Roast Pork Belly (Siu Bak) the Sous Vide way



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If you love pork, you will love Sio Bak: the Chinese way of roasting it.

The meat is cut into bite size cubes and you use a pair of chopsticks to dip it into some sauces. The skin is crisped, crackling and flavourful and the meat is moist and tender.

I have been to some Western restaurants (Michelin-star, mind you) offering roast pork belly as a dish and I have to say that using a knife and fork to eat a slab of of it just does not make culinary sense. The crackling skin cracks apart when knifed. I have seen versions where the skin is offered separately. Why separate the perfect marriage of the layered skin, fat and meat, which offers a burst of different flavours and texture in a bite?

My favourite Nasi Lemak Sambal Chilli



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I have been cooking various types of Sambal chilli for Nasi Lemak and I have settled on this recipe which I like the most. And trust me, making a good sambal is not difficult.

Slices of large red onions and fried ikan bills is added towards the end. The onions introduce texture and the ikan bilis adds salty and umami flavours to the sambal.

Perfecting the Rice in Nasi Lemak



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Just when you think you have the recipes and techniques all wrapped up, there comes along another tip or idea. And sometimes it will not only improve the recipe but simplifies it.

My favourite cooking companion, Auntie Lucy and myself have been fastidious in trying to improve on the rice of our Nasi Lemak recipe. Our favourite approach is to cook it in the rice cooker before steaming it in a steamer. It is definitely better than just cooking it in the rice cooker as the rice turns out fluffy. However, when you are cooking a big pot of rice in the rice cooker, inevitably some of the rice will stick together as the cooker cooks unevenly.

Rice Wine Chicken (Dry version)



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I have already written a post on Rice Wine Chicken.

It is the ultimate confinement dish. I am not sure how I got to like it so much as I have never been confined :). I suppose when I was a child, there was always someone who has just given birth. And in those days, it is common for households to brew glutinous rice wine in large jars. And there were always some chickens running around in the backyard. So, sans one, we get to enjoy bowls of this.

Fast forward to modern urban Singapore and you will find that this home-made brew is indeed very uncommon. Commercial Korean ones are quite good and sometimes it is the only option I have.

Dry Bak Kut Teh (with fresh bamboo and green pepper)



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Dry Bak Kut Teh has been a craze for a few years now in Malaysia.

Even before I encountered it in restaurants, I have always imagined that a dry version of BKT should work nicely, a sort of braised pork ribs in herbal sauce.

Of late, it has been a craze in local BKT joints here. With some tips from my friend (Jabez) who owns the Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh, I did try making it in Toronto but I did not quite have the right ingredients. When I got back here, I gave it a go and I was satisfied with it.

Dry Hor Fun (flat rice noodles) with Minced Pork



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Today is the last day of my six-month Sabbatical. I am grateful to all who have made this season possible, and to my Lord for His grace and gifts. I had an amazing time in Toronto and other parts of Canada. Having made new friends there, I hope to return one day.

While the food in Toronto is quite good, it was difficult to create some local dishes such as hor fun (flat noodles) as the texture quality of the hor fun there is different. I thought it "cool" that today I could cook a nice dry version of hor fun for the family before I get back to the reality of life and work tomorrow.
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