Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Part II Hot Sauce

In Recipes, The Piglet Oinking on April 13, 2011 at 7:13 pm

crunchy and delicious

Since watching “The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Fried Food,” as well as reading Food52’s drooling recipe by Merrill, I could maybe understand how brussel sprouts could be delicious. Though it is only when I came upon Ya Ya Bean’s hot sauce, at the same time seeing fresh brussel sprouts sold right around the corner that I decided to set aside my judgement for this small round goodies and try out this recipe. The result? A wonderful bowl of crisp, sweet and spicy goodness.

Makes 1 big bowl

Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts adapted from Food52

  • 1 pound brussel sprouts (around 22 of them)
  • 1 tbsp La Boca Roja hot sauce (or any other hot sauce)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • oil for frying
  1. Trim the stem end of the sprouts, separating the leaves with your fingers, collecting them in a large bowl. When you reach the heart of the sprout (where it’s tough to pry off the remaining leaves), add the heart to the bowl with the leaves.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together hot sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice. Adjust to your liking; set aside.
  3. Set about 2 inches of oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat; heat until 350F. Fry the sprouts in batches, using a screen to protect you from sputtering oil; remove the sprouts with a slotted spoon after 30 seconds to a minute, when crisp and brown; drain them on a double layer of paper towels while you fry the rest of the sprouts.
  4. Once all the sprouts are fried, transfer them to a large bowl and toss them with the sauce, seasoning with salt if needed.
  5. Eat while warm.

My Asian Chicken

In Recipes, The Piglet Oinking on April 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Crispy and Juicy

Roasted chicken recipes are one of my favorites to collect. The aroma that fills the house gives a feeling of warmness as I am reminded of friends and family getting together, handing around side dishes and conversing over chicken and wine.

This is one of my favorites to roast- a no oil involved marination and delightfully turns into an addictive sauce.

Roast Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 8 garlic cloves, mashed, minced, or pressed
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • ground white pepper
  1. Combine the garlic, soy sauce and sugar; season the whole chicken with ground white pepper and rub the chicken with marination inside out; marinate 4~24 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees; re-rub the marination and roast chicken in pan, wing side up, for 30 minutes; change to the other wing, roast for another 30 minutes; change the chicken breast side up and roast until skin is golden crisp, about 40 minutes, or internal temperature @ white meat is 160F.
  3. Let it sit for 10 minutes before carving; serve with juice from the chicken.
  4. Enjoy.

Butter’s Existence

In Recipes, The Piglet Oinking on March 26, 2011 at 1:54 am

Mmm bread

I cannot imagine a foodie’s world without butter, and brioche is a perfect example why butter is a necessity. This recipe, inspired by Thomas Keller’s Bouchon cookbook, churns out the perfect buttery, flaky, light and airy loaf of bread. I thank you, Thomas Keller, again for sharing your wonderful recipes to the world.

Makes one loaf of bread


  • 2 tbsp very warm water
  • 1/2 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup + 1/4 cup of cake flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2.5 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter cut into 1 inch cubes
  • egg wash: 1 egg+water/milk, beaten lightly

  1. Combine warm water and yeast until dissolved; let it sit for 10 minutes, or until liquid has start to foam.
  2. Sift flour, sugar, salt; slowly add eggs one at a time and gradually adding yeast; continue kneading for 5 minutes. then add about 1/4 of butter at a time until the dough is well incorporated with the butter; knead for 10 minutes. *dough might feel too buttery in the beginning, but after 6~7 minutes of incorporating and kneading, the dough will start to form into a nice soft dough.
  3. Let it sit in warm place for 3 hours, or until double in size and return to counter and work in the air bubbles with a few kneads; let it sit in fridge overnight.
  4. Next morning, lightly butter a 8.5″ by 4.5″ loaf pan; divide the dough into three long strands, each measuring ~12″; squeezing the ends of the rope together, tightly braid the dough, tucking the ends underneath.
  5. Gently place it into the buttered loaf pan, cover and let it sit for ~3 hours, or until dough has doubled in size.
  6. Preheat oven 350F; place the loaf pan, top covered in foil and bake for 30 minutes; remove the foil and brush the top of the bread generously with egg wash; bake without foil for another 15 minutes, or until internal temperature is at least 205F. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes; turn out onto rack to cool completely.
  7. Slice a piece and enjoy with your condiments.

