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Posts Tagged ‘pork floss’

This is another popular Chinese New Year snack in Malaysia. The ingredients are very simple but making them takes some time. Good news is that this snack can be made ahead of time and kept in freezer until ready to fry. It is also a great side dish to go with porridge.

Mini Pork Floss Rolls 迷你肉鬆卷

Mini Pork Floss Rolls 迷你肉鬆卷

Mini Pork Floss Rolls 迷你肉鬆卷 (make as much or as little as you please)

Ingredients:

large sheets of spring roll pastry wrap
pork floss
cornstarch water (mixture of 1 tsp cornstarch + 2 tsp water)

Method:

  1. Cut each pastry sheets into 9 little squares. Loose up pork floss with a fork or a spoon. Spoon 1/2 tsp pork floss onto each small square, roll it up like a egg roll. Dip finger with cornstarch water and seal the end. Press the end down a little to make sure it seals well. Repeat this step until all are finished.
  2. Deep fry mini rolls, in batches, on medium heat until they are golden brown. Drain on paper towel to absorb excess oil. Store in air tight container when they are cooled.

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The pumpkin I’m writing about is not  the American pumpkin that you make your pumpkin pie/soup. It is actually called kabocha squash, but Chinese typically call it pumpkin or ‘nan gua’ in Mandarin. Feel free to use to use other types of pumpkin/squash if you like as long as they don’t have a high liquid content (or they will turn mushy after cooking).

All of our family members like kabocha squash, except Richard. So to lure him to eat this healthy squash I have to add some spices and be sure the squash is just cooked and not mushy. Indeed, the squash tastes very delicious– sweet, spicy and with the flavor of pork floss and aromatic curry leaves. Alexander and Ethan find it too spicy, but Richard just couldn’t have enough of it!

Aromatic Pumpkin/Kabocha Squash

Aromatic Pumpkin/Kabocha Squash

Aromatic Pumpkin/Kabocha Squash Recipe

Ingredients:
1 lb kabocha squash ‘nan gua’
3 cloves garlic
6-8 Thai hot chili peppers
1 stalk of curry leaves
2 tbsp pork floss
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Remove skin, seeds and core of kabocha squash. Slice into wedges of 2 inch long and 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Finely garlic, hot peppers and curry leaves (remove the stem) separately.
  3. Heat a pan with 2 tbsp oil, pan fry squash on high heat uncover until the surface is slightly burned and brown, then flip to fry the other side. Continue frying until the squash reach firm softness. Turn down the heat a little if it brown too quickly. Dish out. Remain the heat.
  4. Add 1 tbsp oil to the pan, saute garlic, peppers and curry leaves until aromatic. Return squash to the pan, add sugar and salt then stir quickly. Sprinkle pork floss, toss quickly then dish out. Serve immediately.

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Aromatic Prawns with Pork Floss

Aromatic Prawns with Pork Floss

Pork floss is a kind of pork product although it doesn’t look like meat at all. I think that (but not sure) pork floss is made of marinated pork slowly dry roasted until the meat is breaking apart and eventually become very very fine, just like the very fine fiber that makes up your carpet. Pork floss is a very common side dish to accompany plain porridge; it is also used as topping and/or  filling in breads and buns, or sandwiched with some butter. Here I’m using it in cooking.

The aroma, however, doesn’t come from pork floss but rather from curry leaves, garlic and Thai hot peppers. I love the fragrant smell of curry leaves. It brings out the soul of this dish. While the boys and Richard are going for the prawns, I am usually after the pork floss and aromatic crumbs– they are the best!

Aromatic Prawns with Pork Floss

Aromatic Prawns with Pork Floss. The very fine golden 'hair' is pork floss.

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs tiger prawns
3-4 cloves garlic
2 stalks curry leaves
10-15 hot Thai peppers
3-4 tbsp pork floss
salt and sugar to taste

Method:

  1. Remove prawn shells (keep the tail) and deveined. Season prawns with some salt and rinse off quickly. Pat dry.
  2. Finely chopped garlic, curry leaves and peppers.
  3. Heat up pan with some oil and saute prawns until just cooked. Dish out.
  4. Saute garlic, curry leaves and peppers until aroma comes out. Return the prawns to the pan and toss to combine. Add salt and sugar to taste. Dish out to a big bowl. Toss in pork floss then transfer to a plate. Serve hot immediately.

