Archives for category: Pork

When I was a young girl, I would love to come home from school and find my grandmother cooking in the kitchen all day. Our house would be filled with fragrant chilies, fresh cut vegetables, roasted garlic, lemons, aged soy sauce, star anise, ginger and caramelized rock sugar. Lion’s head has been the No. 1 comfort food in our family.

My grandmother was originally from Qingdao, grew up in Beijing then relocated to Taipei, Taiwan in the 50’s after college. In addition to my grandmother’s unique passion to food and gourmet cooking, Fu Pei Mei, the renown and beloved mother of Northern style cooking largely influenced her cooking style throughout the 70’s and 80’s. In those years, my grandmother traveled and lived as an expat in Saudi Arabia and Katong, Singapore, where she embraced cooking as a way to be closer to home. In the 90’s, she devoted her time to her grandchildren in America; gifting her heart through the food she prepared every day. Grandmothers are the best and here is a loving recipe that has been enjoyed in our family for decades.

artisan foods

This is my Shangdong grandmother’s and mother’s version of lion’s head. Jesse and I make this dish often as it’s one of our favorite Chinese comfort foods. Slowly braise to get tender, melt in your mouth meatballs. It’s best served with fresh steamy rice.

1 pound ground pork
1 head napa cabbage
12 stalks scallions, finely minced
1 teaspoon ginger, finely grated
1 egg
3 tablespoons cornstarch plus 1/2 cup cornstarch
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon rice wine
5 tablespoon soy sauce plus 2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy
6 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Wash and separate Napa cabbage leaves, drain well. In a medium bowl, mix the ground pork, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice wine, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 egg, minced scallions and grated ginger. With a pair of chopsticks, mix in one circular motion either clockwise or counter…

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Here’s an authentic recipe for you. It was handed down from my Shandong Grandmother who grew up in Beijing. She was a wonderful cook who taught my Mother everything she knows about Chinese food and I learned from the both of them. Thank you Grandma and Mom ♥!

For these fresh thick noodles, you can find them at Jiashan Market (328 Jianguo lu near Taiyuan lu. 嘉善菜场, 建国西路328号近太原路.) If you’re looking at 2 noodle stalls, it’s the one on the right. Pick the thickest noodles she has on display. They have the toothsomeness (al dente) you’ll want for this dish. Happy Cooking!

1 1/2 pound pork, coarsely grounded
1 cup canola oil
1 cucumber, julienned
1 carrot, julienned
2 scallions, julienned
1 small bunch young pea shoots or bean sprouts
1 package soybean paste (Green Food brand 葱伴侣豆瓣酱 150g)
1 package sweet bean paste (Green Food brand 葱伴侣甜面酱 150g) *Please note, the package says “Hoisin Sauce”, but it’s not. It’s sweet bean paste. Sweet bean paste is a condiment used in northern China such as for Peking duck, pancakes and noodle dishes. Hoisin is Cantonese for seafood. Both are sweet, black in color but has two very different flavors.
1 piece 2″ ginger, minced
1 bunch scallions, minced
2 red chilies, minced
2 medium ripe tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons rock sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine
2 cups water
1 bunch hand spun thick noodles (Northern style)

Heat a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add canola oil, ginger, scallions, chilies and saute until fragrant.

Add the ground pork, stir fry until cooked through. Deglaze with rice wine then add the soybean paste and sweet bean paste. Turn heat down to a simmer and stir to combine. Make sure the ingredients are fry-boiling with small bubbles. “Zha jiang” in Chinese, means fry the sauce. The sauce is meant to be fried to bring out the fragrance of the bean pastes, about 15 minutes. It looks like a lot of oil, but you need it to “fry” the sauce. Stir occasionally and cover.

Add the tomatoes, rock sugar and water. Simmer until tomatoes are completely dissipated.

Boil the noodles until al dente, strain and place in a large bowl. In the same boiling water, add a pinch of salt and flash boil the pea shoots or bean sprouts, about 5 seconds. Strain the vegetable.

Top the fresh cooked noodles with the zha jiang sauce, pea shoots, julienned carrots, cucumbers and scallions. Mix and serve immediately.


