Tag Archives: Pork

Instant Mee Pok

(deep breath)

It’s been a long long hiatus that I’ve taken. I blame Instagram. Grainy photos behind retro-esque filters and uninspired dishes. In any case, I’m hoping this entry won’t be like the last one – the last one for a long while.

So I guess from now, I’ll be using more than a couple of Instagramasised photograph. Fingers crossed that’ll work out well.

Alas! The first of the list is Instant Mee Pok! Mee Pok (translated from Chinese dialect as ‘thin noodles’) is a flat egg noodle used a lot in Singapore to make Fishball Noodles and Mushroom Minced Pork Noodles. They say the first creators of pasta were actually the Chinese; Italians apparently discovered it much later. In any case, Mee Pok is usually cooked fresh and unless you buy them fresh from the market or make them yourself, you won’t get a chance to have them this far from East Asia. But, but, BUT! I stumbled upon a pack of dried instant Mee Pok at Chinatown last week. Well, it isn’t quite exactly the same thing as its fresh counterpart, but I’d say it comes pretty damned close.

I am a happy boy.

(Follow me on Instagram @skinnynigel or #skinnynigel)


Leek & Pork Stirfry

This post should have been written months ago during the Lunar New Year season. Reason being this dish is always on the table at the annual family reunion dinner. ‘Leek’ in Mandarin is suan, which sounds just like the equivalent of the word ‘count’. In essence, it’s an auspicious dish to consume during the festival celebrating luck and prosperity. That aside, leek and pork is a lovely combination.

  1. Cut up the vegetable to thin slices, diagonally. Separating them to loose strands gently.
  2. Do the same with a carrot, or pass it through the coarse side of a grater.
  3. Prepare the pork this way.
  4. In a hot skillet with a tablespoon of vegetable oil, toss in minced garlic and fry till fragrant.
  5. Add in the vegetables and fry about with a small splash of water. Lower the heat.
  6. When the leek is almost completely softened, add in the pork.
  7. Turn up the heat and stirfry everything together by adding water in small quantities, frying till dry-ish each time.
  8. Adjust seasoning accordingly with light soy sauce.
  9. Serve with hot steamed rice.

Pork & Cumin Spaghetti

Asian-fried spaghetti of pork cubes, sugar snaps and egg, with cumin, oregano and chilli.

  1. The usual drill. Set the pasta away to boil in a pot.
  2. In a hot skillet and a little oil, fry minced garlic till fragrant.
  3. Toss in pork cubes and sugar snaps.
  4. Add in crushed cumin and oregano.
  5. When pork is almost done, move all to the side of the skillet. Add some oil in the pan and crack in an egg. Beat it erratically and let it cook in chunks.
  6. Toss in sliced chilli.
  7. Mix everything together and season well with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.
  8. The pasta should be done by now. Drain and add to skillet. Stir everything together into a party of lovely colours.

Honey Braised Pork Shoulder

Pork shoulder fillet braised in garlic, ginger and honey north of carrot and red chilli, served on wilted Chinese leaf.

  1. In a skillet with some water, make a broth of minced garlic, ginger, soy sauce, carrot and red chilli. When the water comes to a boil, incorporate about a tablespoon of honey, depending on how much broth you’ve made. Taste the broth, it should be a sweetish-salty flavour.
  2. Set in the fillet of pork and braise till done.
  3. When the pork is almost done, add in the Chinese leaf and remove all once cooked.

Ballotine of Pork Shoulder & Turkey Breast

A ballotine, which means ‘bundle’, is a French dish made of deboned meat fish or poultry (sometimes the whole animal) filled with stuffing and then rolled and tied into a bundle. It is roasted, poached or braised, and can be served hot or cold.

In this case, I made a couple of ballotines of pork shoulder and turkey breast, served on a bed of crushed peas and lemon-seasoned chopped peppers.

It’s a great thing that there’s still Christmas turkey left in the fridge, having it with a small bit of cranberry sauce is exquisite. The flavour of the bird having a friendly tug-o-war with the earthy aroma of pork is simply lovely. Not forgetting the fresh crunch of carrot ribbon rolls and subtle sweetness of the vegetables.

It’s amusing, I made a serving of couscous to go along with this; I need my carbs.


Bacon & Pork Aglio Olio

Remember Pasta Evolution?

Well, this not for the faint-hearted; it’s incredibly extravagant and unforgivably heart-stopping. Out from the fat rendered from bacon, an Aglio Olio dish is born.

  1. Same old drill: Set your pasta boiling away in a pot.
  2. Using a small knob of butter, get the bacon into a skillet.
  3. Render the fat out before tossing in a generous amount of minced garlic, chilli, dried basil and oregano.
  4. Toss in sliced pork, which has been marinated with salt and pepper.
  5. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the skillet. Toss about, coating every strand of spaghetti well.
  6. Grate Parmesan or Cheddar directly on and mix throughly.
  7. Serve with fresh basil.

