Friday, May 13

Garam Masala Pork Chops

I wanted to try something new my pork chops and I have a variety of spices in my kitchen drawer. Was thinking about beer marinade but why not try the garam masala recipe instead. Oh what the heck!

Never mind the couscous on the pork chops; will share the recipe next time!

Garam masala is not a form of salt... it's actually a combination of spices created by Indians. Consisted of more than 10 different spices; they are not as pungent as the Chinese five spice though. Adding some of them into curry or any Desi dishes will make the dish even more flavourful! I've also recently discovered that adding cumin seeds to boiled rice make the rice even more aromatic and appealing.


Difficulty level: 10%
Preparation time: 30mins-1 hour for marinade; 20 minutes for cooking
  • pork chops cutlets
  • garam masala powder
  • smoked paprika powder
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Season the pork chops with 2 tablespoons of garam masala on each side and one tablepoon of paprika on each side. Add some salt and pepper and then rub the finely chopped garlic around the cutlets.
  2. Let it marinade for half an hour or so.
  3. For quick cooking, pop the pork chops into the microwave and cook them for 6 minutes.
  4. Heat up the pan, real hot. Then brown each side of the pork chop, about 2 minutes on each side but don't overcook the pork.
  5. Take them out and they're ready to be served.

The pork chops will become moist and succulent after the microwave cooking process. In the name of speed-cooking, I use this method. But the best way is always to brown both sides of the pork (middle part remained uncooked) then add water to the pan and create a sauce to go with the pork chops. Slow cooking the pork chops in the sauce will soften the meat but that will take more than 40 minutes to perform. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 24

Malaysian Fusion Taiwanese Stew Pork

I have always been a big fan of pork. Western or Eastern; cooked in whatever methods imaginable; fresh or cured; I'm ready to gobble them down. One of my personal favorites is the Taiwanese Stew Pork (滷肉) and the fact that I'm quite good in cooking this well under 20 minutes means this recipe is good. It's created by my mum anyways, passed down to me via a Skype call. That should represent the simplicity of this dish right?

Some friends have asked why I didn't share this on the food blog. Reason being... I always eat them up before having the time to snap a picture. Seriously.

So readers, you're in for a treat today. It so happened that I cooked up a bowl of these today and remembered to take a picture of them.


Difficulty level: 30%
Preparation time: 20 minutes (or more depending on the size of pork used)

  • 3 pork chops (I prefer pork shoulder)
  • 6 shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • caramelized dark soy sauce
  • corn flour
  • one pinch of salt to taste

  1. Soak the shiitake mushrooms in water and pop the 4 cloves of garlic.
  2. Prepare a pot and put in the four tablespoons of sugar on medium heat.
  3. Let the sugar caramelize and once they turn brown add in the star anise and cinnamon sticks.
  4. Stir till aromatic (less than 1 minute) and add in the garlic cloves with the softened shiitake mushrooms.
  5. Continue to stir for about 2 minutes and then add in half cup of water.
  6. Bring in to boil and put in the pork chops. Put the heat to medium and pour in two tablespoons of the thick dark soy sauce. Add a cup of water and a pinch of salt into the pot.
  7. Close the lid and let the pork cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Take out the pork chops (only) and slice them into chunks on the chopping board.
  9. Place the chunks of pork back into the pot and add some corn flour to thicken the sauce.
  10. Turn off the heat.
There you go! The reason why you cook the pork chop in whole is because pork meat gets tough easily and you don't want to be biting them instead of chewing them down your throat. My mum's recipe is simpler than the original recipe from Taiwan (I suppose) and good luck trying it out!

Saturday, November 20

Teriyaki Salmon

I had the best Bento in my life that day and it's because of the succulent teriyaki salmon (generous portion). It was so yummy! Therefore, I took the liberty of learning how to make the sauce and sharing it here.

Basically the salmon is pan grilled but in my case; oven grilled. I like it juicy and succulent.


