Category Archives: pork

Pork Chop Onion Rice Bake


imageMarch 21, 2015

This is a very old recipe given to me by my good friend Mabel at least 20 years ago.  At that time we were busy moms struggling with the kids’ extra-curricula activities and household chores and the biggest challenge for us was to cook a decent and nutritious meal for the family.

I used to make this a lot, and now that the kids are all grown up I hardly make it at all, as a matter of fact it must be at least ten years since.   Today, the chickadee decided to take a stroll down memory lane and said,  ” You have not make the pork chop rice for a long time.”  So I came home and started to dig around for this recipe from my pile of forgotten paper.  I finally found it in an old folder which is so worn out that it is starting to fall apart when I pulled it out from the book shelf.  The recipe was originally written in ink and now the handwritting is so faded that it is almost impossible to read.

Times have changed, now I don’t gather recipes in my binder and everything is either kept in Pinterest or in my blog.  This classical recipe for sure deserve a place of honor here, and in days to come when my chickadees find themselves rushing around with their families they too can find some use for this favorite of ours.


Pork Chop Rice Bake

6 pork chops ( 1-1 1/2 inches thick)

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup uncooked rice

1 envelope Onion Soup Mix

1 can sliced mushrooms ( or fresh)

Hot water



  • Brown chops in oil
  • Spread rice on a baking dish
  • Reserve about 1 Tbsp of soup mix and sprinkle rest of the mix on top of rice.
  • Drain mushroom, reserve liquid, spread mushroom on top of rice. ( if using fresh mushroom, blanche it in boiling water for a few sections to let them sweat a bit)
  • Add hot water to the reserved liquid to make 3 cups of liquid and pour over rice
  • Arrange browned chops on top of rice mixture and sprinkle the reserved soup mixture on top of chops.
  • Cover tightly with foil and bake in oven at 350F for about 45-60 mins.
  • Remove foil and continue cooking until excess liquid evaporates.



pumpkin noodles


Nov 14, 2012

Tonight is one of those days I need my comfort food.  I have been craving rice vermicelli all day long and it is exactly what I would prescribe to chase those awful blues away.  This evening I need my comfort food to bring me back to my pampered childhood years. 

As I was making the pork, I got a little concerned because besides the soy sauce there is not much seasonings.  But I am totally surprised after I added the kabocha, the tangyness of the pumpkin add another layer of flavoring to this other wise bland dish.

As I expected, rice vermicelli and Survivor did the trick!

Pumpkin Rice Noodles
Serves 1 | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 5 minutes


100g dried rice vermicelli
2 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
100g pork, minced
100g pumpkin (or kabocha), diced
½ cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
3 dashes white pepper
100g bean sprouts, rinsed


1. Soak the dried rice vermicelli in warm water for about 20 minutes. Drain the water and set aside.
2. Heat up the oil in a wok and add the garlic. Stir-fry the garlic until aromatic before adding the pork and pumpkin.
3. Add the water, soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, white pepper and bring to boil.
4. Add the rice vermicelli into the wok, stir to combine well with the ingredients in the wok.
5. Add the bean sprouts and continue to stir fry the rice vermicelli until the sauce is dry and the vermicelli is cooked through. Dish out and serve immediately.


Pork Chops With Ginger Pear Sauce


I love pears, but unfortunately it is now on my ever-growing list of allergies. The only way I can eat them is when cooked, and when I saw the recipes posted by on Facebook  I was very excited.  This is the first time I have pears with pork chops, and I sure love the combination.  The sauce reminds me of the ginger onion stir fry that is so popular in Chinese cooking.  The “strange” partnership of the ingredients give this a very unique taste and a very pleasant surprise.


