Thursday, 26 January 2012

Happy Lunar New Year - Roast Pork Recipe

Teh: Happy Lunar New Year! We wish everyone a smooth sailing Dragon year ahead! Huat ah!

On the lunar new year eve, i tried another method of making roast pork. I must say it was my most successful attempt so far! And believe me, i've made roast pork with various methods over the years. The skin was crispy and the meat was just nice. I could have seasoned the meat better but the spotlight was all on the skin!! Thoroughly crispy skin! The most important thing is.... this recipe is almost effortless! Try it! (sorry i didn't take any pictures. my phone was cranky *sulk*)

Roast Pork
400g pork belly

1. Wash the pork belly. Pat dry.

2. Season only the meat part with desired seasoning. (5 spice powder, garlic powder etc. I only seasoned with salt and it was yummy!)

3. Leave pork belly uncovered in the fridge overnight.

4. Cut the skin of the pork belly when you are ready to roast it in the oven. Cut = use a sharp knife and cut the skin till you can see the fats under the skin but no more than that. Which way should you cut the skin? The simple way! Imagine the roast pork is ready and you want to cut it up to serve it. Cut the skin as though you are making markings for the eventual cut.

5. Rub salt all over the skin and especially in between the cuts.

6. Bake at 220 degrees celsius  for 15 minutes. Then lower down the temperature to 180 degrees for 40 mins. If after 40 mins, the skin doesn't look puffed up or crispy enough, crank up to the max temperature and baked for another 5 minutes.

7. When the roast pork is cooled enough for cutting (different people different tolerence for heat and urge to taste the roast pork), cut it up with a sharp knife and listen to the wonderful sounds the crispy skin make!

Tip: Based on my experience, if you want to bake/roast 1 kg of pork belly, it'll take about 1.5 hrs in total for the meat to be tender. You should give it 20 minutes at 220 degrees then 180 degrees the rest of the way.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

First Bake of 2012 - Mochi Buns / Brazilian Cheese Buns / Pao De Queijo

Mochi Buns / Brazilian Cheese Buns / Pao De Queijo

Teh: Whatever you call them, Mochi Buns / Brazilian Cheese Buns / Pao De Queijo, these chewy cheesy buns are quite addictive especially when they just come out of the oven! Half way through the making of these buns, there will be a few thoughts going through your mind. In no particular order, here are the thoughts:

1) Are you sure this is right?
2) The dough feels so wrong!
3) Why does the dough keep sticking to the whisk?!

Whenever one of these thoughts appear in your mind, answer it with this - "Just do it!"

Now you are all set to try this recipe! Enjoy!

Mochi Buns / Brazilian Cheese Buns / Pao De Queijo 
1 cup whole milk (240ml)
4 tablespoons butter, melted (60g)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (60ml)
200g tapioca flour
3 eggs, slightly beaten
4 slices of cheddar cheese
1.5 tsp Salt

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Mix milk, salt, vegetable oil and butter in a pot, and bring to a boil.

2. Remove from heat when it almost boils. Stir tapioca flour into the milk and butter mixture.

3. Break the cheese into small pieces and add it to the mixture. Use an electric whisk to roughly blend in the cheese.

4. Add the beaten eggs slowly while whisking the mixture.

5. The mixture will become very elastic and hard to mix. Stop periodically and remove the dough from the whisk before continuing (if needed) until all eggs have been added.

6. Shape the dough into small balls with floured hands. You can use tapioca flour. (remember to grease the baking tray first)

7. Bake rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are puffed up and are golden. They look and behave a little like cream puffs.

8. Serve warm.

A small note - I realised if you bake the buns to be browner, the cheese taste is more distinct. But try not to burn them ;) 

There are other flavors sold in bakeries. E.g. Chocolate or black sesame seeds. I think these can be done the way as the cheese flavour, except chocolate powder should be added to the milk and black sesame seeds added to the flour. I have not tried those out though. Good luck!