Sweet and Sour Pork

This week’s cooking club at Gilmore Park Church featured 3 dishes which require deep frying. Cora shared with us Sweet and Sour Pork, Sesame Ball (Zeen Duy) and Pumpkin Tempura.

Cora is a very experienced cook. She demonstrated great skills in the kitchen. I remember she has more than once rescued disasters during our cooking sessions. Cora also loves to share as she always bring dessert for everyone at the cooking club meeting.

I don’t usually like to do deep frying at home. Deep frying, chinese style, makes the entire home smells with an oily odor which sticks for a long time before it clears. Other than that, it’s also a waste of oil because you could only recycle it that certain number of times.

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Anyway, here is Cora’s first dish: Sweet and Sour Pork. Isn’t it pretty? I like the big colorful peppers which makes the dish soooooo inviting.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs pork butt, cut into cubes, trimming excess fats
  • 3 bell peppers (different colors), cut into diamond shape.
  • 1 can pineapple ring (cut into quarters)

For marination

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • white pepper

For batter

  • 12 tablespoons self rising flour or
  • 12 tablespoons all-purpose flour + 1 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons glutinous rice flour
  • salt to taste
  • water

For sauce

  • pineapple juice
  • ketchup
  • white vinegar
  • sugar
  • water

I’m afraid that some of the ingredients do not have the exact amount as Cora cooks by feel and not direct from a recipe. What can I say … she’s an experienced cook.

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Pork Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce from DinnerWorks.com

This is our first gourmet meal from Dinnerworks — the Pork Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce. And may I add, also with White Wine. It was really good; beyond what we expected. The sauce were superb but with the wild mushroom it was even better. I never realize that the mushroom captures the intense flavour of the white wine so nicely.

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We had some sauce left over. Rather than throwing away perfectly good sauce, Ben took the remaining sauce with rice. He likes it. This is a keeper meal — I will prepare again next time.

The cooking instructions were very clearly provided in the ziplock bag we took home from DinnerWorks. Cooking takes about 1/2 hour.

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The ingredients we had were:

  • A big piece of pork tenderloin
  • The Wild Mushroom Crean Sauce
  • Chopped Onions, and
  • The White Wine

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The instructions asks to first sear the pork tenderloin on all sides for 1 minute each side. This is to seal the flavour of the pork in before baking. (more…)

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Swiss Steak

This is Jean’s second recipe in this week’s cooking club meeting. The Swiss Steak recipe is best cooked in a slow cooker for 8 to 9 hours. However, due to time constraint in the meeting, Jean cooked it on the stove for only 1 hour. Though the meat is not as tender as desired, but the Swiss Steak is still very flavourful and creamy.

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Ingredients

  • 2 – 2.5lb sirloin tip steak
  • 1 can (10 3/4oz) Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 or 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 10 pcs sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 – 3 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

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Chinese Drunken Chicken

We wanted to make drunken chicken but never knew how to really make it. We have always enjoyed the soupy type of drunken chicken and so we did a search…

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Fried Chicken — 3 Ways

In this week’s cooking club, Julie from Taiwan showed us three different way of making fried chicken. She made a chicken scallopini and two sesame chicken dishes. She made a scrumptious lunch for us.

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Ingredients

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Julie marinated the chicken overnight with some salt, white pepper, garlic, ginger, wine, sugar and soy sauce. She used two type of chicken meat. One type is boneless and skinless chicken breast which had been pounded very thin to make chicken scallopini. The other type is chicken with bones, which had been cut into small pieces. (more…)

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Garlic Studded Prime Rib Premium Oven Roast

I stumbled on a good deal the other day at Save-On-Foods. The Prime Ribs were on special — just $18 for the three pounds of prime ribs. I recall the last time we bought it, it was something like almost $30.

With oven roasts, preparation is really simple and the dinner cooks unattended. Although I made this only for the family this time, premium oven roasts are wonderful for the special occasions and for those times you want to impress.

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To add flavour I insert garlic slivers all over the roasts.

