Pork & Shiitake Wonton Soup

The base of this soup utilises the leftover stock from my Chinese Style Twice-Cooked Pork Belly.

First you need to make the wontons and then you can either boil them in the leftover stock like in this recipe, make a fresh batch of stock or fry in oil and serve with a dipping sauce of your choice such as Nuoc Cham.

Pork and Shiitake Wontons

Ingredients

Wonton skins

250g pork, minced

5 Shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated & minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2cm fresh ginger, minced

1 spring onion, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. light soy sauce

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

Method

Mix together all the ingredients except the wonton skins.

Place a small amount of the filling in the centre of a wonton skin. Moisten the edges with water. Fold over and then using a chopstick gently press the centre of the filling inwards bringing the two sides together. Pinch the sides together to close (use a little water to help the ends stick together). Repeat process. You can also scrunch the sides together to form moneybags fold them into simple triangles or form into a myriad of different shapes.

Pork & Shitake Wontons

For the Pork and Shiitake Wonton Soup

Ingredients

Leftover stock from Chinese Style Twice-Cooked Pork Belly

1 Tbsp. Chinkiang Vinegar

Pork and Shiitake Wontons

2 handfuls bean sprouts

1 Carrot, julienned

1 spring onion, sliced

Method

1 Heat leftover stock. If the stock is too concentrated and intense you can water it down with some water.

2 Add wontons cook for 5 minutes or until they have floated to the top of the soup.

3 Add carrot and spring onion and cook for 1 minute if you like crunchy vegetables or longer if you don’t.

Pork & Shitake Wonton Soup

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Asian Style Chicken Noodle Soup

I absolutely hate wasting food and therefore love recipes that make use of something that most people would probably mindlessly chuck away.

This recipe uses the stock left over from boiling pork belly from my Chinese Style Twice-Cooked Pork Belly recipe. I normally use this stock to make a wide range of different soups but you can also use it to make a chinese style risotto or perhaps in my Shiitake Fideua recipe.

Ingredients

Leftover stock from Chinese Style Twice-Cooked Pork Belly

3-4 cups plain water (Optional, depends how intense you want the soup)

4 chicken wings

1  carrot, julienned

1 courgette, julienned

2 gem lettuces, separated

2 handfuls bean sprouts

Rice noodles

1/2 calamansi or lemon, juiced (optional)

Method

1 Poach chicken wings in the leftover stock and extra water for 10 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

2 Add carrot, courgette, gem lettuces, bean sprouts to the soup and cook for 2-3 minutes. I prefer my vegetables to have a good crunch.

3  Remove soup from the heat and add the rice noodles. Cover with a lid and rest for 5 minutes.

4 Ladle soup into a bowl and squeeze lemon juice over the soup.

Asian Style Chicken Noodle Soup

Chinese Style Twice-Cooked Pork Belly

Pork belly, when done correctly, can be a melt in your mouth experience. This recipe requires gently boiling with plenty of aromatics and then glazed and finished off in the oven.

The resulting stock from cooking the pork is perfect to use as a base for any asian inspired soup such as Pork and Shiitake Wonton Soup or Asian Style Chicken and Noodle Soup.

You can decide to remove the top layer of fat and skin after boiling the pork in order to make pork crackling or leave it as it is.

To cut down on cooking time you could use a pressure cooker.

Ingredients

1kg pork belly

4 garlic cloves, bashed

6cm piece ginger, peeled and bashed

2 whole star anise

2 Tbsp. Chinese Five Spice

3 spring onions

4 Tbsp. Shaoxing wine

2-3 Tbsp. light soy sauce

1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce

Glaze

4 Tbsp. honey

3 Tbsp. light soy sauce

1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

2cm fresh ginger, finely diced

1 Tbsp. Chinese Five Spice

2 tsp. red chilli powder (optional)

Method

1 Place pork belly, garlic, ginger, star anise, Chinese Five Spice, spring onions, Shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce and light soy sauce. Boil water in a kettle and pour over the pork until it is completely covered. Once boiling, simmer on a low heat for 2 hours. During this time turn the pork every half hour and add extra water if the pork is not submerged in liquid throughout the cooking process.

Chinese Style Twice-Cooked Pork Belly 1

2 Remove the pork from the pan and remove the top of layer of fat. This step is optional but I prefer it so I can then make pork crackling.

3 Make the glaze by mixing all the ingredients together and then pour over the pork. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and roast in a preheated oven for 20-30, turning over often and basting the meat with the glaze every now and again.

Chinese Style Twice-Cooked Pork Belly 2

Suggestions: Serve with a Egg Fried Rice and Asian Style Gem Lettuce

Chinese Style Twice-Cooked Pork Belly 3

Asian Style Gem Lettuce

Ingredients

4 gem lettuces

1 Tbsp sesame seeds

Dressing

1 Tbsp gochujang

3 Tbsp light soy sauce

1 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp water

1 tsp sesame oil

1 garlic clove, minced

2cm fresh ginger, minced

1/2 spring onion, sliced

Method

1 Cut the ends of the gem lettuces and pull apart the individual leaves. Place in a steamer basket and steam for 5 minutes. Once cooked, transfer to a serving dish.

Asian Style Gem Lettuce 1

2 Prepare the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together and then pour over the lettuce. Mix well and sprinkle with some sesame seeds.

Asian Style Gem Lettuce 2

Delicious hot or cold. 

