recipe

Momofuku Style Pork Steam Bun

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I have always wanted to try these little pillows of goodness ever since my brother had told me of eating them in New York, I think he paid $8 for 2 tiny ones. With this recipe you will be able to stretch the dollar A LOT further.

The sweet fluffy buns, succulent juicy pork and the freshness  of the pickles will leave you wanting more and more and more….I do have to mention that I cheated on the buns and bought a pre packaged Banh Bao Flour Mix from my local asian supermarket, I didn’t even know they made it pre packaged like this – heaven sent!  The hard work isn’t done for you though, you will still have to knead the dough, let it rest and knead again and roll out. The buns can be made and steamed ahead of time, store in the fridge for 1 day or in the freezer for 2 months. I was lucky enough to have some Pork Belly already poached sitting in the freezer, just defrosted it, sliced into pieces and shallow fried-done! You could also use Char Sui Pork or Peking Duck.

This recipe would have to be one of my favourites, right up there with the Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Citrus Caramel Dressing.


Momofuku Style Pork Steam Buns


Ingredients

1 package of pre mix Banh Bao flour mixture*

1.5 kg Pork Belly, poached in masterstock, sliced into 5cm pieces

1/2 jar hoisin sauce

1 spring onion, finely julienned or sliced

Cucumber Pickle

2 lebanese cucumbers, thickly sliced

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 tablespoon salt


Method

  1. To pickle cucumbers, add the salt, sugar and cucumbers to a container or jar, shake to cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour. Its amazing, as the salt and sugar draw all the moisture from the cucumbers and the jar fills up with a beautiful sweet/salty liquid. They will last 1 month in the fridge.
  2. Start the pork buns per packet instructions. I decided to shape mine like envelopes (momofuku style) I have made them the traditional way before and I found this way alot easier “always like easier”. It makes about 12-16 buns. Divide your dough up, roll into circles about 1/2 cm thick, place onto a piece of baking paper, spray the bun and using a chopstick, fold the bun over the chopstick and then remove. First time I did these they stuck together, so the oil should prevent this from happening. Place buns into  a large steamer, be sure not to place them too closely together as they will expand . Buns should take about 10 minutes. Cover the cooked buns with a tea towel and continue with the rest.
  3. Heat enough oil in a large frypan or wok to shallow fry the pork belly, will take about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towel.
  4. To assemble, brush the buns with hoisin, layer with  the pork belly, pickled cucumber and  garnish with spring onion.
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Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Citrus Caramel Dressing

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Here’s another drool worthy dish, Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Citrus Caramel Dressing. You can view this recipe and more here.Its from The Spirit House, Yandina, Queensland, an award winning restaurant.
The ingredients list is long, but hooray, there is no skill required and all of the components can be frozen. I always double the amount of pork belly, poach it and then freeze both the pork belly and masterstock seperately. The master stock can be re-used for chicken, duck, quail or spatchcock. With any cut of meat once its been cooked it can be frozen again.
The Citrus Caramel Dressing can be frozen also, it makes alot.

.Masterstock

 You will impress the pants off anyone by whipping this dish up for a dinner party or  lunch time bbq, all the hard work has been done. You will only need to defrost, slice and deep fry the pork pieces, heat up the sauce and make an asian salad …delicious!! All ingredients can be found at your local asian supermarket, local supermarket and farmers markets.


Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Citrus Caramel Dressing


Ingredients

Masterstock Recipe

2 litres water

250ml shaoxing wine

125ml light soy sauce

75ml dark soy sauce

100grams yellow rock sugar

2 pieces tangerine peel (I just use orange peel)

2 pieces cassia bark

4 star anise

1 knob of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped*

4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved


Method

  1. Bring all the ingredients to the boil in a very large pot, simmer for 10 mins.
  2. Preheat oven to 200c, place pork belly in a deep oven tray,  pour over the hot masterstock, cover with foil tighly and cook in the oven for 2 hours. Once cooked, remove pork belly and place in the fridge overnight.
  3. To freeze masterstock, strain into a container, leave to cool in the fridge, then place in freezer. Will last 6 months in freezer.

Citrus Caramel Dressing


Ingredients

4 coriander roots, roughly chopped*

50 grams ginger, peeled and roughly chopped*

30 grams  tumeric, peeled and roughly chopped*

500grams palm sugar

500ml orange juice

4 kaffir lime leaves*

2 star anise

1 piece cassia bark

50mls water

1 lemon grass stalk*


Method

  1. Using your mortar and pestle, pound the coriander, ginger and tumeric to a paste (alternatively you could use a food processor).
  2. Heat a large saucepan with a little oil, fry off the paste until starting to colour, add the sugar, water and cook until sugar dissloves. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, reduce heat and reduce to a syrup like consistency. Strain and cool. Store in fridge or freezer.

 

To serve

If pork is frozen, defrost in fridge overnight. Heat oil in a deep fryer or wok to 190c, cut the pork into 4 cm pieces. In this next step I have found the pork spits when cooking, so make sure you  have a splatter screen or lid for your deep fryer or wok. Deep fry 4-5 pieces of pork  for 3-4 min, they will turn a nice golden colour. Drain on paper towel.

Arrange the Twice Cooked Pork Belly over an asian salad and drizzle with the Citrus Caramel Dressing .


* all of these ingredients I store in my freezer in snap lock bags.

