Sunday, March 1, 2015

Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu) 秘製蜜汁叉燒




Chinese BBQ Pork (Char-Siu) 秘製蜜汁叉燒   http://uTry.it

I love Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu) 蜜汁叉燒!  It’s one of our family’s stables that appears on our dining table at least twice a month, if not more often.  When I was still living in Hong Kong, it is one of the most popular last minute “to-go” item to purchase from BBQ restaurants as an additional dish for dinner.  Or, if you are a dinner guest at someone’s house for a home cook meal, Char Siu is always a well received hostess gift.

Chinese BBQ Pork (Char-Siu) 秘製蜜汁叉燒   http://uTry.it

I usually double my Char Siu recipe that I shared here (see full recipe at the bottom of the post).  Why? Because the left over is just as amazing when paired with noodles and/or individual buns (those will be in another posts)!  So, don’t be afraid to make more.  You’re going to love my secret recipe that taste just as good as those that are selling at the BBQ restaurants.  I know there are “ready made” bottled Char Siu sauce out there.  But they don't taste as authentic as making your own sauce from scratch, at all!  


Chinese BBQ Pork (Char-Siu) 秘製蜜汁叉燒   http://uTry.it

First off, the glorious shiny glaze!  It’s achieved by using maltose (a.k.a. malt sugar)!  Yes, it’s the thick and sticky maltose that gives the Char Siu that gloss.  While it is well known that honey is used in the recipe, its purpose is mainly to add flavor.  It really is the maltose that gives the meat that shine and glossy finish.  I got the maltose at a local Asian supermarket, or you can check it out here

Chinese BBQ Pork (Char-Siu) 秘製蜜汁叉燒   http://uTry.it

Now, onto the gorgeous red hue.  The redness is from the Red Bean Curd, which is made from fermented soy beans and red rice!  It also gives the Char Siu that distinctive depth of earthy aroma that you can’t get from other ingredients.  I have to warn you, bean curd is on the salty side.  That’s why you only need one piece for the recipe.

Chinese BBQ Pork (Char-Siu) 秘製蜜汁叉燒   http://uTry.it

Here’s how it looks inside (see picture below).  Some brands also package the bean curds in glass jars.  Just make sure it’s the red bean curd, and NOT Chilli bean curd that gives the redness.  So, read the list of ingredients before you buy it.  I don't think you want spicy Char Siu, right?

Chinese BBQ Pork (Char-Siu) 秘製蜜汁叉燒   http://uTry.it

Another secret ingredient is the Hoisin Sauce.  Think of it as the sweet and savory Chinese BBQ sauce.  It gives any dish the umani flavors!  So, in between the red bean curd, Hoisin Sauce, chicken bouillon powder and soy sauce, you don’t need to add any salt in this recipe. 

Chinese BBQ Pork (Char-Siu) 秘製蜜汁叉燒   http://uTry.it

One more ingredient that I would like to mention is fresh ginger root!  It’s earthy, yet refreshing.  It lightens up the whole dish.  Just make sure you peel the skin off the ginger root and grate it with the ginger grater.  The fibers from the ginger will magically disappeared and left you with the smooth grated fresh ginger that is fine in texture and not chunky at all.  You don’t want to bite into big pieces of ginger in your Char Siu.  The grater doesn't have to be expensive at all.  My Mom got me this grater years ago and it works great.  Or you can check out this one here.

Chinese BBQ Pork (Char-Siu) 秘製蜜汁叉燒   http://uTry.it

Hm…..check out this juicy and succulent piece of Char Siu!  It’s ridiculously fragrant and so easy to make.  I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and forget about the bottled Char Siu Sauce!  This is the real deal and I’m sure your family will love it just as much as my family does!      

Chinese BBQ Pork (Char-Siu) 秘製蜜汁叉燒   http://uTry.it



Props and Ingredients used in this post:

Maltose (Click here for product information)
Red Bean Curd (Click here for similar product information)
Hoisin Sauce (Click here for product information)
Ginger Grater (Click here for similar product information)
Assorted Floral Chopsticks (Click here to see similar product)
Roll Up Window Blinds used as backdrop (Click here to see product information)
Crane Chopsticks Rest (Click here to see product information)
Bamboo Placemats (Click here for more information)



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo


Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

Last summer, my Hubby took me to France for a vacation to celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary.  We also spent a little time in Monte-Carlo, Moncaco.   During our stay in Monte-Carlo, he surprised me with an unforgettable dinner at Le Louis XV.  Let me fill you in a little with the background of this restaurant before I introduce you to the food that we indulged in.  Le Louis XV is a three Michelin stars restaurant lead by chef Alain Ducasse and chef Dominique Lory.  It is located inside the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, in Monte Carlo, Monaco.  The Hôtel de Paris looks out over the central square of Monaco, adjacent to The Casino de Monte-Carlo.  Le Louis XV has also been included in The World's 50 Best Restaurants by Restaurant Magazine.

