Tag: The spicy world of the postulant cook

Braised Pork (Chinese Recipe)

Chinese Recipe
Pork Recipe


Chairman Mao Braised Pork, Photo by JMorton

Braised Pork Recipe

I love, love, love this recipe.  I am pretty sure it is fattening and not good for my high blood pressure but I just love it.  Anyway, I don’t really it every single day😜 as much I would like to. 😜 . Only on special occasions.

But there are those days that you can’t wait for a special occasion.  It just pops in your brain and can almost taste it that you actually want to eat it.  Well, we have got the recipe for you.

By the way, the above photo is called Chairman Mao’s Braised Pork.


Chairman Mao Braised Pork


  • 1½ lbs pork belly
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (dark)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (light)
  • (or 2 tbsp dark soy sauce)😜
  • 1½ tbsp Shaoxing Rice wine
  • 2 pieces Star anise
  • pinch salt
  • 1½ tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp rock sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, bruised
  • ¼ inch ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 stalk spring onion, left whole
  • 1 stalk spring onion, chopped for decoration


  1. Slice the pork belly into inch pieces.
  2. Add them to a casserole or pan of boiling water.  Allow to boil for 5-7 minutes.  Drain and allow to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan, better yet in a wok over fairly low heat.
  4. Stir in the sugar and cook until it had turned brown, not burnt.
  5. Add the pork and coat it with the sugar.  Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, turning them constantly.
  6. Pour in the wine.
  7. Add the light and dark soy sauce (or just use 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce).  Let the pork soak in the soy sauce for a minute.
  8. Add the water.
  9. Drop in the star anise.
  10. Sprinkle in the salt.  Turn up the heat on high.  Cover the wok or casserole and bring to a boil.
  11. Turn down the heat, add the ginger, garlic and the spring onion.
  12. Cover once again and simmer for 45-50 minutes on low heat.
  13. Check and stir once in a while to ensure that the water has not completely evaporated, leaving a burnt offering.
  14. Then sprinkle the rock sugar.  The rock sugar will give the pork its shiny, succulent look.
  15. Turn up the heat on high.  Allow to cook for another 7-10 minutes.  Stir it continuously and cover the pork pieces with the sauces.
  16. Now it is ready.  Transfer into a serving bowl and garnish with the chopped spring onion.
  17. Delicious with freshly cooked boiled rice.


Turon Saba (Caramelised Banana Plantain)

One of the things that I missed about the Philippines is the ritual of having snacks between meals. Morning snacks and afternoon snacks called merienda usually means calling to a nearby turo-turo, which sells street-food.  You can usually find woks of boiling oil cooking banana cue (caramelised bananas in wooden skewers) camote cue (slices of caramelised sweet potatoes in skewers) and of course turon.  I love turon the best because of the crispy and sweetened spring wrappers with it.  Perfectly complement the sweetly delicious succulence of the banana within.


Below is the recipe.  Just take care in cooking with deep fat.

Caramelised turon, by Arnold Gamboa

Turon Saba (Caramelised Banana Plantain Rolls)


  • 1/2 dozen ripe saba (banana plantain)
  • 1 cup chopped langka (jackfruit) (optional)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • lumpia (spring roll) wrappers
  • oil, enough for deep frying


Method of Preparation:

  • Peel the bananas and then cut in half lengthwise, and cut each half into 3 pieces.
  • Sprinkle each banana piece with sugar.
  • Place a piece  or two of banana over a lumpia wrapper, add a few sliver of chopped of langka (jackfruit) with it then carefully wrap the bananas like a spring roll. Secure and seal both  ends with a wash of water or beaten egg.
  • Fry in plenty of oil.
  • Sprinkle sugar over your turon as it cooks. The sugar will caramelise and stick to the turon. Flip your turon to coat evenly with caramelized sugar. Fry until golden brown and crisp all over.
  • Remove and drain in kitchen towel and also to give it time to cool down.  Hot sugar is rather dangerous. 🙂
  • Enjoy on its own or with a bit of ice-cream on the side.

