Archives for posts with tag: shanghai


This seriously was one of the best pork we’ve ever had.  We followed an enthusiastic native to a no name side street for the best babi guling, or roasted suckling pig in the Kuta area.  A clean, simple, unpretentious food stall set in a shallow store front.  We liked it that there were no busload of tourists.

The chunks of pulled pork and chopped pork belly were incredibly delicious and moist, served with toffee colored crispy pork skin and vegetables bursting with rich flavors — fragrant coconut milk, galangal, lemongrass, lime, palm sugar, tumeric, garlic, shallots and chilies.


The no name food stall offered a modest menu, babi guling, pork bone soup simmered with tasty kale green and a few vegetable sides.  So delicious I had 4 plates.  Absolute pork heaven!

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This is my absolute favorite sesame chicken recipe! The fragrant sesame oil, sweet savory sauce and tender chicken, wonderful served with a bowl of steamy rice. You can adjust the amount of sugar and vinegar depending on how sweet and sour your palette prefers. Either black or white sesame seeds make the dish pretty. Happy May holiday weekend everyone!

3-4 chicken breasts, about 1 pound
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 spring scallions, chopped
Toasted black or white sesame seeds
Peanut oil for frying

For the Sauce:
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, finely minced
2 dried red chilies
2 tablespoons good quality roasted black sesame oil
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 cup stock or water
3 tablespoons cornstarch, mix well into 3 tablespoons of water

Cut the chicken breasts into small bite size pieces. In a mixing bowl, marinade the chicken with 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice wine and dust with cornstarch, mix well, let sit for 15 minutes. Deep fry the chicken pieces until lightly-medium golden brown. Fry in batches to ensure they brown evenly and not overly cooked. Drain on paper towel.

In a large skillet or wok, heat the sesame oil until smoking, throw in the garlic, onions, red chilies and fry until your kitchen is filled with the aroma. Carefully pour in the stock, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and bring to a boil. Thicken the sauce with the cornstarch mix while stirring constantly.

Put the chicken pieces in and flip the wok until the chicken pieces are well coated with the sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, chopped scallions and serve immediately.


This spicy cocktail sauce is so tasty it was a big hit at our holiday dinner party. We changed our original recipe up by adding wasabi and smoked paprika. It’s great served with any chilled seafood such as shrimp or oysters and the recipe is so easy to make! The blue prawns are super sweet with a fresh taste of the sea. They are available at Jiashan Market @ 24 RMB/jin (from the 2nd fish monger stall if you enter the side entrance from Taiyuan lu). Happy holidays everyone! ^.^~

1 cup ketchup
1-2 teaspoons wasabi (tube)
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 juice of a lemon
Splash of Worcestershire
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, stir all ingredients together. Chill until ready to serve.
*Be careful of the tubed wasabi. They can be a bit overpowering so add with caution.


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.

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