coated.
  3. take out belly pork & place it in an oven dish with lid with the miso marinade just covering the pork for 1 hr to get it to room temperature. place it in the preheated oven at 90degC for 1 hr. after removing it from the oven, place the pork on a rack over an aluminium foil lined baking tray, and preheat the oven to the highest temperature at 250degC. turn to broil & cook the pork for 11 minutes, turn over & broil for another 5 minutes=total broiling time 16 minutes.

Great Family Lunch @ Imperial Treasure Teochew on 1Sep2013

braised 1/2 duck

braised 1/2 duck

my last post on imperial treasure teochew was on 17.3.2013.

daughter arranged family lunch, 7pax this time & went back to our favourite imperial treasure teochew on 1.9.2013. 🙂

ter kar tan (猪脚冻)

ter kar tan (猪脚冻)

smoked sliced trotters (佛山熏蹄)

smoked sliced trotters (佛山熏蹄)

charcoal bbq pork collar (炭烧猪颈肉)

charcoal bbq pork collar (炭烧猪颈肉)

i ordered the braised duck, pork trotter jelly, smoked sliced trotters & the pork collar char siew; and daughter decided on the dimsums. 🙂

the braised duck was fabulous. the restaurants, whether hua ting or here at imperial treasure, had a way of braising duck (maybe lower temperature) that made the meat tender & consistent yet quite firm not falling apart like overcooked (close to western way sous vide). 🙂

the pig trotter jelly was very good, tasty (though my children were not quite fond of it). western fine dining has a lot of jellied items as their standard fare for degustation as well.

the smoked trotters was also very good, and my children liked it better.

the bbq pork collar was super! 🙂 i read when trying my hands at cooking char siew (not very successfully though as a result  i developed a very good miso char siew recipe of my own) that pork collar was the best cut, as the fat was more distributed than belly pork.

fried carrot cake

fried carrot cake

steamed chicken feet

steamed chicken feet

char siew pao

char siew pao

steamed pork ribs

steamed pork ribs

har cheung (虾肠粉)

har cheung (虾肠粉)

carrot puff

carrot puff

咸水饺

咸水饺

xianglongbao (小龙包 )

xianglongbao (小龙包 )

har gao

har gao

i liked all the dimsums. 🙂 fried carrot cake always good with the chilli.  steamed chicken feet looked great though i did not try. char siew pao, an item we rarely tried at dimsums was good too. steamed pork ribs here was the best! very lean & much better than shang palace & also royal china. the har cheung (prawn rolls) was smooth & great. i did not take the carrot puff but it was in good demand too around the table. xiaolongbao was tasty but somehow felt crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao was still better. har gao was always good here! 🙂

yangzhou fried rice

yangzhou fried rice

dried scallop crabmeat fried rice

scallop crabmeat egg white fried rice

for carbo items, 1 of us didn’t take seafood, so we had a yangzhou fried rice w/o prawns only with char siew. first time taking that here but my son had always liked yangzhou fried rice, & my younger daughter liked it a lot too. i liked it too. our regular favourite scallop crabmeat egg white fried rice was not so overwhelming today but still more subtle vs the yangzhou fried rice. though i felt the seafood fried rice at crystal jade xiaolongbao was better than both. 🙂

salted egg custard bun (流沙包)

salted egg custard bun (流沙包)

salted egg custard bun (流沙包)

salted egg custard bun (流沙包)

& the salted egg custard bun (流沙包) here was the standard bearer, far better than the salted egg custard bun at royal china (which recently added mango which took away instead of adding to the taste)!

in total we paid S$218 for 7pax, kind of ex for dimsum but it was certainly a very gratifying family lunch. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Chinese Fine Dining Set @ Xin Cuisine on 31Mar2013

chicken & mushrooms in eggskin dumpling in pumpkin soup

chicken & mushrooms in egg skin dumpling in pumpkin soup

I had not tried Xin Cuisine, despite it being included in Amex Palate dining privilege for a while already. and though I did have intention to try out the food here using palate discounts, it was ANZ card marketing that got me to ask about this lobster & abalone 1 for 1 menu. We were still not sure though, as you could not really tell by menu alone the quality of cooking, so when we got ourselves seated I studied the ala carte menu a little in addition to the the promotion set menu below (which as it turned out payment could be made by any credit card). 🙂

Xin Cuisine Lobster & Abalone Set

We had always felt that Majestic offered the best Chinese fine dining set, and others like Tunglok could not compare on a price vs quality of ingredients & quality of cooking basis though it might be a bit more debatable when comparing fine dining over the whole ala carte menu & ambience etc. For us though since quality of cooking pipped the other considerations, we had more confidence that a dish in Majestic would turn up tasty c/w another place (and of course as justified by the price).

On this occasion, we decided on the set menu, and it was a very good decision! 🙂

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We started with a duo appetizer. There was a roast duck on a pan seared foie gras & cucumber (seems that Xin is famous for their suckling pig with foie gras), & a small saucer of thick spicy jellyfish. Both were very nice. The roast duck felt like a sous vide item, very tender & totally consistent. In terms of fine dining, it was no less fine than western fine dining.

20130331_124525 20130331_124514

Next was chicken & mushrooms in a egg skin dumpling in pumpkin soup. This was very, very, very good. It was such a beauty to look at, and the soup was so very, very tasty, as good as Majestic’s 黄焖鱼翅 which was a lot better than Tunglok’s version. And the dumpling was so delicate to behold & so tasty to eat. Very few western fine dining restaurants here offered something this fine!

20130331_125024

5-head abalone (about 2in) on bed of spinach with sea cucumber

The next item was the 5-heads abalone on a bed of spinach with sea cucumber in brown sauce (5-heads mean the size is 5 abalones to 1 kati though I am clueless whether it is the HK old kati=600g or the China kati=500g. In China it is now 1斤10 两 & 1 两= 50g)。 This was as good as Chinese braised abalones went in terms of 口感 bite/texture  & taste.

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and there was the 1/2 lobster, done with a very light cheese gratin. The lobster was smaller (about 350g). My wife preferred the 上汤焗 style so cheese lobster not her favourite but I must say the taste was good & this was really very nicely done. This was a good illustration of quality of cooking – Chao Yue Xuan for example offered a larger 1/2 lobster in a good value set which we had recently, but the quality of cooking & presentation made a  huge difference between fine dining and not so fine dining. 🙂

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and then we had the egg fried rice & spicy pork & this very plain fried rice was very very good – such crisp long grains & so fragrant it was as good as Imperial Treasure’s crab meat fried rice with dried scallops & egg white which was our perennial favourite – & so both of us who avoided carbo mostly had to evoke our “worthwhile carbo” philosophy and finished up all the rice. The spicy pork collar was very nice too.

20130331_132139

snow lotus in almond cream

For dessert,we had the snow lotus in almond cream. Both of us were not very “dessert persons”, and cream 糊 was not my favourite & very less so for my wife. This though was only very slightly sweet & extremely smooth which was what defined a good 糊, be it almond (杏仁) or walnut (核桃) or combined (鸳鸯). I don’t remember eating snow lotus before – thought it was hasma but it wasn’t, texture was good. For us I guess it was an ok above average dessert but it was “fine” alright in terms of quality. 🙂

P.S. – see here for Restaurant Promotions update.

c.h.e.f andy