Thursday, July 30, 2009

Roast - Pork Belly (siew bak) Part II

As promised but I'll let the pics do the talking =)


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Roast - Pork Belly (siew bak) Part I

What i did two days ago..

Remember i wrote about my next biggest challenge was to roast pork belly a.k.a. siew bak / siew yok. Hubby asked mil to get us a piece of pork belly with skin on Monday morning. I googled high and low for the easiest recipe and even called an aunt of mine who owns the exact same turbo oven as i do.

I asked mil not to buy a big piece in case it turns out bad and at least the meat will not go to waste. And this is what i found when i went home on Monday night.
before marinated
It's a BIG piece of meat that goes up to 2kg+ easily. The butcher already slit the meat nicely and it was cleaned by MIL. All i needed to do was to wipe it dry before marinating. Imagine how this fatty portion will turn out to be like after roasting. I will remember to snap the exact angle tonight.
fatty meat

To marinade the skin:
1.5 tablespoons of vinegar
1.5 tablespoons of salt

To marinade the meat:
1.5 tablespoons of 5-spice powder
1.5 tablespoons of pepper
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce (to replace "Nam Yue" or fermented beancurd)
Before marinating process, i poked hundred of holes on the skin using the tip of my knife. This is to create bubbles that will make the skin crispy during roasting. Scoring is quite dangerous (at least, for me) cos i maybe slitting the skin too deep whereby the salt + vinegar will go into the meat portion. Stabbing on the skin was so much, but hubby who was in the kitchen too, refused to join in the crazy fun.
After making sure there are enough holes on the skin, i marinated the meat first, though most of the recipes i found stated otherwise. You need to "massage" all the ingredients into every corner of the meat so that they can penetrate into the meat. Do the same for the skin. After massaging, put the marinated meat into fridge and lower the temp. The secret to get crispy siew bak is to have a very dry skin before roasting. Preferable 4 days. Mine will be only for 2 days cos mil needs the siew bak to be ready by Friday morning for prayers.
marinated meat

Do you know that siew bak or siew pai (roast pork belly / roast pork ribs) are selling at RM100++ per piece during 8th day of CNY? Let you know the result tomorrow.
Stay tuned....

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cookies - Choc Chunk Cookies

Before we got married, mil told me that she bought a set of "Space Wok" (turbo oven) so that i can bake cakes or cookies. It costed her about RM2K at that time, 4-5years ago. I didn't know how to use it or even want to take the bulky oven out from our kitchen cabinets.

After reading several cooking/baking blogs & watching AFC on Astro, we finally bought a packet of ingredients to make cookies. Before we bought it, i was making sure that i do not need to add any additional fancy ingredients or use a mixer. My kitchen does not equip with a lot of cooking equipment. We could live with a pot & non-stick frying pan, not forgetting a microwave.

After sending Khye to mil & a long nap, i started to take out the giant turbo oven from my cabinet & wiped it clean. I just need to add an egg & some veggie oil to the cookie flour. Since we do not have veggie oil, i substituted it with our newly bought Naturel Olive Oil, hoping the cookies would still taste good. I do not have any baking utensils at home, i had to borrow baking tray from mil, using knife from Secret Recipe to mix the dough. Instead of using ungreased paper, i put some margarine (no butter) before throwing chunks of cookies dough into the tray :P
choc chunk cookies dough

It says, i need to pre-heat the oven at 360F. It's a good thing there is a Converter function in my phone, from Fahrenheit to Celsius. For a first timer, i adjusted the temp & on the switch. Nothing happened. Then i turned off the switch and re-adjusted the temp. Again nothing happened. Finally, after a few rounds of testing, i only realised, i forgot to adjust the timer. Temp > power on > time. That simple! Once the power is on, the fan of the turbo oven started to swirl the air into a hot tornado-like air. The baking tray was shaking non-stop in the oven, could be due to the uneven base of the baking tray.
spacewok - turbo oven

The instruction said the cookies need to be in the oven for 8-10mins at 360F, but the cookies turned brown after 5mins. I guess the air must be pretty hot and the cookies were heated up very fast. I only need 5 trays and completed the whole baking session in an hour. I also did a quick check and the oven consumed 2 units of electricity within the 1 hour baking session. Although the color of the cookies is not exactly presentable, the taste is excellent, with a bit of burnt smell. Hubby has placed order for cornflakes cookies :P
choc chunk cookies

My next big challenge would be roasting pork belly or "siew bak". I've been searching and collecting recipes on how to roast siew bak using turbo oven. Some of the recipes looks pretty simple. Wait till i give it a try and post up the pics of the whole process yah...