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GONG XI FA CAI!!! May the Year of Ox bring you prosperity and happiness.

As I said in my previous post, I have been busy preparing for Chinese New Year and other daily stuff and so been behind again posting entries… seems I never have the time. Anyway, this is what I’ve been busy making for CNY:

Chinese New Year goodies

Chinese New Year goodies

I made 8 kinds of Chinese New Year treats this year, shown on the purple plate. The big crackers on the beautiful green flower plate is called “Keropok” (fish crackers), which is my all time favorite munch especially when playing mah jong. This is my first time making all these 8 types of treats… needs improvement of course but overall I’m very proud of myself. Whenever I told people I made them all by myself, they asked me where do I find the time to do all these besides taking care of 2 young boys and a baby… well, where there’s a will there’s a way 🙂

Let’s check out what goodies are on the plate (clockwise starts from top right):

Pork floss mini rolls— easy but time consuming. Cut a sheet of spring roll wrapper into 9 small pcs, fill in a little pork floss, roll up and seal the edge. Don’t be greedy and put too much pork floss– fat rolls don’t look good and saltier to the taste. Also, some recipes use beaten egg wash to seal but I find using egg wash will produce many tiny tiny bubbles on the “skin” after deep frying– not pretty at all vs. a smooth look using flour batter(flour+water–> thick batter ) for sealing. (cheaper on the cost too). I put the rolls in the fridge uncoveredto let cold (to get rid of the moist heat so the rolls stay dry in the freezer and less chance of oil splashing when frying) before storing them in the freezer. Time consuming but can be made ahead of time and stored in freezer. Can be baked in the oven too. I’ll try the baked version next time.

Green pea cookies— Couldn’t find premix green pea powder so I had to ground the snack green pea myself and thus it’s not as fine as the premix ones… you can still taste little pcs of green peas in the cookies. I grounded the peas ahead of time so when it came to making it’s pretty easy, although I find the recipe that I followed is a bit sweet to my taste– will cut down the sugar next time.

Nori/Seaweed crisps— This is super easy and fast and can be made ahead of time and store in the freezer. Just sandwich 2 sheets of spring roll wrapper with 1 sheet of nori, using seasoned flour mixture (flour+water+bit of salt+bit of ground white pepper–>medium flow consistency batter) to stick them together. Use scissors to cut into 1 inch strips. Deep fry or bake in the oven.

Kuih Bangkit— I followed the no-butter recipe from Yochana’s Cake Delight but the dough was very shiny and couldn’t stand on its own (according to the recipe this is not supposed to happen)– so I kept adding more and more topioca flour to the dough. The results– the kuih bangkits are bit hard to bite but still melt in the mouth. Definitely NEEDS improvements!! Oh, I used sakura flower cookie cutter because they are so pretty, and use crab cracking tool (or toothpick) dipped in red coloring to make it looks nice on the top. Pretty huh don’t you think? 🙂

Hae Bee (Spicy dried shrimp) mini rolls— Same method as with pork floss mini rolls. Again, all can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the freezer. I rolled these up before the pork floss rolls and then found them to be too “fat”. As a result, too much hae bee–> too salty! Lesson learned…

Love letters— I wish I could find electric love letter maker  here in US, that will make the job a breeze. As a result, I had to use the very traditional love letter molds, making piece by piece on the stove. However I forgot to grease the mold this time before putting in the batter and thus spent some  time cleaning up the mold before even producing any love letters!! Argh!!! …Another lesson learned.

Honey joys— Pretty much is a cornflake snack coated with honey, sugar and butter mixture. I got the recipe from Corner’s Cafe but changed a little– used more honey (to produce a more shiny look)and less sugar (for less sugar crystallization )and butter (not as rich) as suggested, also add in pinch of salt so the balance the sweetness.

Pineapple tarts(pictured center)— The filling can be cooked ahead of time and store in the fridge/freezer. The pastry dough is not hard to make at all (I soften the butter in the microwave). There are open face pineapple tart and enclosed pineapple tart (fillings to be a bit drier than the open face version). Personally I like the enclosed version better because no worries about tarts sticks together. I used a fork to create the pineapple pattern on the top, not too bad huh? I also made the tarts slightly smaller than the usual ones so it’ll be easier for my boys to eat without much crumbs falling everywhere.

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