Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Pork fillet with black pepper sauce 黑椒豬柳

黑椒豬柳 Hak jiu gee lau (Cantonese), or Hēi jiāo zhū liǔ (Mandarin) - Pork fillet with black pepper sauce

Pork or beef fillet with black pepper sauce is a modern (westernised) Cantonese dish. In the restaurant this is normally serves on a red hot cast iron sizzling dish, the sauce sizzled on the hot iron giving out a lovely smoky flavour waffling in the air makes everyone around mouth watered. Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins) and brandy is my secret ingredients to make this dish special and tasty. I normally used pork fillet as beef fillet is so much more expensive. Can sub fillet with Pork loin or tender beef steak.

about 500g pork or beef fillet, sliced
2 - 3 tsp light soy
pinch of sugar
dash of chinese cooking wine
1 small egg white
1 heap tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)

1 large green pepper (or other coloured sweet pepper), sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 - 3 stalks of spring onion or scallion (sliced)

1 tsp or more coarsely ground or crushed black peppercorns (I like spicy I used about 2 tsp)
1.5 - 2 tbsp good quality oyster sauce
about 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
about 1 tsp dark soy sauce (for colour)
dash of brandy (I normally used about 1.5 tbsp)

1 heap tsp cornflour mixed with about 1/4 cup water

some cooking oil

  1. Cut pork/beef fillet into fairly thick pieces against the vein about 3 - 4mm thick. 
  2. Marinate meat with lightly beaten egg white, light soy, pinch of sugar, wine and cornflour. Leave it marinated for an hour or longer in the fridge. 
  3. Before you are ready to cook this, prepare the vegetables. 
  4. Heat a pan or wok with about 1 tbsp of oil, swirl the oil around to coat the pan/wok. Heat till smoking hot, fry the meat in 2 - 3 batches. Spread the meat in a single layer, fry briefly on both sides till light browned/ caramelised. Remove and continue frying the rest. 
  5. Scrape off any burnt bits sticking on the pan/wok. 
  6. Add a little bit more oil. Fry the onion till softened add green pepper, stir for a little longer then add the meat. 
  7. Add oyster sauce, dash of dark soy, some brandy and black pepper. Stir then add slackened conflour and spring onion, stir and heat till sauce is thickened and heated through. Ready to serve. I had this with some shredded iceburg lettuce or some deep fried dried rice noodles (puffed noodles). 
  8. If using a cast iron sizzling dish, preheat on the stove first then put it on the wooden base. Pour the sauce and meat on the hot iron dish just before serving. To make it even more special pour on some warmed brandy on top, light with a match and flambé it. 

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Curry chicken rice bake 咖哩雞焗飯

Who doesn't like curry chicken with rice? This recipe is slightly different, it's east meets west. It's curried rice topped with a saucy chicken curry and cheese. This fusion (or bastardised if you prefer) curry chicken rice bake can be found in Hong Kong/ Macau cafe style restaurants 茶餐廳. I think Japanese also have similar recipe. Curry and cheese does not sound matching but this combination is really tasty. Once you have tried it you are likely to make this again. The rice can be replaced with macaroni it is equally yummy.

Here is my way of making this oriental curry chicken rice bake. I had something similar in Hong Kong but a bit more greasy I am quite sure the rice was stir fried before baking. My version is still quite rich but not as greasy as restaurant style.


500 - 550g skinned and boned chicken (thigh, leg or breast), I prefer thigh more flavour and meat texture is nicer
1/2 - 1 tsp salt

2 cups rice, long grain or basmati
2 cups water or diluted chicken stock (if you like a softer rice add a bit more water)
1 tsp chicken bullion powder (omit if using chicken stock)
1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt
1 heap tsp curry powder (any kind)

1 large spanish onion, or two medium small onions
1 large or 2 small carrots
sweet peppers (bell pepper), different colours. I used 1/2 of three different colours.
some frozen pea (I did not have any, so omit)

1 heap tbsp curry paste (any kind like Japanese curry cube, Chinese curry paste, Thai, Malaysian or Indian), I used bought Thai red curry paste
1 cup coconut milk (I used tin/can coconut milk)
some sugar to taste
some salt to taste
few tbsp cooking oil

1 rounded tbsp cornflour mixed with 1/3 cup water

some mozerella cheese (shredded or grated), use more mozerella if you like a stringy cheese topping
some cheddar cheese (grated)

  • Cut chicken into bite size. Mix with salt and leave aside for 30 mins to 1 hr.
  • Cut onion into small pieces. Dice carrot and sweet pepper. 
  • Put rice into a large sieve. Rinse and drain.
  • In a pan or wok, add a little oil. Heat then add 1/2 the onion and carrot, stir fried till onion is soften. Add curry powder stir till fragrant. Add water, stir. Heat off. 
  • Add rice into a saucepan. Add cooked carrot, onion with the liquid. Add some chicken bullion powder and some salt to taste. 
  • Heat and cook rice. When water is boiling turn the heat to lowest and let it simmer with the lid on for about 15 minutes till water is completely absorbed and rice is cooked. Heat off and leave it covered and rest for another 10 - 15 minutes. 