Anzac Bites

In Recipes, The Piglet Oinking on March 15, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Chewy and Crunchy

Anzac- the New Zealand and Australian’s national cookie; cookies that wives made for their dear husbands going to war. Fortunately, I’m just making it for my own gluttonous pleasure, eating it all before my other half comes home. My good friend/consultant from New Zealand gave me this wonderful recipe months ago. Extremely easy to make; in a matter of 10 minutes, these cookies were in the oven and the whole house smelled like oats and butter. The crunch and oats reminded me of BA’s Quaker’s oatmeal cookies; I’m tempted to throw in some raisins into the dough, though I can already imagine Glenn shaking his fist and defending the authenticity of his country’s cookie.

Makes 40+ walnut-size cookies (or 20 normal-size cookies)

Anzac Cookie

  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup caster cane sugar
  • 2/3 cup dried coconut (shredded are fine)
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup (or honey)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix together flour, sugar, coconut and rolled oats; set aside.
  3. Melt butter and golden syrup; dissolve baking soda in the boiling water and add to the butter-syrup mix; stir butter mixture into the dry ingredients, mix well until wet and crumbly.
  4. Pinch the dough into walnut-size balls and place it onto the greased baking sheet; using the thumb to press onto the ball, flatten it a bit.
  5. Bake for 6~10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Enjoy.

Happy Women’s Day

In Recipes, The Piglet Oinking on March 10, 2011 at 12:05 am

Black Sesame Balls

Chinese Lantern’s festival and Women’s Day is a gloomy reminder of how far my family is from me. So, as I sulk around the house, I decided to make myself feel better by making traditional gluttonous rice balls. Lantern festival is celebrated with family on the first full moon of the new lunar year, and these must-eat chewy delicious rice balls are a symbol of  hope and luck in the coming year. I feel so much better as the sweet nutty sesame oozes out of these chewy bites. Yum.

Makes 16 balls

*can be frozen and kept up for 1 month

Glutinous Rice Balls with Black Sesame Filling


  • 6 tbsp black sesame powder, toasted
  • 3 tbsp crisco/ lard
  • 3 tbsp of organic cane sugar


  • 1 cup of glutinous rice powder
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • extra glutinous rice powder for dusting

  1. Boil a pot of water, with 4 pieces of ginger.
  2. Meantime, cream the sugar and lard until mix well; mix in the black sesame powder.
  3. In another bowl, add glutinous rice powder with water, knead into soft dough.
  4. Take about 2 tbsp of the dough and bath it in the boiling water for 1 minute; incorporate the dough and knead until well-incorporated; roll it out into a long strip and evenly cut into 16 sections.
  5. Roll a section into a ball, press flat into the palm; in circular motion using thumbs and forefinger expand and press open the ends the circle. (the ends should be thinner then the middle); in the plam, cupping the dough, place 1/2 teaspoon of sesame mix into the middle, close it up and roll into a circle again, with palm. Dust with rice power and set aside.
  6. Repeat until done. (Can be frozen up to a month)
  7. In the boiling water, put 6 at once, and scoop the balls when they float up, about 2~3 minutes.
  8. To serve: Dissolve enough brown sugar to your liking into the reserved ginger boiling water. Pour a spoonful of water into each bowl with 3 sesame balls. Serve warm.

Dulce de Leche Inspired

In Recipes, The Piglet Oinking on March 1, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Chocolate Caramel Cookie

Dulce de Leche, the sweet staple that can be found in every piece of dessert in Argentina. I don’t know any porteños who doesn’t love this sweet, taffy, sticky caramel-like goodness; it is spread throughout the whole dessert spectrum in Buenos Aires. First thing I bought coming to BA was a jar of Dulce de Leche, spread it generously onto my toast the next morning, and regretted. Slowly I’ve learned how to incorporate this valuable caramel jar into my various desserts. This is my favorite of them all: bitter-sweet chocolate cookie, decorated by the caramel color of dulce de leche and finished with a scant of good salt flakes.

Makes 28~30 walnut size cookies

Salted Chocolate Dulce de Leche Cookie

  • 2/3 +1/3 c bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon dulce de leche/ per cookie
  • fleur de sel/ per cookie

  1. Melt  2/3 cup of the chocolate in double boiler; stir in the butter until melted.
  2. Whisk egg and vanilla together; whisk in a little of the melted chocolate to temper the eggs; add brown sugar and remaining chocolate; mix well and stir in flour and baking powder. Mix well.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or freezer for 20 minutes until mixture thickens a bit.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F.
  5. Drop a teaspoon size (walnut size) onto lightly oiled baking sheet; flatten the cookies; go back to each cookie and graze a bit of dulce de leche onto the cookie; sprinkle with a scant of fleur de sel.
  6. Bake for about 5~8 minutes, or until the caramel starts bubbling; let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes to let the cookie set, then using a knife carefully release the cookie and let it cool completely on the rack.
  7. Enjoy.

