All posts tagged: pork

Pork belly adobo and a Crockpot giveaway

This post was made possible thanks to Crockpot and I am delighted to give away a Crockpot Sear & Slow CHP700 (RRP $299.99). Just complete the entry form at the bottom of this post to enter. Pork belly adobo is comfort food. Adobo is the (unofficial) national dish of the Philippines. A country of 100 million people, inhabiting 7000 islands, you will find many variations, both regional and personal of this delicious Pinoy stew. Some cooks make it with pork, others with chicken, others still with both chicken and pork. Accepted ingredients are soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic and bay leaf. With default savoury, sour and sweet notes, variations include the addition of ingredients such as pineapple, coconut milk, potatoes or hard boiled eggs. I’ve added potatoes to my slow cooker adaptation which soak up the sauce and takes on a gorgeous hue. What I love about this dish is that aside from the pork belly, if you cook regularly, you may already have these ingredients at home. The ingredients list feels familiar and not too …

Dumpling wisdom from a retired dumpling professional

I am a lucky girl who grew up eating home made dumplings. The dumplings we ate were stuffed with pork mince with different variations. I asked my Mum what ingredients were in the dumplings of my childhood and this post is based around her answer. 12 years ago, back when I was still a hungry design student, I worked in our family’s Chinese take-out. Since I loved dumplings so much, I helped myself to dumplings at the start of every shift. Free dumplings is a (self-proclaimed) perk of working in the family business. Dad made the filling and wrapped a hundred dumplings ahead of time and the dumplings were cooked during service. One of my duties was cooking dumplings fresh to order. So while I can’t proclaim I was a professional dumpling wrapper, I did get paid to cook dumplings. This makes me somewhat of a retired dumpling professional (see pro tips at the bottom of this post). Fast forward 12 years, my love of dumplings has grown. I don’t cook dumplings for money anymore and my …

Chipotle and passionfruit with Long White Vodka

Some people are iffy about fruit with meat. I am not some people. Sweet and savoury have always been in my culinary vocab. I practically grew up in a Chinese takeaway in Rotorua during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Back then, Dad and Uncle worked as chef owners and cooked a thousand sweet and sour pork dishes for their customers. Battered deep-fried pork smothered in a homemade sweet and sour sauce; this came with onions, capsicum and of course, pineapple. An instant classic. I grew up loving sweet and sour pork and I think many of you did too. I enjoy cooking with natural sweet flavours and pork lends itself traditionally to fruit pairings, most commonly apple and pineapple but I found passionfruit also works beautifully. This sweet and smoky pulled pork taco is inspired by Long White Vodka Passionfruit. With a light, tropical taste that’s not too sweet, Long White Vodka Passionfruit is my favourite of their three flavours. Containing no added table sugar, apple juice is used to give it just a …

Street Eats 2015 – food porn and people watching

Today is the last day of Restaurant Month. What a month it’s been! On Saturday was Street Eats, a highlight and grand finale event of Restaurant Month. I arrived at Street Eats at 10.30am when it opened, paid $5 admission and set upon documenting and eating my way through the huge selection of delicious food. As I’ve mentioned before, going early is the best way to avoid crowds at Street Eats. I only had to wait in line for 1 dish and since I got there early before the crowds, I even got to chat to some chefs about their dishes. Each restaurant, eatery, pop up and food truck offered between 3 and 5 dishes, all under $10. Shed 10 was filled with restaurants and plenty of seating. In the centre island, drinks could be bought from various wine, cider and beer retailers.  With festive bunting and live music it was set for great atmosphere. Food trucks and pop ups lined the outside space between Shed 10 and The Cloud. I had already eaten at both Mexico and Orleans last week …

Banh mi in winter

Early 2000’s, The Koala and I arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam at 6am local time during the coldest month of the year. We’d just flown in from balmy Kuala Lumpur and had been awake for at 24 hours. We weren’t prepared for the cold but we dumped our stuff at our hotel and went exploring. The city was wide awake, bright and bustling. Big baskets of bread stacked on the footpath and banh mi sellers bundled up and huddled together like winter birds cozied up on a branch. What is banh mi? For those unfamiliar with banh mi, the word “banh mi” (pronounced BUN-mee) just means “bread” in Vietnamese but has come to mean a single serve baguette sandwich. The French colonials left behind baguettes and pate when they left Vietnam in the 1950s and the locals created this awesome fusion sandwich before fusion was a thing. Stuffed with pork or chicken, pate, mayo, cucumber, coriander (cilantro), pickled vegetables and sometimes chillies, they are made fresh to order so you get to choose (in our case point) the …