    • 4 (4 ounce) boneless pork chops, select a thicker cut and trim all visible fat
    • salt & freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons canola oil or 2 teaspoons corn oil
    • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons sugar ( I think you can do this with Splenda by adding it closer to the end of the preparation)
    • 2/3 cup white wine, dry would be best
    • 1 cup reduced-fat chicken broth
    • 1 firm ripe bosco pears or 1 Anjou pears, peeled, cored and cut lengthwise into eighths
    • 1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin julienne strips
    • 6 scallions, trimmed and sliced into 1/2 inch lengths
    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
    • 2 teaspoons water


  1. Season porkchops with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook until browned and just cooked through, two to three minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Pour off fat from the pan.
  2. Add vinegar and sugar to the pan and stir to dissolve the sugar. Cook over medium-high heat until the syrup turns dark amber, 10 to 20 seconds. Pour in wine and bring to a simmer while stirring.
  3. Add broth, pears and ginger to the wine-vinegar sauce bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, turning the pears occasionally, for 4 minutes. Add scallions and cook until the pears are tender, about 2 minutes more.
  4. Mix together the water and cornstarch into a slurry and add to the pan. Stir until the sauce thickens. Reduce heat to low and return the pork and any accumulated juices to the pan; turn to coat with the sauce.
  5. Serve immediately.

Saute Pork with tomatoes


I have been trying to get my middle-aged mind to look at the world with a different set of eyes these days.   I’ve got to admit that things are definitely moving in a different pace these days….who would have thought back in my youth that one day we  actually talk to people with two thumbs.  Just the mere thought of it then will get some strange looks from people! But now even this old bird is getting the hang of texting to people and engaging in long and sometimes meaningful conversations.

Here is one good example of doing things differently these days as in my old favorite”Pork chops with sautéed tomato”.  This is one of the dishes I am well acquainted with, and for years have been cooking the way I was taught by mom.   So when I came across this recipe from this website I was pretty “psyched” about how she made it.   So on to the freezer I dug and  found this pack of pork chops sitting there waiting to be experimented in a new way.  ahh yes, old wine in a new skin !

As usual, I over cooked the chops.  For some reason I never quite fully accept the idea that it is okay to have a little bit of pink in your pork ( as my foodie keeps reminding me).  But what I did to kill the chops, I made it up with the sauce. I am totally crazy about the sauce ( so different from mom’s) but who would have thought that a couple of spoon of black vinegar can bring out a different flavor in an old and familiar dish !

Here is the recipe:

Sauté Pork with Tomatoes Recipe
Adapted from Cooking Light
Serves 4 | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes


4 teaspoons cooking oil
4 boneless center-cut pork loin about 1/2 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar (black vinegar)
2 cups red and yellow grape tomatoes, halved
1/8 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons chopped basil


Sprinkle the pork chops evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.

Heat up a large non-stick wok or skillet. Add in 1 teaspoon oil, coat well. Cook the pork chops until desired tenderness.

Transfer the pork chops to serving plates. Add in the remaining oil. While the oil is heating, combine and toss the tomatoes with the remaining salt, ground pepper and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.

When oil is ready, add the sliced shallots and minced garlic and cook until aromatic. Next, add in vinegar and stir well. Gently add the tomatoes into the wok and stir to combine. Cook until the tomatoes are soft, approximately 2-3 minutes.

Turn off the heat, add in 2 tablespoons chopped basil and stir well. Divide the tomato mixture equally among the pork chops and garnish with the remaining basil. Serve with warm steamed rice.

Cook’s Note:

Chinkiang vinegar can be substituted with Chinese rice vinegar but the taste may be slightly different.


Pork Filet with Ginger Honey Sauce


I was going through my camera this morning and found a picture of this grilled pork dish taken a couple months ago.  Somehow I had forgotten to post it after I’d made it.  I remember the reason why I made this was because of the grill pan, yes all because of the pan.

I bought the pan over a year ago when we went on one of those random trips to the state.  I bought it for none other that it was so much cheaper than here in Canada.  Last week on the news there was a story about this man who shops for  grocery  every week across the border, he said that the  drive is totally worth it as he saves about 300 dollars a month on food.  I can see his reason, if you have a big growing family and is counting the pennies, $300 dollar is a good enough reason for one to make an hour drive over the border weekly.  It is sad  when you think of how much more we are paying here in Canada

So back to my grill pan, as I mentioned  I bought it a while ago and it just sits in my cupboard only to make an appearance once a while when I have steak for dinner.  I love steak but I don’t make it often enough.  It does seem a little unnecessary to have a grill pan taking up my limited space.

