Thursday, March 28, 2013

Snake Beans with pork mince and dried shrimp

 This morning I finally felt the fresh breeze of autumn. It brings a smile to our lips.

It's been quite a warm summer. Our little old apartment sometimes gets super hot. Now the cool autumn breeze is here, things are more more cosy - nice and warm rather than stiflingly hot! 
This is my 1st mixed meat and vegetable dish since the snake beans have been flourishing in my parent’s backyard garden.  My parents beautiful garden is quite large and has a lot of space to grow  vegetables.

We are very fortunate because my mum call us up quite frequently with a fresh supply of vegetables straight from the garden!!!
My parents love gardening. They fill every corner with either fruits or Asian greens e.g taro, longan, choy sum, bok choy, snake beans , winter/ hairy bitter melon , sugar cane, mandarin /fig/ orange trees etc.

My parents grew up during The Red Guards Revolution in China. Life was very hard for them in the village. They survived through the great famine and since they migrated to Australia, they've tried to use every available space to grow their own fresh produce.
They’re very generous people and are always calling up their friends and our extended family to give out home grown vegetables or traditional foods they've prepared.
I would love to share with you this simple delicious recipe using fresh home grown snake beans with pork mince and dried shrimp (to add extra beautiful flavour)! Enjoy!! Xoxox


1x (300 grams) bunch snake beans (wash, trim edges and cut into approx 10cm length)

3 garlic cloves (peel and flatten with the side blade of the knife)

1tbs dried shrimp (soaked in hot water for 5 mins, drain, chopped finely) you can buy this at the asian/chinese grocer

200 grams pork mince

½ cup water

2tbs cooking oil (I used rice bran oil)

Stir fry sauce:
1tbs tamari sauce
1tbs glutenfree oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar
A few drops sesame oil
Cooking steps:

Place a clean wok on high heat

When wok is heated up add oil, garlic and dried shrimp. Stir for a few seconds.

Add pork mince and stir for about a min.

Add snake beans, mix well and add water.

Cover wok with lid and let it cook for 2-3mins.

Add mixed sauce and stir well to combine for a minute. Serve.

My folk's garden~ check out the taro plant, it's bigger than me !!!!

Fresh green snake beans and other ingredients.

Add dried shrimps in a small bowl. Add hot water and soak for 5 mins. Drain, chop finely and set aside.

Prepare the sauce!!

Stir fry time!!

Voila ! Enjoy my friends!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Steam Chicken Wings With Lup Chong (Chinese sausages)

This is another classic favourite home-style Chinese dish of mine. It's super silky and moist. When I was a kid this is what I grew up on - lots of steamed foods.  Steam meats, seafood and eggs etc

In those days, both my parents had to work super hard all day and night in Chinese restaurants as kitchen hands and dish washers to support us. It was hard and we didn’t have much. Now I look back, I’m really appreciative of both my parents for working so hard, supporting us and teaching us not to waste any food.
So my mum always prepared these delicious healthy dishes in the fridge in advance so when we finished school for the day we would come home and my duty was to pop one of these “ready to go steamed dishes” in a pot of boiling water. And she taught me how to cook the perfect rice too! I was only 10 at the time!!!  Talking about master chef junior haha ~  

So today I really want to share this great recipe with you. It’s a wholesome, easy, delicious meal and very convenient to make ahead in case you have a busy working day.
So for all working  parents who try to make something delicious for their families after a long day at work, you really deserve great applause !!

Enjoy xx


700gram free range chicken
1 tbs salt
4 x lup chong sliced (Chinese sausage - you can get this at the Chinese grocer, unfortunately it’s not gluten free)
4 cloves of garlic - flatten with the blade of your knife
2 slice of ginger - shredded
2 tsp corn flour                                              

1tbs soy sauce
1tbs oyster sauce
1tbs hoisin sauce
1 tsp sugar
A few drops of sesame oil
Mix sauce well in a bowl

Note: Unfortunately this recipe is not gluten free. For gluten free, please removed  the chinese sausages (Lup Chong) and hoisin sauce from the recipe. And use gluten free Oyster sauce and gluten free Tamari sauce.

Lup Chong (chinese preserved sausages) Find this in chinese/asian grocer. You can use it for stir fry dishes too. Just make sure you cook it before consuming! It's not a salami /garnish . so cook it baby !!!

Prep your ginger and garlic

I like to clean the chicken with salt! I think it makes it silky.

Chicken wings, cornflour , garlic & ginger and Lup Chong Check!!!! Nearly there

Preparing the marinade! Sugar, Oyster sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce and hoisin sauce

Marinade is ready !!!

Mix well!! Getting that flavour you need to marinade for at least 45mins or overnight in the fridge

it's cooking time !!! steam baby steam~

Voila ~ It's steaming hot and smells divine ! I couldn't removed the steaming basket so i just left it and serve it on dinner . Very rustic lol

Result: Succulent, silky smooth chicken wings. Love the Lup chong for that extra flavour Enjoy xoxo

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Mr W's Birthday

Hello Sweet Readers, it's been a super busy weekend . It's Mr W's Birthday!

His beautiful family organised a birthday dinner for he and his sister (they both share the same birthday month).