Crispy Roast Pork: Cantonese style

This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage bloggers to try new food related things. Ash from Organic Ash is the host for this month’s event. If you have a blog and you are eating or cooking something new this month, click below to join. More information here. Crispy roast pork (siu yuk) can be found hanging among roast ducks and slabs of shiny red BBQ pork in the windows of Cantonese BBQ restaurants everywhere. Traditionally, pork is roasted with seasoning in a charcoal furnace and is served as an appetiser* with your choice of dipping sauce. Soy sauce and hoisin sauce are popular but I love it dipped in mustard. Served with a bowl of rice and some Chinese greens, it’s a simple and delicious dinner. It’s interesting to note that the words “siu yuk” directly translates to roast meat, not roast pork. I guess pork is so ubiquitous in Cantonese cuisine that meat equals pork by default. While I have made English-style roast pork on many occasions, I’d never considered cooking the …

First visit to the butchery and 20 Hour Slow Cooked Pork Belly

This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage us to try new food related things. Alice from Nom Nom Cat is the host for month’s event. If you have a blog and have cooked, eaten or experienced a new food this month, come and join this event.  We have been shopping smarter and started a new routine that will hopefully stick. Supermarket: once a month Produce delivery: twice a month Asian grocer: twice a month Free range butcher: once or twice a month Specialty food shop: once a month This results in a shopping trip once a week but the best quality items for the best prices. Westmere Butchery I’ve been meaning to visit Westmere Butchery for ever. Highly recommended by my meat eating friends, they specialise in free range, free farmed and organic meats and their prices are reasonable. They also make award winning sausages on premises.  Years ago, a friend brought beef and scallop sausages to a BBQ. That sausage made quite an impression on me apparently. Fat scallops dotted throughout …

Slow Cooked Orange Pulled Pork (with crackling)

We are hoarding oranges. We don’t eat oranges, but they keep turning up, hence the collection. I have good intentions, I mean to eat them, which is why I haven’t cancelled or blacklisted oranges. If we had a juicer we might get through what we we receive from our boxes. Therefore, the next best thing is to use orange as an ingredient. Luckily, we love our meat with fruit in this house and The Koala was eager for me to test out another pulled pork on him. I used a boneless pork shoulder for my Hoisin pulled pork recipe but this version uses one with bone in as it was cheaper this week. Feel free to use either. I am loving our first winter living with a slow cooker. A hand-me-down from Mum, it’s worth the extra space it takes up on our counter. To save on time and dishes, I used the ceramic pot and lid from our slow cooker to marinade in. This requires substantial fridge space so if you don’t have this, …

Hoisin Pulled Pork

The Koala asked me if I had any plans for the weekend. I replied “pulled pork” which he thought it was code and I that was feeling frisky. To be fair, he wasn’t disappointed with what I had in mind. I frequent blogs and forums with US inhabitants and I often suffer from major food envy. Pulled pork has been the object of my affection. Pulled pork is not a common dish in New Zealand though this is slowly changing. There are American-Mexican joints in Auckland now who all serve slow cooked pork in tortillas. This recipe is incredibly easy to make and could be doubled or even tripled if you are feeding a larger group. This recipe fed five adults for dinner but judging by how quickly it disappeared, it would be better suited for four. Pork has this annoying habit of shrinking which is a good reason to buy slightly more than you think you need. No one ever complained about pulled pork leftovers! Hoisin means “seafood” I added a Chinese touch by …

Roast Pork With Crackling

Ah pork crackling. Crunchy and salty with a layer of slightly gooey richness just below the surface. It’s that still chewy layer that gets me. Crackling shouldn’t ben bone dry and crunchy all the way through. Unctuous and flavoursome, that layer of fat before the meat is glorious. My parents opened a roast dinner shop in Bayswater when I was in high school and I was always spoilt with roast meat sandwiches. We had roast chicken, roast lamb, roast beef and the king of roasts, roast pork with crackling. I didn’t take it for granted if that’s what you’re thinking. After all these years, roast pork is still my number one choice when we get roast dinner takeaways. I’m ashamed to admit I never tried to roast a pork with crackling. Until now. I searched far and wide for the crackling recipes known to man. And then of course, I took the best recipes and I took a few shortcuts. The recipe below is based mostly on the hands down, best recipe you can find …