  • In a wok or large pan, add few tbsp cooking oil. Heat till hot, add onion and stir till onion is softened. Add chicken, turn heat to high and fry chicken till browned. Add curry paste, stir till fragrant. Add sweet pepper and frozen peas. Add coconut milk and slackened cornflour. Cook till sauce is hot and thickened. Add some sugar and salt to taste.

  •  Loosen the rice. Put rice into oven proof dish in individual portions or spread this on a large baking dish. 

    • Add curry chicken on top of rice. 

    • Finally top with some mixed cheese.
    • Bake at 200 deg C till golden for about 15 minutes. If making this rice in advance, can leave in the fridge for few hours up to 2 days. To bake chilled rice, use lower heat and bake much longer till heated through. 

    Tuesday, 4 October 2011

    Torn cabbage with red fermented beancurd 腐乳手撕包菜

    I have no time to post any recipes lately, life was hectic I was working 6 - 7 days a week.  This blog has been neglected hopefully you did not miss me much :).

    Today's recipe is vegetarian, a cheap and cheerful stir fried cabbage with a rather unusual sauce. The secret ingredient is fermented red beancurd or hong fu ru 红腐乳. This recipe looks Sichuanese but I am quite sure it is from Beijing.

    Fermented beancurd is Chinese cheese. There are various types. All quite salty.
    • Red type, the deep colour is natural from red rice yeast. Another name for 'hong fu ru' is 'mei gui fu ru 玫瑰腐乳' or rose fu ru. Cantonese normally called hong fu ru as 'nam yue' 南乳. Red fermented beancurd or hong fu ru is normally used for cooking like meat stews or hong shao rou. 
    • The white fu ru is creamier some have added minced chilli and/or sesame oil. Normally eaten as a condiment with rice or plain rice congee or juk. Cantonese like to use it as a sauce with chilli and garlic to stir fry kangkong or spinach. 
    • Another type of fermented beancurd is the stinky bluish green one which smells really really bad. I can't stand the smell.
    This is the hong fu ru I normally used.
    Using hong fu ru for cabbage is rather unusual but it works. This recipe is similar to Chinese leaf with vinegar sauce, only less sharp and more savoury (umami) with the hong fu ru. The cabbage is normally not cut by knife but break or torn into small pieces. I was told tearing the cabbage instead of cutting will taste better, I am not too convinced but do as I was told it's up to you if you prefer to cut it.  Cabbage is quite plain but it absorbs all the nice fragrance from the spices and the hong fu ru gives it a lovely flavour. I like this recipe hope you will try and like it too.

    Here is the recipe:

    Fu ru shou si bao cai 腐乳手撕包菜 


    About 600g cabbage*, break or torn into small pieces
    few or small handful (much as you like) dried chillies, rinsed and cut into small pieces**
    about 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns, rinsed and drained**
    2 - 3 cloves garlic, chopped
    2 tsp chopped ginger
    1 stalk of spring onion, chopped
    1 rounded tbsp fermented red beancurd (hong fu ru 红腐乳), mashed and mixed with 1.5 tbsp of the pickling juice
    some light soy sauce
    2 - 3 tsp sugar
    dash of Chinese cooking wine
    dash of black rice vinegar (Chinkiang vinegar)
    3 - 4 tbsp cooking oil
    some water

    * Cabbage, use normal white, spring cabbage or pointed cabbage. Pointed cabbage is sweeter and takes a lot less time to cook.
    ** rinsing the dried chillies and Sichuan peppercorns, helps to release the flavour better (IMO) and also prevent them from burning too quickly.


    • Heat the oil till medium hot, throw in the dried chillies and Sichuan peppercorns, stir fry till fragrant.
    • Add chopped garlic, ginger and spring onion. Stir till fragrant.
    • Add cabbage, stir fry for couple of minutes at medium high heat. Then add about 1 tbsp of water to create steam to cook the vegetable. Stir the vegetable. When the water is drying up add a bit more water, continue adding water little at a time till cabbage is tender. 
    • Add a splash of cooking wine and the hong fu ru. Stir to coat the cabbage.
    • Add some sugar, taste if not salty add a splash of light soy. 
    • Finally before turning the heat off, add a little black rice vinegar. If you like it sharp add more.