Baked Eggs with Chorizo Patatas Bravas

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I was having a difficult time coming up with a name for this dish, its not Spanish, Turkish or Greek. Maybe I could name it “European Baked Eggs”…. This recipe came about by mistake as usual, using only ingredients I had to make a “man worthy” dish for my husband that didn’t involve bread, pasta or rice. Being extremely successful in the ” the most awesome meal you’ve cooked” from my husband, it needed to be shared. Its a very versatile dish and the ingredients can be played around with, a bit more heat if you wish or even a whole chilli. Substitute the chorizo for bacon (wont have that nice spicy kick though), zucchini would be a nice addition also.


Baked Eggs with Chorizo Patatas Bravos


(serves 2)

Ingredients

500g potatos, peeled and cubed

1 small red capsicum, diced

1 small red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 small chorizo, halved lengthways and sliced

1/2 teaspoon cummin, oregano, smoked paprika

pinch of cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

1 400g can beans (butter, kidney or canellini)

1 400g can diced tomatoes

4 eggs

50g baby spinach

1 tablespoon oil


Method

  1. Pre heat oven to 220c, fan forced. Place potatoes into a pot of salted cold water, bring to the boil, cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Strain and return to pot, cover in oil and shake. Pour onto a prepared baking tray, roast for 10-15 minutes. Once ready, remove tray from oven and reduce the temperature to 200c. Set cooked potatos aside whilst making the chorizo mixture.
  2. Heat a large oven proof fry pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, saute the capsicum and onion until soft, add the garlic and chorizo, add the spices and cook until aromatic. Pour in the tomatoes and cook until reduced slightly. Add the beans, roasted potatoes, along with the baby spinach, cook until spinach starts to wilt.Take frypan off heat, make 4 wells in the mixture, crack your eggs into each well,  season with salt and pepper and place into oven  for 8-10 minutes. Cook until the whites are just firm if you like runny yolks.

 

Risoni Pesto Salad with Roast Pumpkin

Rissoni Pesto Salad with Roast Pumpkin

Following on from my previous post, this is one of my all time favourite uses for my Pesto. Its really not the kind of weather here for salad, but too much indulging with visitors, being sick and no gym calls for some healthy, wholesome food this week. This salad was a great hit with my best friend “the taste tester” and that made me decide to post it.

To make the salad you will need 1/2 cup or more of my Cashew Basil Pesto, of course you could use store bought, but it will be no way near as tasty – haha! The combination of the rice like pasta, crunchy beans, sweet caramelized pumpkin and the saltiness of the feta is so refreshing and then you get a pop of crunch from the roasted pine nuts and seeds -yum,  yum! I always cook this salad in stages, as I have 2 little ones who are very demanding and I have very short windows of  “ME” time. I just combine all ingredients just before its time to serve. The salad will last in the fridge for a couple of days  and can be refreshed with a squeeze of lemon before serving.

 

 


Risoni Pesto Salad with Roast Pumpkin


 

(Serves 6)

Ingredients

1/2 pumpkin ( any type) cut into 1 inch pieces

300g green beans, cut into 1 inch lengths

500g risoni pasta

1/2 cup Cashew Basil Pesto

2 tablespoons pine nut, pepita and sunflower seed mix

100g rocket and baby spinach mix

50g danish feta

2 tablespoons rice bran oil and extra for drizzling

juice of half a lemon

salt and pepper


Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180c fan forced, prepare an oven tray with baking paper, scatter the chopped pumpkin on the tray, drizzle with oil , mix with hands to cover, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 20 minutes, remove tray and turn the pumpkin over. Cook for a further 15-20 minutes (you want it to be a bit burnt and caramelized on the edges). When cooked, cool on tray and  place in fridge until ready to assemble salad.
  2. Cook pasta according to packet instructions (mine took 10 mins) strain and place in a large bowl with the rice bran oil (the oil stops the pasta from sticking together).
  3. Place the beans into a medium pot of salted boiling water, boil for 3 minutes, strain and place into a bowl of cold water. Set aside.
  4. Roast the seed and nut mix in a small fry pan until lightly browned, keep an eye on it, they will burn quickly. Place in a small bowl until ready to sprinkle on top.
  5. Combine the pasta with the Cashew Basil Pesto, beans and crumbled feta, gently fold to combine, season with salt and pepper.
  6. Scatter the rocket and baby spinach leaves in a large salad bowl or serving platter, top with pasta mixture, roast pumpkin, nut and seed mix, lemon juice and a drizzle of oil.

 

Cashew Basil Pesto

Cashew Pesto

Pesto! …… I have a crazy, out of control basil plant so I’m forever making it. I don’t stick to the traditional recipe as I’m not a fan of pine nuts, I use roasted cashews instead, but I have used sunflower seeds, pepitas and even walnuts. The basil can be substituted or even mixed with kale or baby spinach.My style of pesto is on the chunky side and not as basily -is that a word? as the store bought ones. You will need a food processor or a mini one (you will just have to do it in batches or just halve or quarter the recipe) lots of basil, cashews, garlic, lemon and the ever so popular parmesan cheese. The recipe makes 1 3/4 cups- I know weird quantity? To store your pesto, place in a sealed jar with a layer of oil on the top, it will last 2 weeks in the fridge. Don’t forget every time you use some, replace the top with a little oil, this stops it from browning. I have frozen the pesto and it will last up to 2 months.

 


 

Cashew Basil Pesto


Ingredients

2 cups of basil, firmly packed

3/4 cup rice bran oil

80g parmesan, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped

1 cup roasted cashews

juice of half a lemon

salt and pepper


Method

  1. Place the basil and a drizzle of the oil into the food processor, pulse a couple of times till combined.
  2.  Add the parmesan, garlic and cashews, blitz until nice and chunky, add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Store in a sealed jar in the fridge.