The pork loin is one of my favorite things to make and a total hit every time. You have to let the pork rest out of the oven as it allows the meat to finish cooking and juices to distribute evenly within the meat. It will be perfectly cooked, tender and moist! We have so many variations to this so look for more recipes to come!  ^.^~

1 bone-in pork loin (5 bones, 2.5 pounds)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried summer savory
5 sprigs fresh thyme, minced
2 shallots, finely minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup good Merlot
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400° F / 200° C.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over pork loin. Season with minced garlic, summer savory, half of the thyme leaves, salt & freshly ground black pepper. Use your hands to pack the spices onto the pork loin.

Place the pork loin, bone side down on a roasting pan. Roast in the oven until internal temperature reaches 140° F / 60° C, about 35 minutes. Transfer the roasted pork-loin to a large plate, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for about 15 minutes. This allows the meat to finish cooking and juices to distribute evenly within the meat.

While the pork loin is resting. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in the roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add shallot, rest of the thyme and saute for a minute. Scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom of the roasting pan (where all the flavor is). Add 2 tablespoons flour and stir until it is incorporated with the oil and butter, about 2 minutes.

Slowly pour in 1 cup of Merlot. Whisk the sauce until smooth and thickened. Add the meat juice from the plate where the pork loin has been resting. Turn heat down and simmer for about 5 minutes to cook out the raw flour flavor. Season with salt & lots of freshly ground black pepper.

Remove bone from the pork loin. Slice the pork, arrange on a plate and serve with warm black peppercorn sauce. For sides, we made sauteed spinach and garlic mashed potatoes.

Jesse LOVES Chinese ribs, especially the ones at South Beauty on Yan’an lu, Di Shui Dong and at home. Here’s a recipe inspired by my childhood Taiwanese flavors – salty, savory fried garlic, cilantro, chillies, star anise and white pepper. It looks like a lot of garlic, but after they’re deep fried, they become sweet and nutty, not as garlicky as you think 8 cloves may be.

3 pounds pork rib (about 10 ribs)
3 tablespoons good soy sauce (Shanghainese mushroom soy is a good option)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 small onion, diced
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
2 red chillies, chopped
3 star anise
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon high-quality chicken powder (鸡精,available at any Chinese supermarket)
5 cups canola oil
Salt

Cut the rack into individual ribs. Marinade the ribs in mushroom soy and rice wine for 30 minutes.

You can either cook the ribs in a pressure cooker for 35 minutes or steam them for 1 hour then let cool.

In a deep pot, heat canola oil and fry the garlic until fragrant and golden brown. Strain the garlic and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, evenly coat the ribs in flour and shake off excess. Deep fry the ribs in batches, in the oil you fried the garlic with until crispy and golden brown. Drain ribs on a paper towel lined plate.

In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon garlic oil on medium-high heat, add  chopped onions, star anise, chilies and saute until fragrant. Add the ribs, fried garlic, chicken powder, sugar, salt and white pepper. Shake the pan vigorously to coat the ribs with spices, about 2 minutes. Mix in cilantro at the end and serve.


1 pork loin, bone in (about 2.5 pounds, 5 bones)
2 onion, sliced
2 tablespoons good olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 1/2 cup good red wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400° F / 200° C.

In a roasting pan, place the pork bone side down. Liberally season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil, rub 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder, minced garlic and rosemary on top of the pork.

Roast in convection oven for 35 minutes or 45 minutes in a regular oven, until the internal temperature reaches 140° F / 60° C. Remove from oven and let stand, covered with aluminum foil for 15 minutes.

While pork loin is roasting in the oven.  In a saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat, caramelize sliced onions with 1 teaspoon sugar, salt & pepper until soft and golden brown. Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup red wine and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer, until the liquid is almost gone. Repeat with a second 1/2 cup red wine, reduce for about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the last 1/2 cup red wine, reduce sauce to half and slightly thickened. Season with salt & pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

Remove the bone from the roast pork loin. Slice roast pork, arrange on platter and serve with the warm onion reduction.


“Our market” at 328 Jianguo lu near Taiyuan lu. 嘉善菜场, 建国西路328号近太原路。We find the produce at this market fresher and better than most larger Chinese supermarkets in the area like Tesco and Carrefour.

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