Dried mushrooms and a recipe from my childhood

Like many Cantonese children, I grew up regularly eating what I we call Dong Gu. Dong Gu literally means “winter mushroom” and is also known as a Shiitake or Chinese Black Mushroom. Dried Shiitake mushrooms are used in various asian cuisines and are inexpensive, easy to use and if stored correctly, last a long time. Dried Shiitake mushrooms taste nothing like fresh Shiitake. Dried have an intensely savoury earthy flavour and the fresh stuff tastes weak in comparison. Do not substitute fresh for dried! My family always bring back a bag or two of dried mushrooms back from trips to Hong Kong, but New Zealand customs can be frightful to deal with so it’s not really recommended. Luckily, you can buy dried Shiitake at any Asian grocer these days, perhaps even at your general supermarket. Dried Mushrooms Tips: Once open, store mushrooms in the freezer. While they will last outside the freezer, they can inevitably attract moths and other nasties. No need to thaw before rehydrating as the lack of water means these don’t really …

Make Bacon

After reading the book Heat by Bill Buford, I’ve dreamed of curing my own pork. Curing meat uses salt to draw out the moisture and this allows the meat to last much longer. When the apocalypse that we’re all waiting for hits, we might need low tech techniques like these to make our food go further. Maybe. In the meantime, there’s nothing wrong with home made bacon just for fun. Traditionally, pig slaughter takes place in autumn, after a summer of fattening up and curing begins at this time of year too. The work is generally done outside and needs cooler temperatures to keep the meat happy. Winter is too cold in many parts of the world to work outdoors, so Autumn is the perfect season. Also, in the northern hemisphere, the holiday season follows soon after autumn and there is much appreciation of pork over the festive feast period. Christmas ham anyone? I’ve always loved the idea of curing/brining my own bacon. I wasn’t sure if I was going to smoke it too since I …

Cook Ribs

Ribs The ribs at Al Brown’s new restaurant, Depot are incredible. Lamb ribs with harissa sauce sounded great and I liked the inclusion of roasted capsicum. Al’s recipe can be found on his restaurant website for those that live outside of Auckland or just want to be able to make the dish at home. What a giver! I also have a soft spot for Lonestar ribs. It’s the only thing we go to Lonestar for these days. Ribs shouldn’t be a special occasion food, so I figured that was time to attempt to cook ribs at home. I put together this recipe after reading a bunch of recipes online and also incorporating some flavours that would work well with pork. Roasted capsicum is easy to do. Just cut a capsicum into quarters, remove the seeds, smear with a little oil and bake at 180°C for 40 minutes. In hindsight, this sauce would be badass with a slow cooked hunk of pork. Think pulled pork with coleslaw, potato salad and fresh buns. Oh boy. Kaitaia Fire Kaitaia Fire is …

Hakanoa (Ginger Syrup) Braised Pork Belly

I’m quickly falling in love with Hakanoa Hand-made Ginger Syrup. “Made from filtered water, organic fairtrade raw sugar, fresh ginger, organic dried ginger, organic sultanas and fresh lemon juice,” this syrup ticks all the boxes ethically and best of all, it is delicious. More info on this product can be found on their website hakanoa-handmade.co.nz. I’ve used it to make sangria as well as ginger flavoured milk. Don’t know it until you’ve tried it. It is amazing. Best of all, I like to use it as a marinade in meat dishes and my favourite meat and cut has got to be the delicious pork belly. Free range pork belly should be available where ever you find free range pork. Maybe you are bored of pork belly these days. No problem. Hopefully the world gets tired of pork belly and it will return back to being a cheap cut of meat. More for me! If you still have room in your life for another pork belly recipe, try my Hakanoa Braised Pork Belly recipe. The addition of cornflour …

Out Standing

On a beautiful Saturday morning, Parnell Farmers’ Market celebrated their “Hello Spring” event with face painting, Walnut the clown (making super balloon animal hats), Old Macdonald’s barnyard petting zoo and the main course: Julie Biuso’s Out Standing In Their Fields cooking demo. With 14 books under her belt and a 15th due out next month, Julie wears various foodie hats including writing, radio, television and teaching. I’m a subscriber to just one food magazine and Julie happens to be their food editor. Julie is well known for her accessible style of cooking and Taste magazine is my favourite for that same approach to food. Food shouldn’t be fussy! The first dish, a hot and sour pork salad was zingy and smart. Using asian exotics like lime, palm sugar, coriander, mint and fish sauce it has punchy flavours that bring out the freshness of the produce. Julie’s handy tips:  Use soft brown sugar as a substitute for palm sugar Refrigerate onions to save your eyes Don’t be scared about using fish sauce as a seasoning This …