When I read this recipe on Christine’s website, I was quite excited because it was another chance for me to use the pan, might as well get some use out of it.

I recall this was a success, and we really loved the sauce.  It was light enough that the pork did not get over power by the seasonings.  Most of all it was easy to make.

Here is the recipe, unfortunately I could only find it on her Chinese blog, so I am trying my best to translate it properly.

Prep time: 10 minutes

cooking time: 20 minutes

To serve 3-4


  • 200 gr of Pork Tenderloin

  • 4 Tbsp of chicken stock

  • 1 Tsp of honey

  • 2 tsp lemon juice


  • 3 tsp ginger juice

  • 2 tsp mirin

  • 2 1/2 tsp of light soya sauce

  • 1 tsp rice wine


  1. Wash and pat dry pork, marinade for about 30 minutes.  If possible leave pork in fridge for a couple of hours to give the meat more flavor.

  2. Heat grill pan, add little oil to coat pan.  Put seasoned pork on the pan, save the marinade for later use.  Careful to place pork on the hot pan to get the nice grill marks on both sides. Cover the meat and cook in medium heat till done, about 10-12 minutes. ( pending on the thickness of the tenderloin)

  3. Take pork out from the pan and let it rest for about 5 minutes.  Then slice to serving sizes.

  4. At the same time, prepare sauce. Pour the marinade and chicken stock into the grill pan, scrape off the brown bits from  the pan and mix well with the liquid. Cook it on high until it bubbles and then lower heat, cook till liquid evaporated to half .  Add honey and lemon juice to taste.

  5. Pour half of the sauce over pork slices, and serve the rest in a sauce bowl .

  6. Note: you can brown the pork on both sides to get the nice grill marks, to make sure the pork cook properly you can pop it in an preheated oven at 325 F for twenty minutes

Steamed Spareribs and Bitter Gourd


Ok, it is bitter gourd again.  Did I not mention I love them and is looking for different ways to cook this vegetable??

I saw this recipe on my favorite website Pig Pig’s corner, and instantly got inspired by it.  Initally I had bought chicken  and then realized that  Missy does not really like chicken, so I got spareribs instead.  So that was my first adaptation to this recipe.

She has suggested to use soya bean paste to marinade the chicken, and to spice up things a little, I used half  Japanese soya bean paste ( the kind you use for miso soup), and half  chili soya bean paste. That is my second adaptation.

I had fun playing around with this dish and let my imagination went wild a little.  What can I say?? I was in my adventurous mode.  I hate to toot my own horn….but I do love the taste of the dish.  Next time, when Missy is not eating at home, I shall try the chicken instead….

I have to credit Pig Pig’s for her inspiration, so here is the original recipe from her site:

Steamed Bitter Gourd Chicken

By Pig Pig’s Corner

Prep time: 15 mins
Marinate time: 1 hr
Cook time: 20 mins
Yield: serves 3


  • 550 g bone-in chicken pieces
  • 25 g (about 18) red dates – de-seeded, cut into half.
  • 1 bitter gourd (about 400 g) – seeds and white spongy stuff removed, thinly sliced.


  • 1 thumb size ginger – cut into matchsticks
  • 1 1/2 tbs Taucu (fermented soy bean paste)
  • 1/2 tbs light soy sauce
  • 1 tbs Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper powder
  • 2 tsp cornstarch


  • For bitter gourd, Cut into half lengthwise and remove the seeds and white spongy stuff. Thinly slice then soak in salted water for about 15 mins to reduce the bitterness slightly. Drain and rinse away the salt.
  • Mix together chicken, red dates and marinade ingredients. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hr.
  • Before steaming, mix together 3/4 of the bitter gourd and chicken then place in steaming bowl. Arrange the rest of the bitter gourd on top.
  • Steam on medium low heat for about 20-25 mins or until done.

Lion’s Head


I guess this dish is named so because of its size. It is a common dish in Northern cuisine.  Basically it is one ginormous meatball on a bed of vegetables.   I had made another version of this while the girls were younger, instead of one big meat ball, I would make individual  smaller ones. I think the only reason was I could not get the meat balls to hold its shape unless I made them smaller.

