Sunday, 29 December 2013

German Potato Salad (From the Deutsche Supperclub kitchen)


For those who have attended the Deutsche Supperclub series at my humble abode, know the reputation of this German potato salad. From the time I remember serving it, I've only had pittance left to soothe my aching soul. Note, that this variation of a German potato salad was taken from the cookbook - Grandma's German Cookbook and added my little touches into it. Ordinarily, German potato salad only has potatoes. But different parts of Germany have different versions of it. But what makes it German anyway? The dill and chives. Here's mine:

Ingredients:

5 medium sized US russet potatoes
5 medium sized eggs
10 bacon rashers (can be pork or beef)
10 mini gherkins 
1 packet fresh dill
1 packet fresh chives
1/2 packet fresh Italian parsley
1 tub sour cream (210g)
1 tub fresh plain yoghurt (210g)
2 tbsp German mustard
salt and pepper

Method:
  1. First boil your potatoes by filling up half a pot of water and place the potatoes in there to boil together. Do not peel your potatoes yet. Boil them whole.
  2. Then boil your eggs by placing the eggs in a half pot of cold water and bring it up to a boil. Once the water is boiling, switch it off and close the lid and let it sit.
  3. Meanwhile, chop up your bacon rashers into bite size pieces (roughly 1cm thick) and dry fry. No added oil is needed because the bacon will naturally emit its oils and fries up the bacon til a crispy golden brown. Drain the oil to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Next, prepare another bowl of ice water for your eggs also to stop the eggs from continuous cooking. Let it sit in the ice bath for about 5 minutes. You will notice that your remove the egg shell a lot easier after this. Remove egg shells and slice the eggs however you want it - wedges or sliced into rounds.
  5. By this time (about 20 or so later) the potatoes would be ready. Use a knife or fork to pierce through the potatoes. As long as it slides easily into the potato and comes out as easily, then the potatoes are ready. Drain the hot water out of the pot and replace it with ice cold water to stop the potatoes from cooking. You can drain the first round of cold water as it would turn warm fast due to the hot pot. Then refill again with cold water and let it sit.
  6. Use a knife to remove the skin. It'll come off easily from the potato. Once done, slice them into rounds. Place them into a big salad bowl.
  7. Next chop the gherkins into rings as well and toss them in. Add in the cooled down bacon rashers. Chop the fresh herbs any which way you see fit but not too finely. You need to have a bit a bite! Add the chopped herbs into the bowl as well.
  8. Then add in the sour cream, yoghurt and german mustard together with the salt and pepper to taste. Toss it around. Finally add in the sliced eggs on top. Stir only at the end so that the eggs aren't too mushed up.
  9. Serve with...just about anything :-)
Something perfect to end the new year with maybe? But keep a look out for my German cheesecake recipe with a twist! In the meantime, I'm off to eat my German potato salad...

The Innovativebaker

Friday, 6 December 2013

Italy met Malaysia in the United Kingdom



15th November 2013 marked my first return supperclub in London by teaming up with the formidable Backdoor Kitchen. A collaboration waiting to happen since a year ago, it finally materialised with both Rob and I agreeing to the Italo-Malay supperclub. It was definitely a fun night as guests who came were very friendly, and included my parents and superb friends like @edible_exp and @erikme and Jeanette who brought along a team of superb friends and eaters.. Thank you.

The fact that the supperclub was remotely organised, me in KL and Rob in London, we were initially wondering whether it would take place since it was a slow start to the ticket sales. A week later and my prodding loads and offending others (sorry @john2man), we sold out. So all those jitters were confounded! Lol...

The menu? simple, using the same basic ingredient, we each came up with our own traditional dishes for the crowds to eat, savour and enjoy. Courtesy of Jeannette Ng, these are some photos that were taken that night:

That's me talking about what the supperclub is going to be like

Rob's Saltim Boca (i forgot the spelling)

The couscous

My nasi ulam

The Assam Fish

A baked version of the ayam percik

Bubur Cha Cha

One side of the dinner table

The experience of course was definitely fantastic. Two chefs, two ways of behaving in the kitchen but we worked like a well-oiled team I think. The difference was definitely in the tastebuds of our guests who enjoyed every morsel til a point that they were so full, they couldn't eat anymore.