Ballotine of Pork & Shrimps

I confess, I am currently obsessed with the ballotine. Rolling meat into a tight bundle and then cooking it makes me happy. It doesn’t help that there is such a sense of excitement when the time is nigh to slice it.

Alright, so maybe pork isn’t so appetising in a ballotine. In any case, a drizzle of sesame oil elevates its flavour immensely. Served with ultra-thin rice noodles, carrot mash and seared lettuce, I am definitely playing with my food.

French-style cooking and Asian flavours, at its best.


Rosemary(ed) Pork Spaghetti

It’s been a busy busy week. Here’s one of the hasty but hefty meals I made during the course of the past seven days.

Stir-fried and real quick to make.

Almost Asian, use a fork to rake.

  • 1 portion quick cook spaghetti
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 80g lean pork, or pork shoulder, thinly sliced
  • 2 inches carrot, cut into small 1-inch slices
  • 1 brown mushroom, sliced
  • 1 handful young spinach leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground

•••

  1. As always, set your pasta away in a pot of boiling water. Carrots go in there as well.
  2. In a hot wok, heat up the oil. Dip the sprigs of rosemary into the pasta pot for 5 seconds, before tossing into the wok. TIP! This exposure to hot water for such a short time make a world of a difference; the herb begins to release its fragrant oils.
  3. Just before the rosemary starts getting too happy in there, toss in the garlic and fry till fragrant.
  4. Then add in the pork. Stir about and add water from the pasta pot in small quantities, to aid to cooking of the meat.
  5. The pasta should be done soon. So toss in the mushrooms to the wok now.
  6. Drain the pasta when al dente and add to the wok. Turn off the heat.
  7. Spinach goes in as well. Mix well.
  8. Season accordingly with sea salt and black pepper.
  9. Once spinach has wilted, serve.

Pork Sausage & Asparagus Spaghetti

There’s something about asparagus and pork that’s very pleasant; remember how it’s lovely with bacon? (King’s Asparagus, Asparagus & Bacon Penne)

Inspired by Aglio Olio and the lovely pork and asparagus combination, here’s a quick spaghetti dish to whip up that’s sure to satisfy your craving for that saltish non-slurpy pasta.

  • 1 portion quick cook spaghetti
  • 2 pork sausages, skinned
  • 6 stalks asparagus
  • 1/4 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 handful fresh arugula
  • 1 pinch dried basil
  • 1 pinch dried oregano
  • sea salt, freshly ground
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • olive oil
  • fresh Parmesan
•••
  1. As always, first get your spaghetti into a pot of boiling water.
  2. Drizzle the wok with a little bit of olive oil, and toss in the sausages. Make sure the skin’s removed. Let it sizzle for a bit, so the fat gets rendered out.
  3. Then, in goes the garlic, fried till golden.
  4. Toss in the peppers and asparagus.
  5. Add the herbs and seasoning now, then stir about till the veggies are done. (Personally, I like my peppers and asparagus is little overdone, if you can get them be slightly charred, even better. The minute tang of bitterness will go a long way.)
  6. Your spaghetti should be about done now, if not already done. Drain and add to the wok.
  7. Mix everything together thoroughly.
  8. Dish it out onto a pretty plate, with a generous pinch of arugula atop.
  9. Using a speed peeler, strip a more than a couple of slices of Parmesan on.
  10. Drizzle a round of olive oil and serve. To yourself, of course.

Sausage Penne Bolognese

Even though I think the best way to have Bolognese is with spaghetti, sometimes penne is a pretty good change. Served in a deep bowl, all you need is a fork to stab and shove.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pork sausages
  • 1 small handful of frozen peas
  • 2 inches of a medium carrot, diced finely
  • a quarter of an onion, diced finely
  • 1 small small knob of butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • chilli, minced (optional)
  • 2 tsp of double concentrate tomato puree
  • a pinch of dried basil
  • sea salt, freshly ground
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • freshly grated Parmesan,
  • a couple of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 handfuls of quick cook penne
COOKING:
  1. Get your pasta boiling in a pot.
  2. In a hot wok, toss the peas in.
  3. Once they’ve defrosted for a bit, dump the carrots in, together with the small small wad of butter. Toss.
  4. Then add the garlic and onions. Let them fry away happily, tossing occasionally.
  5. If you want it slightly spicy, add in the chilli now.
  6. Peel of the skin of the sausages and throw them into the wok. Cut them erratically with a spatula whilst stirring everything together.
  7. Scoop out some of the starchy pasta cooking water and pour into the wok.
  8. Stir in the tomato puree and add more pasta cooking water accordingly.
  9. When you’ve got the consistency you want, and the sausages cooked, pinch in the dried basil, salt and pepper. Stir and turn off the heat.
  10. Drain pasta.
  11. Serve with bolognese. Garnish with Parmesan and fresh basil leaves.

15-minute meal for the famished soul.