Pork belly and Squash Burmese – Nonya Hybrid Curry

March 31, 2016

IMG_0700

Adapted from this Burmese pork and pumpkin curry recipe, I added fresh lemongrass, substituted ground turmeric with fresh, and parcooked the squash (roasting) to avoid chopping raw veg, saving time and preserving my delicate mitts.

Fresh lemongrass and turmeric are way better than fresh, freeze whatever’s not used. If fresh isn’t available, substitute dried ground turmeric, but I’m not sure if dried lemongrass would work as it would be difficult to rehydrate successfully to grind to a paste.

Tamarind brings sourness, coconut milk richness, but both could also be left out (neither are in the original recipe). Tomato makes it a bit sweet and mellow.

Ingredients

250-300g/ 0.5lb pork belly, diced
1/2 large squash
1 tomato
2tbsp vegetable oil
1tbsp shrimp paste (optional)
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp tamarind paste (optional)
200ml coconut milk – canned, or 2 tbsp/35g santan powder + water, or 50g creamed coconut + water (made up to 200ml)

Spice paste
1 small onion
2-5 cloves garlic
4 fresh green chillis
1 inch/thumb size piece fresh ginger
1 stalk fresh lemongrass
1 inch/2cm fresh turmeric
2tbsp ground coriander
1tsp ground cumin
1-2 tsp chilli powder/ dried chillis (optional)

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Method

Roast the squash cut side down in a roasting pan with 2tbsp water (to stop it drying out) 20-30 mins 200C, until the squash is soft enough to cut into chunks but still firm so it won’t disintegrate in the curry.

Grind ingredients for spice paste in a food processor/pestle and mortar (the latter will take heaps more time and elbow grease). If you’re a massive wimp, deseed the chillis.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan, fry the spice paste (rempah) until fragrant (a few minutes). Then add the tomato and fry a few minutes longer.

rempah

Brown the meat, then add the coconut milk and rest of the ingredients.

Simmmer for about 45 minutes or more, don’t let it boil too high or the meat will get dry.

Serve with white rice +++++

NoT Halloween – Squash/Pumpkin pancakes – nán guā bǐng 南瓜饼

October 30, 2015

squash bing

I ate a lot of these in Beijing…

Chewy little pancakes, slightly crisp and nutty on the outside and chewy on the inside. Rolling in sesame seeds before frying adds nuttiness.

There are no exact measurements for this recipe, quantities vary according to the size and water content of the pumpkin.

Use roughly between 1:1 and 1:2; pumpkin: glutinous rice/ mochi flour.

Eat as they are, or with fruit and honey/condensed milk/ gula melaka syrup/ ice cream.. .

Ingredients

200g roasted pumpkin/ squash (roughly 1/2 squash)
200-300g glutinous rice flour/ mochi flour
sesame seeds (optional)
vegetable oil (for frying)

Method

Cut the pumpkin/ squash into large sections, remove seeds and roast for 30 minutes (or until soft) at 200C/390F.
Scoop the flesh out from the skins and mash, removing as many lumps as possible.
Weigh the squash (mass/ volume) and add equal amounts of glutinous rice flour.
Mix until a smooth dough is formed, adding more flour if necessary. It should be a bit like play-dough, will form a ball, not sticky.
If dough is too dry, sprinkle a teaspoon of water, gradually adding until the right consistency is formed.
Divide dough into balls about an inch or so in diameter (or however big you like ’em).
Roll in sesame seeds (if required).
If you have big balls (!) you can boil the bing first, to speed up the cooking time.
To boil: add the balls to a pan of boiling water, cook until they float to the top, then drain.
Heat a teaspoon or so of oil in a non-stick frying pan, and fry the balls until they’re golden brown on the outside.
If they seem to stick to the pan, they’re merely not done yet, so give them a little while longer.
Serve immediately and EAT with anything you like :)

Happy Thanksgiving! PUMPKIN MAC N CHEESE

November 24, 2011
Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

I like macaroni and cheese. I like creamy macaroni and cheese. And mixing something non-creamy, no-fat into the cheesey bit of mac and cheese makes it…. more creamy. Super lazy super creamy super yummy comfort food. And it’s good for you. Thanksgiving indeed.

Pumpkin puree: halve a pumpkin (or squash or whatever), cover cut side with foil bake foil side up 160C for 1 hour. Blend in food processor/ chopper/ mash with a fork/ whatever.

Mix a cup of pumpkin puree into the sauce for any macaroni and cheese/

Bake as usual. YUM.

Inspired by this.