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Posts tagged ‘pork’

Peking Spare Ribs

Chinese restaurants offer various varieties of spare ribs. Barbecue ribs seem to be the most popular, but you can also get the drier spiced salt ribs, ribs in plum sauce, or Peking spare ribs (sometimes called King Do). In restaurants the Peking ribs are usually coated in an orangey-brown sticky sauce and have a unique flavour of sweet and sour richness with a warm spicy background.

Peking spare ribs

The recipe for the ribs is fairly straightforward, but you need to plan ahead because they take a lot of marinating and cooking time. Whether you buy beef or pork ribs, get the best quality you can with a nice amount of meat on them.

Quantity – I served two racks of ribs between 6 people as an interim course between starter and main. It looked like quite a lot of ribs and was a large serving, but they all disappeared fairly quickly. If your ribs are long you can chop them in half with a meat cleaver to get extra portions. As a starter you should probably allow 2-3 ribs per person.

Wash your ribs before marinating, pat them dry with kitchen paper, and divide them up so that they are easier to manage.

Marinade recipe (enough for two racks):

250mls vegetable stock (either from stock cubes, powder, a carton or freshly made)

5 tablespoons of brown sugar

half a teaspoon of five spice powder

4 cloves of garlic, minced or grated

1 teaspoon of finely grated ginger

4 tablespoons of light soy sauce

2 cups of tomato ketchup (I used Heinz)

2 tablespoons of Hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

60-80mls red wine (optional)

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl and marinate the ribs  for at least 24 hours, I marinated mine for 2 days in the fridge, the bowl covered with cling wrap.

The next stage is to boil them. You don’t have to do this but it really makes them tender, so I definitely advise it. Pour the ribs and marinade into a large covered saucepan and bring them to the boil, then simmer them for 15-20 minutes.

Next prepare a large baking tray – for ease of cleaning I lined mine with foil and then placed baking parchment on top of the foil – this avoids the result of gooey bakeware which needs soaking to remove the sticky residue.

Place the ribs in the tray, make sure that each one is coated with marinade but not swimming in it. Loosely cover the tray with foil and roast in a preheated oven at 180-190 deg C for 70-90 minutes. The longer you cook them the more tender they will be. The meat should fall away from the bone quite easily.

Add honey to the remaining marinade (I added about 6 tablespoons) and baste them with fresh marinade about every 15 minutes during roasting. You can remove the foil cover 15 mins before the end of cooking. Once they are done, you may wish to garnish them with sesame seeds and chopped spring onion before serving.

Serve with good wine and good company.

How to make a terrine

I had a party this weekend and decided to make terrine for the food table. I thought it would be difficult and take ages, but it was surprisingly easy and it turned out really well.

Pork and chicken terrine

Pork and chicken terrine

I discovered that you can really make it up as you go along, you can use pretty much whichever meats you like, and you can also add herbs that you like. If I were to make this again I might add some vegetables to it for a change of texture.

I made the terrine from the recipe on the BBC Good Food page but adapted it by adding chicken. I found that the quantities were enough to make one full sized terrine and one smaller one. I used standard loaf tins to make it.

You need

300g pork tenderloin

2 medium sized chicken breasts

2 packs of sausages or an equivalent amount of sausagemeat (if using sausages, remove the skins)

a bunch each of thyme, parsley and chives, finely chopped

approx 12 rashers of streaky bacon (or use long cut bacon and save the meaty part for brekkie)

a splash or two of port or brandy

100g pistachios – shelled

a bag of dried apricots (or you could use prunes or sour cherries)

1. Chop the pork tenderloin and chicken into bite sized pieces and soak in the brandy for a while – just use a few tablespoons of brandy and stir it occasionally. Add a little salt but not too much because the bacon and sausages will add salt.

2. Heat the oven to 180 deg C.

3. Lightly butter two standard loaf tins.

4. Line the tins with the streaky bacon, try not to leave any gaps. If found that my rashers were too short to wrap right around the terrine but it still worked out ok.

5. Sprinkle some of the mixed herbs on the bacon, then line the bottom with pork fillet.

6. Sprinkle with more herbs and some pistachios – you can actually use quite a few pistachios, I was a bit sparing with mine.

7. Layer some sausagemeat on top, sprinkle with herbs again, and place a line of apricots down the middle.

8. Now layer with chicken, add more herbs, and finish with another layer of sausagemeat.

9. If there are any ingredients left just tuck them in where you can – you can do another layer of apricots or pistachios if you like.

10. Wrap the bacon over the top of the terrine and squash it down firmly – I covered it with foil and pushed the foil down quite hard with my hands.

11. Wrap the loaf tins in heavy duty foil, use a few layers and wrap them tightly.

12. Half fill a roasting tray with hot water to make a bain marie, and place the loaf tins in the water. Don’t overfill the roasting tin, the water mustn’t get into the terrines. My water level was approx 2/3 the height of the tins.

13. Place the roasting tin containing the terrines into the oven and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. You can test them with a skewer or a meat thermometer to see if they are done.

14. Take the terrines out of the water bath and let them cool completely. While they are cooling place a few large cans on top to weigh down the meat. This will give you a more tightly packed result.

15. Now transfer then to the fridge – still weighed down and leave overnight.

16. My terrines kept ok in the fridge for a few days before serving. When you turn them out, run a knife around the outside of the bacon, tip them over and tap the tin. The surface will be covered in a thin layer of meat jelly which is quite nice.



Loh Bak (Ngoh Hiang)

Until a few years ago I had never tried Loh Bak before, and I had my first taste at a wonderful little canteen style Malaysian restaurant in Malaga called “Sense Lah”. It was one of those little gems of a restaurant owned by a guy from Penang called Patrick who had  a hearty asian laugh, and one day Patrick pointed out that he was the only Malaysian restaurant in Perth that served Loh Bak, so I tried it and I was hooked.

I have made Loh Bak at home a few times, and this recipe is very good, but I will always fondly remember Patrick’s version – unfortunately for me he has now retired and Sense Lah has closed.

The dish consists of a mixture of minced pork, prawn, carrot, water chestnuts and seasoning in a beancurd wrapper and then deep fried. When I have seen this dish in asia, some of the hawkers steam it first and then deep fry it – this may help the rolls to hold their shape better in the oil, but I haven’t tried this method yet.


200g raw prawns deveined

250g minced pork

3 tablespoons grated carrot

6-8 water chestnuts finely chopped

2 tablespoons coriander leaves finely chopped

2 spring onions finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon five spice powder

pinch salt

1 tablespoon light soy sauce (this is quite salty, so you may not need the pinch of salt above)

1 egg beaten

1 pack of dried beancurd skins (available at chinese supermarkets)

1 teaspoon corn flour


Mix together all of the ingredients except for the beancurd skins and cornflour. While the mixture is standing, cut the beancurd skins to a uniform size – they will have ragged edges – cut them to approximately 15cm squares. Mix the cornflour with a tablespoon of water to make a thick paste.

To make a roll, take one of the squares of beancurd skin and wipe it with a new damp clean cloth to soften it slightly. Put 2 tablespoons of mixture in the corner of the skin and roll it up tightly towards the other corner, tucking in the sides as you go. brush some of the cornflour mixture on the edges to ‘glue’ them together otherwise it will burst open in the hot oil. Continue making rolls until all of the mixture is used up. You should be able to make approximately 10 rolls.

Heat oil in a deep fat fryer to 180 deg C. Fry the rolls for 3-4 minutes each until golden. Serve with a dipping sauce such as sweet chilli, hoisin, or make your own with fish sauce, lime, sugar and chilli.

Tell me if you liked them please.

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