I have not made this for a long time, I think the last time I cooked it was almost 7-8 years ago.  I got really nostalgic and on my way home from work the other day and I  decided to make it for old-time sake.   So many things have changed in my life and so have my cooking.  That thing about live and let learn? I guess it is only from trial and errors that one learns how to improve and make progress.

Well,  change I did, in my mind as I took the 30 minutes drive back, I was already formulating how to make one giant meatball and without it turning into a pancake on me.  I know the proper way of making it is to deep fry the meatball in seemingly ten inches of oil.  This will make the meatball stay  “round”.  I do not like to  deep fry foods, not only I find it troublesome  to handle the left over oil,  the deep-frying will really smoke up my house.  In my moment of brilliance I thought of another way, which is steaming it.  I thought in order to retain its shape I could put the meat ball in a small rice bowl and steam it until it is almost done. Of course, lots of cornstarch to hold it together as well.

My version of the lion’s head did work out. ( I have to stress on it is my version, I know for those experts, they will frown on it)  However, instead of getting a rounded meatball, mine looked more like a giant muffin.  I am not picky about it so long it tastes good.   Now, to make the texture more like the meatballs I taste in restaurant, I kneaded the meat for a long time.  You can do it in a food processor, but my concern is that the meat might be overmixed. 

The second thing that make this dish is the sauce.  Some places serve it in a thickened sauce, and other places serve it in a broth.  I did not realize I used to do the later one, until Ariella pointed it out to me. 

So here is my new and improved version of the Lion’s head:


11/2 pounds of lean ground pork

1 1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger

1 1/2 tsp finely chopped scallions ( white part)

a dash of white pepper

1 tbsp of soya sauce

1/4 tsp of five spice powder

1 tsp of sesame oil

1/2 tsp of salt

4 tbsp of cornstarch

1 head of chinese cabbage


2 cloves of crushed garlic

dark soya sauce and oyster sauce to taste

1 tbsp of cornstarch

dash of sesame oil


Mix ground pork with all the seasonings and cornstarch.  Mix well with wooden spoon.  Afterwards, use cleaned hands and start kneading the meat mixture for about 15 minutes ( like kneading dough), turn meat over in bowl  at least 3 times.   Fill a steamer with hot water and boil.  Fill a small rice bowl with the meat mixture so it resembles a giant meatball.

Steam meatball over boiling water for 20-30 minutes, until it is no longer pink when you poke it.  Take meatball out and cool.

Cut and trim chinese cabbage to about 1/2 inch long.  Blanch it in hot boiling water until they turn soft.  With a strainer, drain all water from vegetables, and put it on a plate to use  later.  Chinese cabbage do tend to sweat a lot, so make sure you get rid of all the liquid before serving.

Heat a tbsp of oil, add in garlic until it is fragrant, put in giant meat ball and gently fry on all sides until it is lightly browned.   You might want to cut a tiny piece of meatball to taste.  You can adjust the taste in the sauce.  Soya sauce will add saltness, whereas oyster sauce will be a little sweet, so adjust to your taste accordingly. 

As you add all the sauces in a boil, add about 1/4 cup of water to the liquid.  Then in a small bowl add cornstarch and mix it with a tablespoon of water, making sure that the flour is all dissolved and you end up with a smooth paste. 

Once it is a paste like, then pour the cornstarch in the boiled liquid and stir gently until the sauce is thickened.  You might end up with a very thick sauce, but remember the cabbage will continue to sweat, so by the time you serve it the sauce will not be as thick.

In a serving bowl, arrange the cooked cabbage on the bottom, then put meatball in the middle.  Finally pour the sauce over it.  Enjoy.

Thai Braised Pork Belly


I have not cooked any “real” food for a while, mainly because I was just too lazy.   It was a nice little vacation for me from the kitchen, but I can only have soup and congee for so long before they get too boring. 

Yesterday was Ariella’s first day back at work after a month’s R&R and to celebrate her special date I decided to treat her to some real food.  I made this yummy dish of braised pork belly.  Last time we had it was back in NYC at Momomfuku’s and we had shared a bowl of their famous pork belly ramen…, I could still taste it in my mouth it was so good !