Bacon and Cabbage

In Recipes, The Piglet Oinking on February 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Cabbage Stir-fry

Bacon is a rare find here, even though BA sells blocks of salted cured pork belly (panceta). When I first got here, I pressed the butcher in my broken spanish if they could whip up some thinly sliced blocks of panceta for me…confused, shake of head..alas. I’ve long given up. Now, a few months later, I am addicted to this piece of goodness. This dish, with panceta, also has a Taiwanese twist combining one of my favorite cabbage dishes in Beijing. Salty, smokey, spicy: the Mmmlicious three S’.

*Add in the sliced smoke-dried tofu squares and make it a one-dish meal.

Serves 4 as a side dish

  • 3 cups of cabbage, peeled, washed and torn into bite size
  • 3 slices of bacon or panceta, sliced thinly (equivalent to 3 tbsp)
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon of light soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dark vinegar
  • 5 dried chilis (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 green onion, sliced thinly
  1. Heat wok with oil, until hot and shimmers; stir-fry bacon and brown sugar for 30 seconds, add garlic and chilis (and the optional tofu), stir-fry until fragrant, another 30 seconds.
  2. Add the cabbage handfuls at the time, stir-fry until semi-wilted, before adding the next handful, about 2~3 minutes each time.
  3. Add soy sauce and vinegar; continue to stir-fry until leaves are completely wilted and the sauce is evenly distributed. Garnish with green onion and serve with rice.
  4. Enjoy.

Green Chips

In Recipes, The Piglet Oinking on February 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm


In Buenos Aires, broccoli heads comes with a bunch of leaves attached to it- my first time coming into contact with these leaves. I hate to see such nutritional thick leafy greens go to waste. The quickest recipe is to roast it until crispy. Easy and yummy. A great snack.

*The brown sugar helps with the crispiness of the leaves as well as adding that slight sweetness.

Makes 1 cup

  • 2 cups broccoli leaves, torn from stems into bite-size (can substitute with kale)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1 pinch brown sugar
  • 1 pinch of wasabi powder (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix with hands and rub the leaves with seasoning for maximum absorption; spread the leaves in one layer and bake until crispy crisp, about 8~12 minutes.
  3. Enjoy.

Crunchy and Fresh

In Recipes, The Piglet Oinking on February 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I love the colors

To avoid summer’s heat and eating heavy meals, the best escape is opening the fridge and mix up some salads. Buenos Aires has beautiful fresh vegetables (well, in comparison to the questionable fertilized produce in China) and after reading Pick Up the Fork’s recent blog about the best salads in town, I’m inspired to share my summer’s favorite vegetable: fennel bulb.

*Fennel: I like the texture of cold-crispy, without too much of the fennel flavor. Feel free to adjust the vinegar and oil to your taste; I cut down the oil and vinegar for this one to sharpen the crispiness and the freshness of this salad, preventing sogginess or over oiliness.

Serves 2~3

Fennel and Apple Salad

  • 1 fennel bulb, stems removed, halfed lengthwise, cored, sliced thinly
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 1 orange, cut into chunks (optional)
  • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup good blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tsp of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 generous pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Dunk the sliced fennel in cold water; put in fridge for 30 minutes to wane the strong smell of fennel and retain cold-crispiness; drain dry and set aside for salad.
  2. Rub the mixing bowl with the smashed garlic and discard; whisk sugar, vinegar, and oil and mix in apple and fennel until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Distribute salad among 2~3 plates and top off generously with toasted pecans and blue cheese.
  4. Enjoy.

Childhood Memories

In Recipes, The Piglet Oinking on January 20, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Prep work

Bangkok: the gastronomic paradise. I drop off my bags at home and walk down to the market, following the smell of herbs, fish sauce and chilies. I am hoping my childhood food cart is already there, setting up for the evening crowd. Bingo!  Larb Gai, here I come. I love watching the whole process in that big metal bowl: a quick toss of cilantro, onions, mint, fish sauce, chilies, lime and along with a handful of ground pork. In a flash, I have myself a meal of droolicious spicy ground pork with chewy gluttonous rice. Oh, the memories.

Toasted Rice- Khao Koor

*Rice powder can be bought in asian ethnic stores. Throw a few tbsp of rice powder in a pan over low heat and toast it for a few minutes until golden brown; it may be opted out, but I like the it for the extra nuttiness and grittiness of the dish. Substitute this dish with other kinds of meat or even tofu.


Serves 2

Thai Spicy Chicken Salad

  • 1 big chicken breast, baked or poached, and hand shredded
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp rice powder, toasted
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dried chili flakes
  1. Mix well and eat with balsamic rice or gluttonous rice.
  2. Yes, that’s it. 🙂
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