Bak Kwa

We had a picnic among friends just in the past weekend. It was perhaps the largest we had organized with over 50 adults and children attending. We could not have chosen a better weekend as the day was simply beautiful and a great time to be outdoors. Feels like summer already to us!

It was a pot luck picnic and as usual, everyone tries to bring something unique to the picnic to share. Suanne had a great idea to make something new for a change — Bak Kwa (or Rougan in Mandarin or Yoke Kon in Cantonese). Bak Kwa is basically dried meat … perhaps like the western Jerky but not quite. Bak Kwa is miles better than any Jerkies in the world, I swear.

Surprisingly the way to make it is a simple process although it could be tedious and time consuming to prepare the slices. There is a two step process … the first is to prepare dried slices from minced meat (Suanne used pork) and then the second part is to grill it to release the juiciness.

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The pictures below does not do justice to the taste. Well, it was my first time grilling the Bak Kwa but really it should look like this (click here). However it looked, it actually tastes not bad … not great but really good.

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Update 03-Mar-2010: Someone wrote that this recipe originates from the site Lily’s Wai Sek Hong. Because this recipe had been posted almost 3 years ago, I cannot recall exactly where this recipe originates from.

Here is how you make it …

Ingredients

  • 1 kg ground pork (from the part called Mui Tao Sao)

Marinate:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 200g sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
  • 1/8 teaspoon five spiced powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kam cho (licorice) powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons rose wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Chili Con Carne

At the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen, Jean paired up with Tanni for this week’s demonstration. Sharing the load makes it easier for members as one do not have to come up with at least 2 dishes to fill the time slot.

Jean made a pot of Chili Con Carne, commonly known as Chili, is a spicy stew like dish with meat (beef or pork), chili peppers (if you prefer spicy), tomatoes, onions, beans other vegetables. The vegetarian version of Chili is known as Chili Sin Carne. Chile Con Carne in Spanish means “chili with meat”. Chili Con Carne is the official dish of the state of Texas in U.S.

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Jean served the Chili Con Carne with whole wheat spaghetti. You may served it on rice or garlic toast too.

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Even though Jean just prepare a dish for this week, she also brought homemade pumpkin raisin muffins to share with us. Thank you, Jean for your generosity.

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Ingredients for Chili Con Carne

  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 large can of tomato soup
  • 1 large can of chopped tomatoes or chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 large can of kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can of sliced button mushroom or fresh ones
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar, to tenderize the meat

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Vegetable Pie in Beef Shell

Jean demonstrated this Vegetable Pie in Beef Shell in the Caring Place Community Kitchen upon Minoo’s request. Jean had demonstrated this pie at another community kitchen which I did not attend and it was so good that the portion that the members supposed to bring home was gobbled up on the spot.

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This pie is unique in a way that the shell is made from beef, kind of like meat loaf with vegetables toppings.

Ingredients

For the shell:

  • 1 1/2 lbs extra lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup rolled oatmeal
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • few drops of tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced
  • 2 cups potatoes. diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 6 pearl onions
  • 1 cup peas
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Twice Cooked Pork Belly

Twice Cooked Pork Belly is one of my favourite dish. I like to order this whenever I visit a Shanghai restaurant. I’m glad that Julie demonstrated how to make it in the South Arm Community Kitchen.

Twice Cooked Pork Belly is a spicy dish and quite heavy in seasonings. So, it goes best with steam rice.

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Julie served the Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Hong-Zao Fried Rice along with another dish; Hong-Zao Stir-Fried Pork. The meal ended with Sweet Potato Soup with lots of ginger to enhance the flavour.

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Here is the recipe for the Twice Cooked Pork Belly.

Ingredients

  • 1 slab of pork belly, about 1 lb
  • 1 medium cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon spicy broad bean paste (“lark tou pan jiang”) or chilli sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet fermented bean paste (“tien mien jiang”)
  • dark soy sauce for colour
  • sugar to taste

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Baked Chicken with Pineapple

Jean’s second dish is Baked Chicken with Pineapple. Chicken goes well with pineapple. The pineapple juice helps to tenderize the chicken.

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The chicken turned out to be slightly on the sweet side as Jean added a lot more candied ginger than stated in the recipe to the dish. Jean loves candied ginger, so do I. Check out the goodness of candied ginger here.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 to 4 lbs chicken parts or split breast, boneless and skinless
  • 10 to 12 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped candied ginger
  • 1 small can of sliced pineapples, halved

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Spicy Chicken Salad

Zoe is a new member of the Caring Place Community Kitchen. This is her second time attending this kitchen and she is so courages to share with us two recipes. We certainly need more of such members. Many times, new members are too shy to show off their cooking skills and they always say they come to learn. The recipes she shared with us are Spicy Chicken Salad and Chicken Rice.

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The first recipe, Spicy Chicken Salad is very simple to make and a healthy one too. You can adjust the spiciness according to your preference by using a milder hot pepper paste.

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Ingredients

  • boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • cucumber (Zoe used Japanese cucumber which is seedless)
  • hot pepper paste
  • garlic, minced
  • ginger (divided, sliced and minced)
  • corn syrup
  • sesame seeds

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Pork Bulgogi

Bulgogi is a popular dish in Korea. Bulgogi literally means “fire meat” in Korean, therefore it is usually grilled, barbecued, broiled or pan fried. Generally bulgogi is referred to a beef dish but you can also make it with pork or chicken.

Minnie made a Pork Bulgogi in the community kitchen. This dish is very flavourful and goes well with steamed rice. Traditionally, Korean served Bulgogi on a piece of lettuce and seasoned with a dab of gochujang (red chili paste) and garnished with a piece of kimchi and garlic and eaten whole as a wrap.

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Ingredients

  1. Pork, thinly sliced (Minnie used a combination of pork belly and pork butt)
  2. Juice from 1/2 apple, 1/2 kiwi and 1 pear (or used can juice instead)
  3. Soy sauce, red pepper paste, corn syrup (or sugar), sliced onions (or green onions), sesame oil, minced garlic, dried rosemary, ground peppers
  4. vegetables of your preference like carrot, yam, sweet peppers

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Taiwanese Style Minced Pork

This is the 100th entry for the community kitchen, It’s been more than a year since I joined the community kitchen. It is a great place to learn new recipes from different cultures and meet new friends. I would like to thank all who had shared their recipes and extended their friendship.

Heidi shared a few dishes at the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen. She made this Taiwanese Style Minced Pork to go with rice. The sauce from this dish is just great to go with rice. Kids will surely love this dish as its easy for them to chew on unlike dishes with big pieces of meat.

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She also brought some Soy Egg and Thai Style Pickled Cucumber which she prepared from home to go complement the Taiwanese Style Minced Pork.

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The Soy Egg is cooked in soy sauce, sugar, water and sometimes with the addition of herbs and spices. This can be eaten as a snack.

Here is the recipe for the Taiwanese Style Minced Pork.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs minced pork
  • 6 pieces dried shiitake mushroom, soak well and finely chopped
  • 4 pieces of shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger
  • 10g rock sugar
  • 2 oz soy sauce paste
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 pieces bay leaves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 small piece dried orange peel
  • 1 medium pieces of dried Buddha’s fruit (Loh Han Guo), about 1/2 of a fruit. *
  • 1 cup water

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* Buddha’s fruit is a natural sweetener. The fruit is cooling in nature and can be used as a remedy for sun stroke. It is also used as a remedy for cough and removal of phlegm.

I love Buddha’s fruit dessert soup which has sea coconut and dried longan in it.

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