Asian Chicken & Rice Noodle Soup

I’m a bit obsessed by soup and trying to eat healthily at the moment. Gotta make some room for all that food I will undoubtedly gorge on during Christmas and my visit back to Blighty; gotta take full advantage of the foods (mostly unhealthy) I miss from the other homeland.

This is just a simple Asian inspired chicken noodle soup rustled up in a jiffy.

Ingredients

2 chicken drumsticks

2 chicken wings

5 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated

Shiitake dashi (liquid from rehydrating the shiitake mushrooms; make sure you sieve it before using)

1 star anise

½ stick cassia

3 thick slices ginger

1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce

2 handfuls mung bean sprouts

1 large carrot, diced

Rice noodles, soaked in hot water for 2 minutes and drained (or according to package instructions)

Sesame oil, to taste

Lime juice, to taste

Method

1 Place all ingredients except for the mung bean sprouts, carrot and noodles in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, skim off impurities and then simmer on low for 30 minutes.

2 Adjust seasoning to taste and then add mung beans and cook for 5 minutes.

3 To serve: place noodles at bottom of bowl and then pour over the stock and chicken. Add raw diced carrot and season with lime juice and sesame oil.

Asian Chicken & Rice Noodle Soup

Asian Chicken & Job’s Tears Soup

My smug face of finding pearl barley in the Chinese Supermarket was soon wiped off my face when I realised the Chinese pearl barley I bought is completely unrelated to actual barley! Arghh and I was so looking forward to making a lovely Turkish salad with pearl barley and pomegrantes…

Oh well, gotta look on the bright side of life and make it work! I googled this mysterious grain and to my surprise I seem to have stumbled upon an extremely healthy ingredient which is used a lot in traditional Chinese medicine. These grains come from a grass native to South-East Asia and are also known as Yi Yi Ren, coixseeds, hato mugi, adlai and a plethora of other names.

I had no clue as to what to do with this mysterious grain so I chucked a few things in a pot and prayed to the Chinese pantheon of gods. The result was satisfying and I have taken quite a shine to these grains which I can only describe as nutty.

Ingredients

1 chicken carcass

2 chicken wings

2 chicken drumsticks (alternatively use a whole chicken)

5 thick slices unpeeled ginger

1 onion, quatered

6 whole garlic cloves

1 carrot, large chunks

1 turnip, quatered

1 daikon, large chunks

4 handfuls Job’s tears, soaked overnight and drained

3 Tbsp Shaoxing rice wine

2 star anise

½ stick cassia

4 cloves

Salt & pepper, to taste

10 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated & halved

Shiitake dashi (liquid from rehydrating the shiitake mushrooms; make sure you sieve it before using)

2 – 3 bok choy, roughly chopped

2 handfuls mung bean sprouts

Method

1 Place all ingredients except for the bok choy and mung bean sprouts in a large stockpot and cover fully with cold water. Bring to a boil, skim off impurities and then simmer on low for 30 minutes.

Chicken & Job's Tears Soup_collage

2 Adjust seasoning to taste and then add bok choy and mung bean sprouts. Cook for 5 minutes and then ladle into bowls to enjoy. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top if you like, as I do.

Chicken & Job's Tears Soup

 

Chinese Spiced Pork Loin (Pressure cooker)

Every time I need to use a pressure cooker, I immediately remember this movie clip from an excellent Greek film called Πολίτικη Κουζίνα (A Touch of Spice).

All that hissing and whistling always used to completely terrify me and at the back of my mind was that image of the pressure cooker exploding. To rid me of this fear, I asked my mum to demonstrate how to use a pressure cooker; if I see something done at least once, I can then re-enact it and feel more at ease. Ever since then, I have embraced the wonders of the pressure cooker and taken advantage of its functionality.

Initially I was going to roast this pork loin in the oven but as I ended up being cut for time I resorted to the amazing pressure cooker to solve my time sensitivity and in the end I couldn’t have been happier of the results: nicely spiced juicy pork.

Ingredients

800g pork loin, whole

1 large bunch chard, chopped

2 large potatoes, quartered

Marinade

Handful dried cranberries

2cm piece fresh ginger, sliced

2 Tbsp. light soy sauce

1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce

2 Tbsp. Shaoxing rice wine

3 Tbsp. honey

2 tsp. Chinese 5 Spice

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. chilli powder

1 Tbsp. ajo y perejil

½ lemon, juiced

4 Tbsp. cold water

Method

1 Marinade pork with all ingredients and then using a sharp knife, poke some holes into the pork loin and stuff with some of the ginger slices and cranberries. Leave to marinade for a few hours or overnight.

2 In the bottom part of a pressure cooker, sear the pork on all sides til golden brown.

DSC05034_Fotor_Fotor_Collage

3 Once seared add the potatoes and chard stalks along with the marinade liquid and some extra water if needed.

4 Close the pressure cooker and wait a few minutes for it to whistle. Lower the flame to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

DSC05034_Fotor_Fotor_Collage2

5 When the cooking time has elapsed, remove from the stove and release the pressure (refer to your pressure cooker instruction manual as each is slightly different). Carefully remove the lid.

6 Remove pork and cover with aluminium foil. Let it rest.

7 Meanwhile add the chard leaves to the pot and cook for a few minutes. Adjust seasoning to your taste.

DSC05034_Fotor_Fotor_Collage3

8 Place the pork in a serving dish and spoon over the sauce, potatoes and chard. Sprinkle over a few more cranberries and serve.

DSC05063