Teriyaki Salmon Noodles Recipe

teriyaki with noodlesI love this salmon recipe from Waitrose.  Certainly, a nice change from battered fish of the fish and chips tandem,  though a delicious combination.

Did you know?

Salmon is rich in fatty acids, which keep the skin moisturised.

Teriyaki salmon with noodles

Marinate the salmon for 5 minutes in a teriyaki, honey, garlic and ginger combo

Serves: 4


  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 4 salmon fillets (about 120g each), skin on
  • 120g medium egg noodles
  • 1 tsp Waitrose toasted sesame oil
  • 5 essential Waitrose salad onions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 120g trimmed sugar snap peas
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 10g coriander leaves
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 3 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tbsp clear honey


  1. Preheat the oven to 220c, gas mark 7. Combine the teriyaki, honey, garlic and ginger in a small saucepan and simmer for a couple of minutes until thickened. Brush over the salmon fillets. Put the fish in a foil-lined roasting tin; leave to marinate for 5 minutes, then bake for 10. Brush with a little more dressing.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the packet instructions and drain. Warm the sesame oil in a frying pan; sauté the salad onions, sugar snap peas and sesame seeds for 1 minute. Stir in the cooked noodles and coriander.
  3. Serve the noodles and salmon with the lime wedges.


Gisadong Repolyo with eggs (Sauted Cabbage with eggs)


Gisadong Repolyo with eggs (Sauted Cabbage with eggs)

My Mother used to make this cabbage with egg, which I loved so much as a child.  It was one of my favourite foods.  It was a simple dish and yet so tasty, perfect viand for lunch eaten with freshly boiled rice.

If I remember correctly, my mother used the following for her recipe:


1 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 medium head of cabbage, cut thinly
1 large onion, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 beaten eggs
2 cups of water
salt and pepper to taste

Method of preparation:

She would heat the oil in a fairly large wok.
Add the garlic, don’t let it burn or it will turn bitter.
Add the onion
Add the tomatoes and let them cook through.  The smell of the garlic, onion and tomatoes frying is so heavenly. 🙂
Add the cabbage, stir
Add the water, lower the heat and cover the wok/kawali for 3 minutes.
Check that the cabbage is cooked.
Add the salt and pepper to taste.
Then add the beaten eggs while mixing the cooking cabbage continuously; the eggs would scramble with the cabbage.

This delicious offering can be served with boiled rice and a side dish of hot fried fish!


Apple & Avocado Smoothie

app& avSpring is definitely on its way and before you know it, it has rolled into summer.  We need to gather all the yummy and healthy smoothies we are going to be enjoying this summer in the sun (we live to hope 😉 LOL).

One of our firm favourites is the apple and avocado smoothie.  You cannot go wrong with its taste and the goodness that you can get from it.

The amount of ingredients indicated below will generously serve 2

Apple & Avocado Smoothie


1 apple

1/2 ripe avocado

1 cup apple juice

3 ice cubes

3 sprigs mint leaves

juice from half a lime

To make:

Core the apple then cut into quarters.

Using a blender, combine all the ingredients and process for 25 seconds.

Serve in attractive tall glasses.



Banana Smoothie


Photo by www.sodahead.com

Banana Smoothie

Banana Smoothie is a great favourite of mine.  The recipe below is just to die for, so delicious.

The amount of the ingredients indicated below is enough for 3 servings.


55ml or 1/4 cup orange juice

4 ripe bananas

3 scoops of vanilla ice-cream

2 tbsp golden syrup

3 tbsp of plain yoghurt

lemon juice (optional)

sugar (optional)


Cut the bananas into small pieces and put these in the blender.

Add the rest of the ingredients.

Blend for 20 seconds.

To make the smoothie really interesting, dub lemon juice around the rim of the glasses, then roll the rim of the glasses into some sugar.  The sugar would then stick to the glass.

Pour into the glasses the banana smoothies and enjoy!