I take away from that day a real sense of achievement. I always believed that cuisines can be matched and presented together for an enjoyable meal and Rob's mash up idea was simply fantastic. Who knew we'd play host to 13 wonderful guests, 2 photographers, one trusty and secret Malaysian assistant hailing from Finland and two insane chefs... lol!!

Would I do it again? Of course! I wouldn't trade this experience for anything else in the world :)

Hoping to kick ass again in London's supperclub scene,
The Innovativebaker

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Nasi Ulam (Malaysian Herb Rice Salad)


In my recent supperclub with BackDoor Kitchen in the Italy vs Malaysia Battle, I thought I'd try my hand at making something ultra traditional from Malaysia. (A second post on my experience cooking with Rob, the brains behind BackDoor Kitchen will follow). Nasi Ulam, is not one dish you'd think you'd find yourself making as it roughly consists of more than 20 ingredients, finely chopping almost 3/4 of the ingredients and prepping a ton of it way before hand. As the picture can tell you, it does have a ton load of traditional Asian ingredients that either you as an Asian (in this case South East Asian) can figure out or when you're typically Malaysian.

I for one have never made it before so exploring this really made my day. The comments I got was most certainly encouraging and of course super fantastic spurring me to write this post so that you too can also make nasi ulam. Quoting Wen from Edible Experiences:

"If no one wants the leftovers, I'll tapau (doggy bag) it home"

So ingredients:

The rice:
3 cups thai fragrant or basmati rice
1 - 2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
4 to 5 screwpine leaves, tied into a knot
2 - 3 lemongrass, pounded
salt to taste
1 tsp turmeric powder (optional)

Everything else (finely sliced):

4 - 5 sprigs laksa leaves (vietnamese mint / daun kesum)
10 - 15 wild betel leaves (daun kaduk)
10 shallots
10 - 15 lemon basil leaves
1 - 2 torch ginger flower (bunga kantan)
30 mint leaves
1/2 cup pounded dried prawns
2 - 3 lemongrass 
3 heaping tbsp sambal belacan
1/2 cup pounded or minced salted fish
3 - 4 red chillies - finely diced
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup toasted desiccated coconut
5 long beans
2 medium sized limes
10 - 15 kaffir lime leaves
1 salted egg (optional)

Method:
  1. Firstly prepare the rice and cook it the night before for it to rest and dry over night.
  2. Simply add 1 1/2 cups coconut milk and 1 1/2 cups water to 3 cups thai fragrant rice. If you are using basmati rice, then 2 cups coconut milk and 2 cups water to 3 cups basmati rice.
  3. Add the screwpine leaves, pounded lemongrass and salt to the rice and cook over medium heat. If you are using a rice cooker, just flick the switch and don't worry about it. The turmeric powder is optional if you like your rice to have a yellow tinge.
  4. Next fry up the salted fish and let cool before mincing. Do the same with the dried prawns. This enhances the flavour to both ingredients.
  5. Toast 1/2 cup dessicated coconut til golden brown and leave it to cool.
  6. You can also make the sambal belacan the night before as the longer it sits, the better it tastes. The recipe is highlighted above.
  7. The next day, start to finely slice all the herbs. (do not do this the night before as the herbs will wilt in the fridge). If you cannot find the salted egg, it isn't a problem. Leave it out.
  8. Then combine everything in a bowl and toss as usual. Serve like a salad or as an accompaniment to a curry or dish with gravy.
This is one dish I'd definitely want to make again if not for its immense amount of preparations but also because the flavours and aromas that you get from the dish is simply heavenly.

Have fun making it!

