Friday, March 21, 2014

Roast rack of lamb

I was able to get hold of a very nice piece of welsh rack of lamb the other day.  I decided to marinate it simply with some garlic, shallots, parsley, sea salt and olive oil.  I wanted to infuse the flavours quickly and so sealed the meat in a ziplock ba, ensuring all the air was pushed out of the bag.

The rack was seared and popped into a hot oven 180 C for 30 minutes.  It came out perfectly, medium done and the flavours were very delicately infused in the meat.  It the simple process of creating  a vacuum with a ziplock bag that enabled this. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Roaster chickens

I have only one chicken item on the menu.  It's a chicken breast that has been cooked sous vide in lemon olive oil.  Its nice and tender but the problem I have is that Chinese don't like chicken breast and so I have always wanted to add a chicken item on the menu with bones.

I ordered 2 small  roaster chickens and cooked them sous vide in a chinese ginger sauce.   The flavours were there, except I cooked one for 4 hours and the other for 2 hours.  The difference in cooking time were immaculate.  Both retained their moisture and was tender, but the one cooked for 4 hours was overcooked, and was considered mushy.  On the other hand, the one cooked 2 hours had texture to it. It's very interesting to see how much difference there is to the texture when meat is cooked for different times. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Chestnuts are in season now.  Everyone I know loves them.  But to peel them is really painful and hard.  There are the deshelled packaged ones available but I really don't like those.  They have been soakd in a sulphide solution to peserve them and have an off taste  At the market, we see some that are slightly deshelled.  The traditional way of peeling them is to boil them in water.  But in fact, the shell sticks to the meat and makes it incredibly hard to peel.  A faster and easier way to make them is microwaving them and the shells are easily removed.  Here is how it is done:
1.  Buy the half deshelled ones.  Soak the chestnuts in water for about 10 minutes.  The ones that have turned bad will float on the top.
2.  Put them in a container and microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Check to see if they are done.  If not, then continue microwaving a minute or less at a time.  It should take around 3-5 minutes to cook the chestnuts
3.  Take them out and peel the shells off.  The shells should come off easily.  If not, then that means they are not done.
4.  If you are using whole chestnuts, you will need to slit the shell first.  Otherwise the chestnuts will explode.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


When I first started cooking food sous vide, one of the first foods I played around with was fois gras.  Apart from the The Perfect Egg, fois gras was constantly referred to as the first foods in sous vide.  This was because cooked traditionally, too much fat would be released causing the liver to shrink considerably in size.  By cooking sous vide, the shrinkage would be reduced considerably and fat retained.    I like foie gras cooked sous vide but do find it a bit too rich for my palate these days.  So I  tried Momofuku's shaved foe gras recipe a try.  Turned out to be extremely light and melting in my mouth.   I dressed it with some bitter melon purée and served them on top of some wonton wrappers.  

Smoked prawns

It all started with smoking crabs.  But crab is very messy to eat and although I prefer crabs over shrimps, it was difficult for me to get the same type of crab at the market within a week.   So I decided to look into shrimps again. 
Cantonese love their seafood fresh and simple.  These finger long shrimp are always available at the market.  Usually they are poached, peeled and devoured at the table.  So after poaching them, I have them a hint of smoked and served them with some chilli soy sauce, just like at the seafood restaurants.  They turned out really nice.   Another item on the menu!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Seafood marinara

In Hong Kong, there is the tendency to serve lots of imported foods in dishes to make them unique.  I try to use local ingredients in my foods, especially seafood as it's live and fresh.  I'm not a particular fan of imported chilled/frozen seafood.

I didn't want a Chinese dinner tonight and was looking for ideas on the internet.  Seafood marinara... lovely... 

I just bought local live clams and live shrimp.  Fish , that's imported and I chose salmon,  but just because my daughter likes salmon.

Everything else was local except for the anchovies and white wine.  The flavours were great and well balanced. Now to see if my young food critic agrees with me.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dong Por Pork Belly

When I first opened, the initial pork dish on the menu was made with pork belly.  After a few weeks, I had to change the cut to pork butt.  Pork belly was too fat.  But if you love eating fat cuts, you love pork belly.  So I decided to look into Dong Por Pork Belly again.

There are many versions of this pork belly recipe.  I picked a recipe that was modified from soy marinating meats and used hatton the pork . I cut the sugar amount as I wasn't a big fan of pork belly.  The pork belly was scalded in hot water.

What's interesting was the cooking.  I made two, one  sous vided it at 65 degrees andof another at 75 degrees.  Taste testing after 24 hours.  I found at 75, the meat falls apart but it's a bit dry.  At 65, the meat is succulent but a bit chewy.  So I put the 65 degrees batch back into the cooker and cooked it for another 6 hours.  Perfect.