To celebrate such a festive occasion I volunteered to be in charge of the birthday cake and a main. Oooh a big responsibility! I finally decided to make a fresh raspberry cake (I'll share with you soon) and the Short Cut Pork Ribs in Caramelised Sauce.

Hope you enjoy the images. My favourite dish was the fish cakes made by beautiful Aunt and Uncle. Thank you for putting up such a great delicious feast . I adore their cooking! Very Inspiring ~

Tender lamb skewers

Tumeric succulent chickens tighs, BBQ 'd to perfection! 

Healthy salad to go !!

Fish cake - it's packed with flavour and gluten free. I must try this recipe and will share with you soon !! 

Birthday Cake of the night! Refreshingly delicious and gluten free

The Feast !!! There's much more ... baked sweet potatoes and pumpkins and Moroccan Lamb Chops! Omg , just trying to figure out which one to start first. Great dinner Aunty and Uncle. Thank you Amen!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Short Cut Pork Ribs Slow braised in Caramelised sauce (Gluten free )

Short Cut Pork Ribs Slow braised in Caramelised  sauce (Gluten free )

I love Pork. Being chinese, this is the meat we usually eat the most.  Growing up in China, we didn’t have goat, sheep(lamb) and cow(beef) for dinner (the first time I saw these animals was in primary school in a pet farm excursion in Australia). We had a buffalo that we used for ploughing the fields in our village. The way they work I think they would be super tough to eat. Another option aside from pork was either chicken or seafood (or whatever we found in the farm).

I've been playing around with this recipe for a while and finally produced something I love! So I decided to make this for a special occasion - Mr Wong's Birthday :)

The pork ribs just melt in your mouth. So tender and finger licking good!!! And the sauce omg so good with white rice.
1.5kg Spare pork Ribs chopped into pieces approx 5cm length (I chosen this part because it has more meat and fat )
2 tsp salt (sprinkle on to the pork ribs )

Caramelised sauce for braising:
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 dark soy sauce ( tamari sauce for gluten free )
 1/2 TBS grounded black peppercorn
2 slices Ginger 5mm thickness (chopped roughly )
1/2 cup water
1 brunch shallot (washed, trim edges and cut into 3 sections)
Cooking steps :
Preheated oven to 200 F / 100 C (very low )
In a medium saucepan , turn on medium - low heat.
Add sugar and melt slowly until golden brown liquid. Remove from heat and add soy sauce .
Pop back into heat (medium to low) and stir until sugar crystals dissolves, add ginger and ground black pepper.
Add 1/2 cup water to the sauce.
Bring to gentle boil.
Turn heat off, add shallots and let it rest for 15mins

Prepare pork ribs in 3-4 sections, add 2 tsp salt to the pork , mix well and let it rest for 15mins.
In a large pot ,turn on medium heat, add sauce mixture in the pot .
Add pork ribs and coated the pork ribs with the sauce .
Cover pot and turn to lowest heat and simmer for 5 mins .
In a baking pan, spread pork ribs inside the pan and pour sauce on top of the ribs
Cover top pan with foil completely and press along the edges to close all holes.

Pop into preheated oven and slowly baked for 5 hours !!!
Result : Melting succulent pork ribs,Yummo !!!

Ingredients and prepping ready !!

Melt the sugar slowly !

Ta-da! sauce is done! Easy peesy

Pork ribs ready to go

Simmering time ~

Oohh la la ~ getting there !

Voila ! beautiful pork ribs , the meat just falls off! ~ Enjoy my sweet friends

Friday, March 1, 2013

Dumplings Weekend!

Hello sweet readers. I've been super busy with my 4th batch of dumpling orders for friends and family last weekend. I would love to share with you a glimpse of Anna Dumplings. Here I would love to show you some great serving suggestions and easy tips of how to cook them perfectly! Enjoy a spoonful of happiness :) xoxo Anna

Get ready for Prepping time !!! Each batch of orders takes 2 days to complete. It's hard work, it is rewarding however when I see my friends eating them !!

Dumpling making !!!
Finally I can pack my little babies!
Anna Dumplings easy cooking steps :) Delicious dumplings in minutes! Ta-da ! 

Mr W really loves his dumpling crispy - just follow the above boiling steps and drain well. Heat pan on high heat, add 3 tbs oil onto pan and add in dumplings and turn constantly untill golden brown!

Voila! Crispy toasty dumplings served with your favourite sauce!!

I really love the dumplings in a simple chicken stock and garnished with fresh shallots. Eating a big bowl of soupy dumplings takes me back to my time as a kid eating all of my mum's dumplings. I remember I ate 5 bowls at one time !!! My best record! There were definitely a lot of dumplings in my belly :)

Here is a serving suggestion by my friend Claudia. She adds a Chinese special chilli bean paste. She eats her spicy dumplings soup for lunch at work!!! (She even brought her own sauces and soup spoon. I felt so proud) . Thank you for being super supportive of Anna dumplings.

Yesterday Mr W and I had dumplings for dinner in a home made chicken stock and some Chinese cabbage. I also added my special soy caramelised slow braised spare pork ribs (it was slowly cooked in the oven for 5 hours !!! yes it's crazy however I love my food so no complaints here. I love it when the meat slowly falls apart and melts in your mouth. Yummo! I will share this recipe with you next time!). xx