Ingredients

When choosing the perfect prime rib, make sure that it is cut from the ribs and then tied back on. The bones will add flavour during cooking and they can be easily removed for carving. Here are the ingredients

  • Prime Rib
  • Garlic
  • Lea and Perrins Worchestershire sauce
  • Dried Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

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Malaysian Style Curry Chicken

Big chickens don’t peck at small seeds.
~ Chinese Proverb

It’s been a long time since I made chicken curry. Curries are popular throughout Asia and comes in many different version. I think I know where the curry is generally from the color and look of it. The curry I made is the Malaysian style curry which is rich in coconut milk. The curry powder used is what gives the distinctive taste. I used the very popular Malaysian brand called Baba, which is available in the Richmond Public Market.

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The origin of the word curry is the Tamil word kari which means a sauce. Curries may be prepared from dried curry powder or from fresh roots and spices. Since curries are very rich in flavour, they are always served with a staple food such as steam rice. In Malaysia, curries are also eaten with bread or roti canai.

Ingredients

IMG_3976_edited-11 chicken, cut into pieces. I used mostly chicken drumsticks as the dark meat is more tastier and tender.
IMG_3971_edited-1This is the most important ingredient in making curry chicken. The BABAs meat curry powder is a blend of assorted spices including coriander, chilli, cumin, fennel, tumeric, dhal, pepper, cinnamon, cardamon, star anise, cloves and other spices.
IMG_3969_edited-1The rest of the ingredients include:

  • 8 to 10 tablespoons curry powder
  • 8 tablespoons water
  • 4 shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 slices ginger
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tablespoons oil
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • some curry leaves

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Pearl Balls

A pearl is worthless as long as it is in its shell.
~ Native American Proverb

Here is the other dish that Winnie showed us how to make in our cooking class this week. She called it the Pearl Ball, which is basically meat ball wrapped in glutinous rice. The dish derives it’s name from the translucent appearance of the glutinous rice in a ball shape.

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Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb fish paste
  • 2 tablespoons dry shrimp, soaked and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced carrot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shiitake mushroom
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallion
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup glutinous rice, soaked in cold water for at least an hour

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Bean Curd Rolls

Paper can’t wrap up a fire.
~ Chinese Proverb

Today, Winnie showed us how to make Bean Curd Roll in the cooking club. The Bean Curd Roll can be eaten hot from the steamer or deep fried.

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Ingredients

The Pork Mixture/Fillings

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 cup carrot, finely diced
  • 1 cup water chestnuts, finely diced
  • 1 cup black wood ear, soaked and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoon five spice powder
  • 2.5 tablespoon chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Maggi seasoning sauce
  • 1 teaspoon spice salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sweet potato starch

The Wrappings

  • 2 pieces bean curd skin
  • 1 cup chopped scallions

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Bah Kut Teh (Pork Rib Tea)

No matter if you eat a little or a lot of garlic, the smell is just as strong.
~ Tibetan Proverb

Bah Kut Teh (Hokkien for “pork rib tea”) is a soup served in Malaysia and Singapore. Story has it that it originated from a town in Malaysia called Port Klang. Generally it is cooked in a clay pot with various parts of the pig, varieties of mushroom, lettuce, and dried tofu sheets or tofu puff. The soup itself is a broth which consists of several herbs and spices (including star anise, cinnamon, cloves and garlic) which have been boiled together with meat for many hours. Light and dark soy sauce are also added to the soup during cooking, with varying amounts depending on the variant.

Bah Kut Teh is commonly eaten with rice, and particularly in Malaysia, often served with strips of fried dough called Yau Char Kwai (or Youtiao in Mandarin). Dark soy sauce is used as a condiment, sometimes accompanied with chopped chilli padi, which is ultra hot that it can kill your taste buds! Tea is also usually served in the belief that it dilutes or dissolves the copious amounts of fat which are consumed in the eating of this dish.

This dish is normally served as breakfast or brunch but over time has gained acceptance as a dinner dish.

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Ingredients
  • 1 kg of pork meat
  • 1 package of fried tofu puff
  • 1 package of dried bean curd stick
  • 8 pieces of dried shiitake mushroom
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 package of Bah Kut Teh seasoning mix

The ingredients above is sufficient to make 8 servings. Be warned, this is a lot of food. We normally make it once and eat them over two days. You can use chicken to substitute the pork but not beef. For this time, I use pork shoulder meat but if you prefer something leaner, you can use pork ribs instead.

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Condiments
  1. 1 pair of fried dough (you may find this in Chinese Bakery)
  2. Garlic
  3. Thai chilli

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