Taiwanese Meatball (Ba Wan)

A Taiwanese friend of mine called me up before this South Arm Community Kitchen about the street food that she misses a lot that will be demonstrated by Vicky. It was a surprise call as I had invited her to join the community kitchen a long time ago but I did not hear from her since.


It was the above street food that excited my friend from Taiwan. It is the Taiwanese Meatball or known as Ba Wan in Hokkien.


I had seen this many times in a Taiwanese food show when we had Shaw TV. I missed that show since we switched to Telus. I have never come across this street food here yet. Does anyone know if we can find this Taiwanese Meatball here?


For the skins:

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 400g yam flour
  • 6 1/5 cup cold water

For the filling:

  • 400g ground pork
  • 1 cup (about 8) dried shiitake mushroom, reconstituted
  • 1 cup (170g) dried bamboo shoot
  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimps
  • 1 tablespoon fried onion
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

Marinates for pork:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon five spice powder


For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons rice flour
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup

Tools required:

  • Steam baskets
  • Small bowls


Source: Vicky

Yield 15 meatballs


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Vietnamese Caramelized Pork

Note: This is a milestone post … post #2000! Glad we made it this far. 🙂

This recipe is from Bonnie, Ben’s colleague, who gave us her recipe after we visited Mui Ngo Gai.


It did not turned out as the Mui Ngo Gai version but taste wise, it’s good. Sweet and salty at the same time with a strong black pepper taste. Even Arkenzen and Nanzaro loves this.


  • pork belly, cut into small slices (approx 2 lbs, I used pork butt or in Cantonese ‘Char Siew Yoke’)
  • sugar (approx 2-3 tbsp)
  • fish sauce (approx 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • freshly cracked black pepper, about 2 teaspoons
  • 1 teaspoon crushed chili, optional


Source: Bonnie Leong

Serves 4 to 6


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Boiled Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

The main Chinese New Year dish made in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors is Boiled Pork and Cabbage Dumplings. Dumpling or jiaozi is a traditional dish eaten during Chinese New Year’s Eve and some other festivals. Family members gather together to make dumplings as wrapping dumplings is quite time consuming. Such activity also brings the family closer.


Dumplings can be boiled or pan fried. Boiling is a healthier choice of cooking.

Dumplings can be freeze on the baking sheet. Once they’re completely frozen, place them in a ziplock bag for future consumption.


  • 12 ounces napa cabbage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup minced Chinese chives or green onions
  • 2/3 pound ground pork
  • 1/8 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 package refrigerated round dumpling wrapper (50 pieces)


Source: adapted from Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen

Prep time: 40 minutes;  Cook time: 20 minutes;  Yield 50 dumplings

Chris O’Brennan, Helena, Sdyney, Frances and Chris made these dumplings.


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Vietnamese Cuisine: Spring Rolls (Cha Gio)

We were very excited when Minoo told us that she had invited one of South Arm Community Kitchen’s pioneer member, Doris to demonstrate some Vietnamese dishes. Doris is a third generation Chinese Vietnamese here. It is such a privilege to be able to invite her to demonstrate in the kitchen as she is a very busy hair dresser now.


The spring roll is deep fried until the skin is crispy. This is a great appetizer or finger food for holiday entertaining.


Of course, the spring roll has to go with the Fish Sauce dipping sauce. The sourness of the dipping sauce cuts back the heaviness of the meat.

Ingredients for Spring Roll:

  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 5 pieces black fungus, reconstituted in some water, finely chopped
  • 2 bunches of mung bean vermicelli, soak in some water to soften and cut into smaller strands.
  • 1 pound taro root
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 1 package spring roll rice paper wrap (Asian boy brand recommended)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Fish Sauce for dipping:

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or 3/4 tablespoon vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce (optional)



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Pork Jowl (Pork Cheek) Char Siu

Pork Jowl is the cheek cut off the face of a pig, hence it is also called Pork Cheek.  It is rich with plentiful amounts of fat with a few layers of meat. It is expensive because each head only yields a small amount of pork cheek. I saw the butcher trimmed off the pork jowl on the spot.  I bought the following pork cheek at a butcher at $8.80 per pound.