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

The Hôtel de Paris, Monte-Carlo, is definitely one of the most elegant hotel that I’ve visited.  Check out the hotel lobby (picture above) and the structure details right outside of the building (picture below).  I’m sure anyone would agree that the hotel building itself is a piece of art.


Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

The chef de cuisine here is Dominique Lory, who returned to Louis XV after his role as sous chef at Plaza Athenee.  Thanks to my Honey’s arrangement, I had the honor and pleasure to visit the kitchen at Le Louis XV and met Chef Dominique Lory in person!  How exciting!


Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

I absolutely adore their kitchen.  Look how neat and organized they are!  And those glorious copper pans hanging on top definitely caught my attentions!  This is probably one of the best commercial kitchen that I’ve set foot in as well.
 

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

The excitement of the night (or early evening I should say) never subsided.  After visiting the gorgeous kitchen, we were let to our reserved table.  Since there was an event at the Casino of the central square of Monaco, we got the priority seating at the patio, instead of the main dining area.  But do check out the dining area pictures here at their official website.  It’s gorgeous and left me speechless, just to think about the time, resources and details that they’ve put together to build this amazing restaurant.


Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

I absolutely love their table setting as well.  Simple yet elegant, won’t you agree?

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

We’ve got complimentary champagnes from the chef!  Cheers!  Sorry that the picture below was a little blurry.  It seemed alright when the maître d' took the picture for us.  I guess the screen on the camera was too tiny for us to detect that the picture wasn’t in focus.

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

Another corner of our table, how can I not fall in love with the table setting.  Even the salt and pepper holder is super adorable! 


Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

This is the view from where we seated (see picture below).  The building to the right is The Casino de Monte-Carlo.  It happened that they were having a huge celebration that evening and there would be a show and fireworks right outside of the casino!  I’ll show you more in just a minute. 


Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

The first thing that arrived was a few bread crisps with paper thin veggies pressed in.  These are totally addictive!

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

We also have a company who dine with us that night.  She is simply adorable.  Hm….maybe she was there to pick up the bread crumbs that we left behind on the table.  If that’s the case, I need one, or a few back home at my dinning table!

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

Here comes the very grand BUTTER!  Yes!!! (Hope I didn’t say that out loud at the table!)  The rectangular block on the lower side of the picture below was salted.  And our server is prepping us another one that is unsalted! 

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

Let me tell you, the butter here is amazing, so rich and flavorful!  That’s how the pastries and baked goods were so good, it’s all about the butter they used!  I honestly wanted to fill up my suitcase with butter before coming back home….that is, if I’m not travelling with my Hubby.

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

Here comes the glorious cart of bread!  I love the wide selections here and they simply smells amazing when the cart was parking right next to me!  Should I simply request the server to leave this cart right next to our table?  Just kidding!!!

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

We’ve got a complimentary appetizer from the chef.  Check out each ingredient in it; the crunchy bread on the bottom, topped with tender eggplant and bell peppers, black olive, a piece of mackerel, fennel slices, a slice of hard boil egg, some lettuce leaves and drizzle of olive oil.  See how artistic they were put together.  The flavor was fantastic and so refreshing, definitely the perfect dish to start a meal. 

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it


My Hubby ordered the Turbot with Celery, Lemon From Menton and fresh coriander (see picture below).  He always tried to eat light when he travels.  The fish was cook to perfection and super fresh.  I love the sauce, which was refreshing, light yet, complex in flavors.  The French are really master in creating flavorful sauces with depth of flavors. 

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

For me, I ordered the Breast of squab from the Aples-de-Haute-Provence region, grilled duck foir gras and potato, tasty jus thickened with giblets.  It was rich, flavorful, earthy and decadent!  Just the way squab and foir gras should be.  The jus was to die for.  So rich and packed with wonderful flavors.  Yes, I don’t order light when I travel!  LOL….I can do the exercise (or not) when I get home.  This is definitely one of the top 3 best dishes that I've eaten in my life!  

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

Here goes the performance of the night.  People were gathered in from of the stage to watch, sing and dance along.

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

After the main course, we were ready for the dessert table settings.

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

Of course I’ve got to have dessert to complete the meal.  However, the desserts below weren’t what we’ve ordered!  These mignardises (sweet treats) were complimentary by the Chef!  Look at the amount and varieties.  I can pretty much make a meal out of them.

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

A closer look at these mignardises.  The passion fruit tarts (the square ones on the right) were amazing.  Sweet and tart with a buttery crust.  The wild strawberry over shortbread was just as decadent (the one on the bottom right of the plate). 

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

My Husband ordered Black Chocolate Leaves, Caramel and pure sea salt, cocoa ice-cream.  Oh so rich and good.  A chocolate lover’s must try!

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it


I tried the Warm “Bergeron” Apricots Souffle, Summer batter-pudding.  The souffle was slight tart and not overly sweet.  I didn’t care much about the pudding on the top left.  But the Vanilla ice cream was amazing.

