Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Yeung Chow Chao Fan 楊州炒飯 Fried Rice With Prawns, BBQ Pork And Peas A.K.A Special Fried Rice

As promised I am sharing with you a dish that many Chinese restaurant goers consider to be a must - have here in Australia.

Yong Chow fried rice is a Cantonese classic that is better known as "the special fried rice",  "number 21", "number 42", "number 66"... depending on which "palace", "inn", or "house" one frequents.

It is indeed a very special dish when it is done right, unfortunately it is often not the case when the dish turns up greasy or inferior ingredients are used.

Serve it on its own as we often do or you might want to have a "Chinese night" in by simply teaming it up with sweet and sour pork, beef in black bean sauce and lemon chicken.

serves 4 as a one dish meal or as part of a Chinese meal
you'll need;
3 tbs of cooking oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 spring onions (white parts only), chopped
300 g of banana prawns, peeled and roughly chopped
250 g of char siu, homemade or shop bought, diced
6 cups of cooked rice, cool if using freshly cooked rice
1 1/2 cups of frozen peas, thawed
4 tbs of light soy
a dash of sesame oil
a dash of white pepper
3 spring onions, chopped

Prepare the ingredients and set aside.

Heat up the wok, using 2 tbs of oil lightly scramble the the beaten eggs, remove and set aside.

Heat up the wok again, saute the minced garlic and spring onions using the remaining oil. Add the prawns and cook until prawns are just cooked.

Return the scrambled eggs to the wok, add rice and mix well, stir fry on hi heat for a minute.

Add char siu and peas and mix well, stir fry on high heat for another minute. Season with soy, sesame oil and white pepper, add chopped spring onions and continue to stir fry for a further minute. Check for seasonings before serving.

Serve it on its own or as part of a Chinese meal.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Orange And Poppyseed Loaf Cake

I don't always have time to make fancy and complicated cakes at work so an easy recipe like this is a true saviour, besides who doesn't like a super moist orange a poppyseed cake?

It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare the batter and thats how easy it is. Better still if you want a dairy free cake you may substitute the butter with cooking oil, that will further reduce the prep time :)

P.S I have just realised 3 hungry tummies had quietly turned 4 on the 3rd this month. Thank you for all you support over the years! Happy cooking and baking!

serves 10 to 12 
pre heated oven 170 C (conventional)
a lined loaf tin
you'll need;
1 1/2 cups of melted butter or vegetable oil
1 1/2  cups of cater sugar
4 eggs + 1 egg white
2 1/4 cups of self rising flour
1 1/2 oranges, cut off the tops and ends, pureed
3 tbs of poppy seeds

for the orange glaze;
1.5 cups of icing mixture
1.5 tbs of orange juice
grated rind of 1 orange

Place melted butter, sugar, eggs and flour in a mixing bowl and mix well.

Mix in the orange puree and poppyseed.

Place batter into a lined loaf tin. (recipe is for a single cake, photo taken at work where multiple cakes are baked)

Allow the cake to cool, you may want to just dust the cake with some icing sugar before serving if you can't be bothered with the orange glaze.

To make the glaze, place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.

Spread the glaze over the top of the cool cake, allow the glaze to set before slicing.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Gu Lou Yuk 咕噜肉 Cantonese Style Sweet And Sour Pork

For many non-Chinese a good Chinese meal is incomplete without the ever popular sweet and sour pork, beef in black bean sauce and lemon chicken.... oh one mustn't forget the compulsory yang zhou fried rice (or better known as the special fried rice, recipe next).

The bastardised versions served at most Chinese restaurant simply do not reflect how wonderful these dishes actually are. Having shared with you the superior versions of beef in black bean sauce (豉汁牛肉) and lemon chicken (檸檬雞) , it is time to give this wonderful dish a much needed redemption.