I marinated the pork jowl overnight with a lemon grass sauce which I bought from the butcher place too.  The Lemon Grass Sauce is good with chicken or pork.  I used it to marinate pork chop or boneless chicken leg which I pan fried them.   Nanzaro loves the pan fry boneless chicken leg marinated in lemon grass sauce.


Since the pork jowl is very thin, it’s takes very little time to pan fry them in medium heat.  You can use an indoor grill to grill them too.


Although the pork cheek is fatty, it has a springy texture.  The lightly charred and caramelized part is the best. (more…)

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Claypot Rice with Minced Pork and Salted Egg Yolk

My family likes claypot rice.  We always order claypot rice when we are in a Chinese restaurant or dim sum place like the following:


This is my take of Claypot Rice with Minced Pork and Salted Egg Yolk.  We had this in Hot Pot One and we found that the salted egg yolk’s taste and texture complements the minced pork very well.  It’s something different from the regular combination of minced pork with salted fish.


  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups long grain rice (I meant measuring cup for rice)
  • 3/4 to 1 lb minced pork
  • 2 salted egg yolk, cut into half
  • bak choy

Marinate for pork:

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • drizzle of sesame oil

Sauce for rice:

  • 2 tablespoons of hot water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 drops of sesame oil



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Island Pork Tenderloin

The South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors celebrated the month of June with a theme of salad.  There are 5 salad recipes in this meeting.  In view of the number of salad we had, Charlene decided to cut short this original recipe of Island Pork Tenderloin Salad to just the tenderloin part only.

Sdyney and Lorna partnered up to make this dish.


This Island Pork Tenderloin is adapted from Gourmet.  It’s a main course and it serves 6 to 8.  Charlene loves this recipe and whenever there is a sales for tenderloin, she will make this Island Pork Tenderloin.  You can store the cooked tenderloin in the fridge for up to 5 days and it’s good with sandwiches or wraps.

  • 2 pork tenderloin (2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds total)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Spice Rub:

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco


P/S: the Dijon mustard is not supposed to be in the photo above.


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Italian Wedding Soup

While the meatballs are in the oven, Sydney is busy preparing the vegetables for the Italian Wedding Soup. The term ‘wedding soup’ is originated from the Italian language, minestra maritata which literally means ‘married soup’. It is referred to the green vegetables and meats which go well together.

Joyce was jokingly saying that it’s great to work with Sydney again on this recipe as both of them were working on the Pavlova Roll with Passionfruit Cream with great success at the previous cooking meet. However, she continued to say that she does not need another wedding as she enjoys her single and free life now.


The Italian Wedding Soup is very flavourful and is rich with lots of vegetables, especially the escarole which has a very mild hint of bitterness in it. With the addition of pasta in this soup, it is very filling too and can be a meal by itself. It is also great to serve the soup with some bread sticks which I will blog later.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken or beef stock (we used a combination of both)
  • 1 medium can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup small pasta, such as ditalini, orzo, or stars
  • 1 12 oz. bag of spinach, or 1 bunch kale, chard, or escarole (broad leaved endive), chopped
  • additional Parmesan for serving



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Italian Meatballs

Back in the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors, Charlene prepared three recipes for the seniors to cook. The usual menu will consists of a main dish, a side dish and a dessert. For the main dish, the seniors will be making Italian Wedding Soup. There are two parts to this soup; the first part is to make the Italian meatballs and the last part is to make the soup which the meatballs will be part of the ingredients. Joyce, Karen and Sydney are the main participants for this recipe but others also help out in rolling the meatballs.


The Italian meatballs have a little spiciness in it. The are made with ground chicken meat and Italian sausage. The parsley adds freshness and fragrance to the meatballs.

This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten and it serves 6.


  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 slices white bread, torn into small pieces, with crusts removed
  • 1/2 lb. ground chicken or turkey
  • 1/2 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt



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