This recipe is from my favorite food blog  Pig Pig’s corner .  I made the mistake of using  brown mushroom instead of shimjei and they did not compliment with the pork at all.  Next time I will skip it all together.  

Instead of serving it on rice I served it in a folded steam bun.  I found them at the frozen section in the Asian grocery store not too long ago and it is called the “Chinese hamburger buns”, I don’t know why they are named so but it tastes good and looks awesome.

So here is the recipe from Pig Pig’s corner:

Thai Style Braised Pork Belly

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 1 1/2 hr

Yield: serves 4-5


  • 850 g pork belly – cut into chunks
  • 200 g brown beech mushrooms/ shimeji (optional)
  • 1 inch ginger – sliced
  • 1/2 bulb garlic – peeled and crushed
  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander roots and stem – finely chopped
  • 40 g gula Melaka (palm sugar) – grated with a knife
  • 1/2 tbs white pepper powder
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs Cheong Chan Thick Dark Soy Sauce (Thick Caramel Sauce)(optional, for colouring purposes)
  • Water


  • Heat up a bit of oil in a pot. Add ginger, garlic and coriander, stir-fry until fragrant.
  • Add pork, palm sugar*, pepper and dark soy sauce. Stir to coat.
  • Pour in enough water to cover all the ingredients, bring to boil then lower heat to simmer for about 1-1/2 hrs or until pork is tender and sauce is reduced.
  • Add mushrooms and leave to simmer for a few mins or until the mushrooms are cooked.
  • Season to taste.


*This dish is on the sweet side, so use less if you prefer it to be less sweet. You can always add more later to taste.


Curry Chicken


From Betty C.  Thanks so much !


6 – 8 boneless/skinless chicken thighs (may substitute 2 lbs of pork)
3 stalks celery, diced
1 green pepper, 1 red pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
dash of hot sauce
1 can Cream of Celery soup
1 Tablespoon curry
1/2 can of coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

Marinade chicken thighs with 2 Tbs  Soy sauce, 1 Tbs cornstarch for at least 2 hours.  Add 1 Tbs oil to chicken mixture before browning chicken. Brown chicken and set aside.
Stir fry onion, add curry powder and hot sauce.  Add celery and stir fry for one minute and then add the peppers and stir fry 2 minutes.  Add browned chicken, cream of celery soup and 1/2 can of coconut.  Stir until mixed and sauce is hot and smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!!

Steamed Pork Ribs in Plum Bean Sauce


Ariella loves taro dishes, and I still have to learn to master the fine art of cooking taro without turning it into mush.  My mom is really good at it ( unfortunately she does not cook anymore), she always managed to cook them to the right consistency and they still hold their shape. 

I usually make taro in a stew, and thats when it usually turn too mushy for my taste.  So I tried something different, I steamed them instead and sure enough it worked better for me.  Taro goes well with pork ribs, and instead of using the black bean sauce, I decided to try something I don’t normally use, and that is the plum bean sauce.  You can get it in any Chinese groceries, just make sure you don’t get the plum sauce which is more tart, but this plum bean sauce has a totally different taste, it is saltier.

Here is my recipe, and once again I do not have the exact measurement, everything is sort of an estimation. 


1 lb of pork ribs, chopped into bite sizes

1/4 tsp of salt

dash of pepper

1 tbsp of low sodium soya sauce

1/2 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine

1 tbsp of plum bean sauce

1/2 of a taro root, sliced and cut 

2 tsp of chopped garlic

3 small red chili peppers ( sliced, and if you do not like the heat remove the seeds)

chopped green onions for garnish


  1. wash ribs and pat dry, marinade in salt and pepper, soya sauce, wine and plum bean sauce.  Let stand for about 30 minutes
  2. Get a steamer ready.
  3. Line a deep dish with taro in single layer
  4. put marinated pork ribs on top
  5. spoon chopped garlic on top of ribs, make sure it is spread evenly on the ribs
  6. add the sliced red peppers
  7. steam for about 30 minutes
  8. garnish with green onions and serve