No thick and soggy batter nor the familiar starchy dyed red sauce in this family recipe of mine. Instead you'll be getting crispy and light battered pork in a delightful sweet and sour sauce flavoured with ginger, vinegar, tomato ketchup, sugar and Chinese cooking wine. The crisp vegetables and pineapple add crunch and colours to this wonderful Cantonese classic

If you are not a fan of pork belly, do feel free replace it with pork neck or loin instead. For a northern version, please check out sweet and sour pork spareribs (糖醋排骨)

recipe from the tummies' kitchen
serves 6 to 8 as part of a Chinese meal
you'll need;
1 kg of pork belly, removed rind, cubed and flatten with a kitchen mallet
5 cm knob of ginger, grated
1 spring onion (white part only), minced
1.5 tbs of light soy
2 tsp of sesame oil
a splash of Chinese cooking wine
a dash of white pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
corn flour for coating
peanut oil for frying
1/2 a red onion, cubed
1/2 a red pepper, cubed
1/2 a green pepper, cubed
1/4 of a pineapple, skinned and cut into chunks
1 small cucumber, cubed (treatment see below)
3 spring onions, cut into 2 cm lengths

for the sauce;
2 tbs of cooking oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
a small knob of ginger, minced
120 ml of tomato ketchup
6 tbs of sugar
300 ml of white vinegar
100 ml of chicken stock
a dash of Chinese cooking wine
corn flour solution to thicken

Prepare the vegetables and pineapple.

Cut cucumber into chunks, rub in a tbs of salt and allow to stand for 10 minutes, squeeze out excess water and rinse well.

Marinate pork with ginger, spring onion, light soy, sesame oil, Chinese cooking wine, white pepper  and beaten eggs for at least 30 minutes. 

Coat pork pieces with corn flour and deep fry pork in batches until golden and crispy. drain well and set aside.

Saute onion and peppers with a little oil in a very hot wok for a minute, remove and set aside.

Heat up 2 tbs of cooking oil  and saute garlic and ginger over medium heat until fragrant (~ 1 minute). Add tomato ketchup, sugar, vinegar, stock and Chinese cooking wine, stir well and allow the sauce to come to a boil. Return the sauteed vegetables to the wok together with the pineapple and cucumber, stir and mix well.

When the sauce return to a boil, thicken the sauce with a little corn flour solution. Finally return the fried pork to the wok, turn off the heat and mix well.

Serve with plenty of steamed rice and enjoy!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

German Apple Cake

Surprised and speechless to see a baking post on my blog? You better get used to it as cakes, slices and all things sweet and pretty will appear regularly from now on.

No! I haven't suddenly developed a sweet tooth but baking is simply part of my new job and I must confess I am loving every moment of it! The transformation of a non baker with complete baking phobia like me to a baking addict in less than a week can only proof one thing - baking is fun and not that difficult after all.

This is a recipe I found in my first baking book, Baking Step By Step. A book I highly recommend for all baking novices.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and happy cooking and baking! :)

P.S Photos were taken using my smartphone, so do excuse me for the less than agreeable quality.

recipe from Baking Step - By -Step by Caroline Bretherton
serves 8
preheated oven at 190 C (conventional)
A lined 20 cm springform cake tin
you'll need;
262 g of butter, soften
262 g of brown sugar
zest of 2 lemons
5 eggs, lightly beaten
262 g of self rising flour
4.5 tbs of milk
4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into wedges

for the streusel topping;
115 g of plain flour
85 g of brown sugar
2 tsp of cinnamon powder
85 g of butter, diced

Method for topping;
Place all topping ingredients in a bowl, rub everything with your fingers to form a crumbly ball of dough. Wrap with cling film and chill for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add zest and a little eggs at a time, mixing well after each addition to avoid curdling. Stir the flour into the batter and gently fold in with the flour. Finally add the milk in and gently mix it in.

Spread half the batter in the lined tin and smooth the surface with a pallet knife. Arrange half of the apple wedges over the batter. Spread the remaining batter over the batter and arrange the remaining apple wedges in an attractive pattern.

Remove the streusel dough from the refrigerator and coarsely grate it.

Sprinkle the grated streusel evenly over the top of the cake. Bake in the center of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Insert a skewer into the center, if it is coated in batter, cook for a few more minutes and test again. 

Leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the tin and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

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melbourne, victoria, Australia