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

We were stuffed and so satisfied.  Then, this madeleine came and my life was changed forever!  It was the best madeleine I’ve ever tried.  We were so full by this time, but I still enjoyed this little cake to the fullest.    

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

Then, here goes the fireworks.  The celebration of our 10th Wedding Anniversary was just as amazing and perfect.   It totally felt like they helped us celebrate our wedding anniversary with some fireworks!   Won’t you agree?

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

Again, the casino building itself was another art piece.  So gorgeous.  We later took a tour to check out the inside as well.

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

After dinner, we were on our way out to the hotel lobby to take a few more pictures.  And the hostess handed me this little bag of pastries on the way out.  I bet she knew I need more mid-night snacks after that dinner!  How thoughtful!  


Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

I hope you enjoy reading this post and the pictures.  It was an amazing journey for us in the last 10 years and I couldn’t ask for more.  I really look forward to many many more years of celebrations with my handsome boy! 

Le Louis XV — 3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Review, Monte-Carlo   http://uTry.it

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Chinese New Year—恭喜發財!

Happy Chinese New Year (恭喜發財)!  It’s the Year of Goat in the Chinese Zodiac.  I want to wish you all a healthy, wealthy, and prosperous year! 

羊年祝大家 新年快樂, 身体健康, 洋洋得意, 要咩有咩, 喜氣洋洋, 食極唔肥, 永不皺皮。


Also, thank you for all your supports and friendship in the past!  I look forward to sharing more awesome recipes and products with you all! 

Here are some of my favorite CNY recipes.  You can click on the title and it will take you to the recipe page, enjoy!


watermark-1


watermark-1



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with water mark-3



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With Watermark-1



With Water Mark-1



watermark-1

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Top 5 Secrets on How to Make Soy Marinated Soft Boiled Eggs


Soy Marinated Soft Boiled Eggs with video tutorial   http://uTry.it

Ever wonder how the soy marinated eggs were made from your favorite ramen noodle restaurant?  Well, wonder no more.  You're in for a treat today.  I'm going to show you how to made these Soy Marinated Soft Boiled Eggs, including a video tutorial as well (if you can't wait, you can scroll down towards the bottom of this post.)  But wait, I hope you’ll read through the post because I have some great tips for you that the ramen restaurants won’t tell you.


Soy Marinated Soft Boiled Eggs with video tutorial   http://uTry.it

Ever since I was a little kid, I adored those velvety, deep yellow and oh-so-rich egg yolks from soft boiled eggs.  I just couldn't stand swallowing the crumbly and all dried-up fully cooked yolks.  Are you the same way too?  Or am I the only one out there?  You might recall the Chinese Tea Eggs recipe that I posted a while ago.  Yup, they've got to be soft boiled as well.

Soy Marinated Soft Boiled Eggs with video tutorial   http://uTry.it


I have tested many methods and different cooking time to perfect the done-ness of these soft boiled eggs.   Yes, let me handle the testing part so you don't have to.  I'm sure you're going to love this recipe.  Here are 5 tips to ensure some yummy eggs every single time!

Tip #1:  Room Temperature Eggs
The number one big secret is to start with room temperature eggs.  If you add cold eggs into the boiling water, there's a higher chance that the shells will crack.

Tip #2:  Boiling Hot Water
Make sure the pot of water comes to a full boil.  That way, your eggs will have the same result every time.

Tip #3:  1-inch Margin
Make sure the pot of water will cover the eggs by one-inch.  That way you know you have enough water to cook the eggs evenly.

Tip #4: Timer
Have a timer ready.  You'll need it to ensure the done-ness of the eggs.

Tip #5:  Ice Water Bath
Have a bowl of iced water ready to stop the cooking process when the eggs are done.


Bonus information of the day:  Here's the cooking time for different done-ness of the eggs.

6 minutes 30 seconds:  If you want soft boiled eggs as shown in my pictures, cook for 6 minutes and 30 seconds.  You'll have fully cooked egg whites and very runny yolks.

7 minutes--7 minutes 30 seconds:  If you prefer the custard style yolks, cook for 7 minutes and up to 7 and a half minutes.  The egg whites will be fully cooked and the egg yolks are very creamy.

8 minutes: For my kids, they love the 8 minutes mark; which is almost fully cooked, but not quite.  It's still very moist in the middle of the yolk but nothing runny at all.

Here's the video tutorial on how to make these scrumptious Soy Marinated Soft Boiled Eggs!







I hope you enjoy today's recipe, video tutorial and tips.  Please don't forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel.  That way, you won't miss any of my new videos.  Stay tuned on how to make some slurp-worthy ramen topped with these Soy Marinated Soft Boiled Eggs in my future post.


Soy Marinated Soft Boiled Eggs with video tutorial   http://uTry.it




Note: If you're concern about consuming eggs that are not fully cooked, used pasteurized eggs.  They are widely available in many supermarkets.