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Salt and Pepper Pork Chops Recipe

Sunday, February 21, 2010 | Labels: , | 15 Comments »

Today's feature is a simple and popular dish, deep-fried pork chops cooked with red chilli peppers and lots of garlic! This is quite a fiery dish, but if you prefer your dish to be a little less spicy, just remember to remove the seeds of the chillis and soak in water for a bit before cooking. I seem to always have trouble thinking up ways to cook pork chops, so after looking at the pork chops sitting forlornly in my freezer for quite a while, I decided to just use this trusty recipe. Unfortunately, I ran out of green onions, you can add some green onions for more fragrance and colour to the dish. This dish is also quite suitable for Chinese New Year with the red from the chilli peppers and the gold from the golden brown pork chops!


You can also opt to use this recipe for chicken wings, squid or shrimp. Perhaps shrimp might be a better feature since it's still Chinese New Year! The Chinese people are strong advocates of adhering meanings to dishes especially during this time of the year, hence shrimp or prawns are always almost present on Chinese dining tables during the very important reunion dinner on New Year's eve. This is because the Chinese pronounciation for prawns is 'Ha', hence signifying laughter - an auspicious way of ringing in the new year with peals of laughter. Anyway, back to my feature today, the strong flavours of the garlic is intensified by the spiciness from the chilli peppers, making this a very appetising dish as well. This dish requires very few ingredients and is a staple 'tip tau fan' (Cantonese) translating loosely to one-plate rice in Hong Kong.


Happy Year of the Golden Tiger 2010 and a Chicken Congee Recipe

Sunday, February 14, 2010 | Labels: , , , | 11 Comments »

May I wish my dear readers "Gong Xi Fa Cai"! May you be blessed with health and happiness!

It has been another year, and Tastes of Home is officially entering its third year, time really flies. Throughout this time, I have 'met' very sweet and kind fellow bloggers and also readers, it has been very enjoyable and in future I will not slack off as much and try to post more regularly and not just in bursts. There are definitely still a lot of recipes out there that I have yet to try my hand at and food that I have yet to try. Hopefully, I will get to expand my palate even more soon enough. A new year signifies new beginnings and new opportunities, however I feel a little embarassed as today's feature is a mere chicken congee recipe which I have featured before but this time, it is a simpler version, great when you want chicken congee but don't feel up to making chicken stock to boil the congee. I used a claypot today for cooking my congee as I am a fan of the slightly burnt flavour that you can only get from using a claypot much like when you have claypot rice - the hardened, slightly burnt rice ('fan chiu') that stick to the claypot.


Congee needs no introduction to most Asians, every Asian country probably has their own version of this classic comfort food. Congee always had sickly connotations to me in the past as my mom would force-feed me congee whenever I was sick (and mind you, it was plain white congee as the latter was supposed to be the 'best' for 'lowering heat'), however I have grown to love the taste of congee. Nevertheless, it must be some kind of conditioning as whenever I feel under the weather, I long for a bowl of congee but of course, I cheat and add ingredients that is no plain white congee for me!

Lobster with Scallions and Ginger Recipe

Saturday, February 06, 2010 | Labels: , , | 9 Comments »

This method of cooking lobster must be one of the perennial Chinese classics, I have no idea why I waited this long to try cooking and featuring this! Anyway, being an avid lover of seafood, this is definitely one of my favourite ways of eating lobster. The lobster is first poached in oil and then cooked with copious amounts of scallions and ginger, definitely simple. As with most Chinese dishes, there are many variations to cook this, some like to add oyster sauce, as for me I love to dress my seafood with Chinese rice wine that really adds to the natural fragrance. You can also opt to serve the lobster with soft noodles, one of the most surprising places I've had great lobster noodles was actually in London, on Bayswater - at the Four Seasons Chinese restaurant, it was always a must-order whenever my friends and I ended up there.

This is such a simple method of cooking lobster that yields deliciously fantastic results, ok I may have just mangled the English language but hey this is my blog no? Hmm, I'm sure my old English teacher would not be too pleased! I do have to say though that my electric stoves do not do justice to this dish which should really be cooked with a great deal of 'wok hei' or wok breath. A dish with 'wok breath ' really tastes infinitely better but then it's a rather intangible flavour that is a little difficult to describe, well I would say that there is a certain smokiness (in a good way) and it's just something that you have to experience to really know. It's also really fun to watch a 'real' cook make this dish. Usually, you will find the flames dancing about in the wok while the cook holds an extremely heavy 'hok' (a ladle like apparatus) deftly stir-frying the lobster in an equally heavy and huge wok, producing an irreplaceable fragrance to the dish.

Well, I hope my description gives you at least a slight idea - as for my fellow Chinese counterparts, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about! Apart from the lack of 'wok breath', I think my lobster dish is probably not as fresh as I would like mainly due to my own cowardice of chopping up a live lobster and watching the parts wriggle in the wok! For now, I will still stick to using chilled or frozen lobster until I work up the nerve - my recipe is really simple and although lacking the above, it still tasted good and is great when you have a longing for this classic dish but don't feel like venturing out.

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Smoky Wok

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