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When I first started this blog, I was posting all the food that I love and I cooked week by week but after the first month, I decided I want to focus more on baked goods- mainly sweets! Since then I haven’t posted up any savoury dishes but I thought I really should share some of my favourite dishes here from time to time. Ma Po Tofu fits right into this category! I love dish that has lots of sauce because it goes so well with steamed rice. This dish is full of strong, bold flavour, a bit spicy but you can always adjust the amount of chilli flakes you put in it. I love ordering this dish when I am in Hong Kong, but I don’t get to do it that often now being in Melbourne, so I want to learn how to make it so I can always make it at home. This is real authentic way to make Ma Po Tofu, also a very simple way too! Not much preparation at all, a quick, no mess dish! You only need to cut up the tofu into cubes and chop up some spring onions for garnish! You really have to try this!

Ingredients

  • Firm Tofu, cut into small cubes
  • Pork Mince 150g
  • a bunch of Spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon of mince garlic
  • ¾ teaspoon of chilli flakes

Sauce

  • 3-4 teaspoon of Bean Curd Paste
  • ¾ teaspoon of sugar
  • 4 teaspoon of water
  • 2 teaspoon of corn starch

Marinade pork mince with:

  • 1 ½ teaspoon of soya sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of dark soya sauce
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar
  • a pinch of white pepper
  • a few drops of sesame oil

Method:

  1. Marinade pork mince with above ingredients for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in wok til hot, fry garlic, chilli flakes and pork mince til mince is cooked and brown.
  3. Add bean curd paste in wok to fry for a minute, then add in tofu and chicken stock, stir gently to mix everything together (**be careful not to break the tofu**)
  4. Cover wok with wok lid and continue to cook for a further 4 minutes on medium heat.
  5. Meanwhile mix water and corn starch to make a thin paste.
  6. Add in this paste after 4 minutes cooking time, this paste will thicken up the sauce.
  7. Sprinkle spring onions on top to finish the dish. Serve hot with steamed rice.

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15 mins and dinner is done! That includes preparation time too! This really quick and tasty dish is a good choice for a weekly meal! Serve this with steamed rice or make it into a great salad with some lettuce and cucumber! Yum Yum!

Ingredients: (Serve 4)

  • 600g pork mince
  • 300g green beans, cut into halves
  • 2-3 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • Oil

Marinate Pork with: (for 10minutes, longer if you have more time)

  • 1 ½ tablespoon of shrimp paste
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
  • 1½ teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of corn starch

Method:

  1. Heat oil in wok on medium-high, add in garlic and green beans, stir well, cover for 1-2min until green beans are cooked and have a vibrant green colour. Set aside.
  2. Add a bit more oil to wok on high heat, add in pork mince, break up the mince with wooden spoon and fry until it is completely cooked.
  3. Add beans back to wok and fry for a further minute. DONE!

NOTES:

  1. I love using shrimp paste, it gives a dish a robusting flavour! The paste is widely available in Asian grocery stores and it is rich and salty. Different brands of shrimp paste have different level of saltiness, depending on your brand, you might use more or less amount as my above recipe.

This has to be the BEST Chinese dish I have ever made!! Growing up in Hong Kong I was surrounded by all these wonderful tasty food, and only a couple of months ago, it dawned on me that I have no clues about Chinese cooking!! I can do the occasional stir fry, but that is nothing like the food I grew up with! So for the rest of this year, I am determined to cook some real chinese food!

Most of chinese recipes I google are written by western chefs, while most of them are pretty accurate and true to Chinese cooking, sometime I still think ‘ that’s not how my mum would cook this’. So I thought if I am to learn, I have to learn from the roots. I have been youtubing a lot of the Hong Kong cooking shows, they have been extremely useful and this lion’s head meatballs recipe is one of my discoveries! These meatballs are soft, tender, juicy and BURST with flavours! The downside about this recipe video is that, they didn’t have any measurements of the ingredient. So I was taste testing the dish every step to get the flavour right. Below recipe is just a rough estimation of the ingredients measurements, so feel free to adjust it to your liking!

I am not sure how useful it would be to post the link on this Cantonese recipe video, but if u do speak Cantonese and want the link, post a comment and I will post it up! 🙂

For the meat balls (MAKE 8 BIG Meatballs): (Recipe adapted from Hong Kong Recipe Video Site)

  • 1 kg pork mince
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 ½ tablespoon five spiced powder (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon grounded white pepper
  • ¾ tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon potato starch (or corn flour)
  • a bit of water

For the sauce:

  • 1.5L salt reduced stock (or water)
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup oyster sauce
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 3-4 stems of spring onions (white bits)

Other Ingredients

  • 3 bunch of pok choy
  • oil

To thicken the sauce: (only if you need to)

  • 1 tablespoon Potato starch (or corn flour)
  • 2 tablespoon of cold water

Blend potato starch and water together.

Method:

  1. Wash and drain the bok choy. Cut crosswise into 3 inch strips.
  2. Put all the ingredients for the meatballs (except water) into a large bowl and stir to combine, stirring in the same direction. When meatball mixture is combined, sprinkle a little bit of water and stir to combine again.
  3. Using your hands to form the meatballs mixture into a large ball (around the size of your palm, mine is about 7cm round) .Coat Meatballs slightly with potato starch (or corn flour). Place on a plate and repeat with the remaining mixture.
  4. Put enough oil in the wok, to deep fry the meatballs for a quick 1-2 mins (just to brown the surface – not to cook through it!) Do it in 2 batches.
  5. Drain oil from wok, clean wok with paper towels until it is completely dry.
  6. Put sauce ingredients into the wok, bring to boil.
  7. Meanwhile cook bok choy in a large saucepan with boiling water until soften. Drain well. Set aside.
  8. After the sauce reach boiling point, turn the heat down to low and put meatballs into the wok. Cook meatballs on low heat for 20 minutes, then put in bok choy and cook for further 20-25 minutes until the sauce has been reduced and thicken.
  9. If the sauce hasn’t thicken up, add in blended potato starch and water, stir until thicken. (Put in more potato starch and water paste if the sauce is still runny)
  10. Take off the heat, sprinkle with some finely chopped green onions. Serve immediately with steamed rice.

NOTES:

  1. After putting in all the sauce ingredients, have a taste and feel free to adjust it to your likings. But remember the flavour will intensify a lot after 45min of cooking so you won’t have to make the taste too strong at the start.
  2. These meatballs are huge! So one meatball is plenty for a person when serving with steamed rice. You can half the recipe to make 4 instead.