Difficulty level: 20%
Preparation time: 40 minutes

  • 2 fillets of salmon
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • soy sauce
  • mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
  • sugar

  1. For the sauce, pour olive oil (or any oil) into the sauce pan at medium heat.
  2. Add in quarter cup of soy sauce and quarter cup of mirin.
  3. Then, add three tablespoons of sugar into the mixture and stir until the sauce thickens.
  4. That is basically your teriyaki sauce. You use part of them to marinade the salmon.
  5. Rub the salmon with some salt and bake them in the oven for 30 minutes
  6. Finish the dish by pouring the remaining sauce over the salmon. You can even try basting with this recipe... basically you just pour the sauce but repeatedly coat the fish with the sauce in slow heat.
There you go! Try out your own teriyaki salmon!

Sunday, October 31

Baked Salmon

Bagel with cheese and baked salmon. Once my perfect Sunday morning breakfast in Leeds. I especially adore toasted bagel with cheese. They're so delicious. However, my post today is focused on the strips of salmon as you can see in the picture below. They're one of the simplest and delicious dish that you can make. For those of you who hated the smell of cooking fish, those worries are gone with this dish.


Difficulty level: 10%
Preparation time: 1 hour (including 30 minutes of seasoning the salmon)

  • Salmon
  • Salt
  • Black pepper (white pepper inapplicable)
  • Olive oil

  1. Clean the salmon, dry off excess water off the meat.
  2. Place them on a plate covered with aluminum foil.
  3. Rub salt on all surfaces, then grind black pepper on them.
  4. Let the marinade stay for 3o minutes.
  5. Now pre-heat the oven at 180°C or set it to grill for convenience.
  6. Pour in three tablespoons of olive oil to the salmon, make sure it gets on the bottom of the fish to prevent sticking.
  7. Pop the salmon into the oven and bake them at the same temperature for 30 minutes.
There you go! It's that easy and your kitchen wouldn't have a stench at all! What's best about baked salmon is that the middle part stays moist and unlike grilled ones, they don't get too dry or burnt! Most importantly, the salmon will not stink!


Lasagna. Not my favorite dish per se but I definitely enjoy making it. It's such a good time-wasting recipe. So much preparation to do for a small dish. Sounds good for wasting time right? Mind you, my recipe is for single person lasagna.

WARNING: This recipe contains beef. However, you can always substitute minced beef with minced pork and chicken OR even making your own seafood lasagna. It's your choice, after all, you're the one who's going to gobble it down your stomach =P


Difficulty level: 20%
Preparation time: 2 hours (plus soaking time)

  • 3-5 strips of lasagna noodles
  • 20ml of oil
  • 3 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 100g minced beef
  • 50g grated cheese (preferably ricotta)
  • 30g shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 400ml pasta bake sauce
  • 200ml tomato paste
  • 1 egg
  • mixed herbs
  • salt
  • any more meat: sliced sausages, diced luncheon meat etc.

  1. Soak the lasagna noodles in warm water for 30-45 minutes. Basically till it's soft but don't let them stick together.
  2. Prepare the sauce and meat. Heat the oil and throw in the garlic and onions.
  3. Then, put in the meat selections that you have. Do not put in the seafood if you're going for seafood lasagna.
  4. Once the meat are cooked, pour the pasta bake sauce and the tomato paste.
  5. Wait till it boils, then taste the sauce and add salt if you need to.
  6. If you're doing the seafood lasagna, repeat the steps except adding in the seafood once it goes to boil. You don't want your seafood to get overcooked.
  7. Now done with the sauce, you can prepare the cheese.
  8. Beat the egg in a bowl, add in the ricotta cheese and herbs. Add some salt if you want to.
  9. Take out a baking dish, and pour some of the sauce as the base.
  10. Then lay out the lasagna strips on top of it.
  11. Pour in the cheese and egg mixture to the middle part, and top it off with another layer of lasagna strips.
  12. Finish off the top with the rest of the sauce, and spread the shredded mozzarella on top of the lasagna.
  13. Cover the lid with a tin foil but don't let it touch the top of your cheese because it'll stick!
  14. Bake it in the oven at 200°C for 30 minutes.
This is the way I cook my lasagna. But basically, it's sauce, layer of pasta, then cheese, layer of pasta and sauce with mozzarella cheese! You need them mozzarella by the way. Necessity.