Writing up my experience in the Italian-Malaysian mashup,
The Innovative Baker


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Why we do Supperclubs: Yummychooeats


Selina is second from the right.
(Pic taken from her Facebook page and from a recent pop up event in London)


Selina Peri-Peri, or her Twitter handle: Yummychooeats, a fellow friend and fantastic Mauritian supperclub host and pop-up chef, is a formidable individual, whose passion to spread the word on Mauritian cuisine, has taken her through leaps and bounds. Here's what she has to say about doing what she does.:
“I had the passionate aim to get authentic Mauritian home cooking out there to educate people, if you will, as not a lot of people know what it consists of,” says Selina Periampillai, a Mauritian cook now finding her supperclub business branching out into the world of pop-ups.
Selina began running the supperclubs from her home in Croydon, but given its location and the growing popularity of her events, demand lead her to expanding through South and Central London and seeking out perfect locations for a Mauritian pop-up. Her first  pop-up outside her home was set against the backdrop of a cosy cafe in Brixton. With the extra space and covers allowing for more diners and entertainment, it also allowed her to get closer to replicating a laid back Mauritian vibe, Selina says. It’s clearly set a precedent as she’s preparing for her next two pop-ups in Warwick Avenue and Covent Garden, again allowing for added quirks including themed Sunday dinners and Palm House dining for a tropical feel.
A self-taught cook who grew up around food has led Selina to where she is now, through experimenting, eating out, dining in and taking inspiration from restaurants has helped her business evolve. Not to mention, as she puts it, “having the motivation and determination to learn new things and read more cookery books.”
But besides the freedom to tailor each occasion to suit your theme, what can go wrong?
“Lots of small issues can come up,” says Selina. “From not having enough space or having to fit people in, last minute cancellations and having a Plan B in case things don’t work out last minute food-wise. It means you always have the creative hat on to make something out of nothing. You need to delegate in the kitchen for it to be successful and check food goes out on time. Being organised is a must!”
Selina busy in the kitchen during another pop up event
Pic taken from her Facebook page

“Pop-ups have become more about the dining experience as well as the food and everyone offers something unique. There are still so many restaurants to go to, but the amount of pop-ups and supperclubs is increasing and people want to try something different,” says Selina. “It’s great for people who can’t afford to set up a restaurant or just want to test the market. And social media opens a perfect avenue for marketing, advertising and communicating with potential customers.So for a keen home cook, the model of a pop-up has led to Mauritian cuisine gaining good word of mouth and evolving into a full-time business in the form of supperclubs, cooking classes and collaborations with other chefs from the street food market scene and beyond.
“People are tired of conventional restaurants. Pop-ups can give you budding hot new talented chefs and cooks creating menus in quirky spaces — there’s nothing not to love!”
For details about Selina’s upcoming events, visit her Yummy Choo Edible Experiences page, or follow her on Twitter.
Original article from: Digest Mag
Yours in the name of supperclubs,
The Innovativebaker

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Italy meets Malaysia - First collaborative cross culture Supperclub

Yeap you read right! Both Backdoor Kitchen and moi will be collaborating this November in London for one night only.

First of their many collaborations, we have joined forces to represent what both our supperclubs represent. While I represent a very varied cuisine of choice (Malaysian offerings in London while I cook my way through Europe in Malaysia), Backdoor Kitchen have been what I would say the tour-de-force in any Italian supperclub based in London. Rob, the headchef takes you through an epic journey round and across Italy with his traditional dishes derived from inspirations from his family. He even hosted a supperclub in Singapore last September to raving reviews. 

Yes, some of you who do catch up with this blog know I used to host the Budaya Kusina supperclub together with Baz of The Paleo Larder (formerly cheapeatsblog). We of course intend to continue it once we both actually are in the same country for a longer period of time. Lol!

Anyway... this one night only collaboration is on the 15th November somewhere in Bermondsey, London.

Want to know what is featured on the menu?

Drink (Lyn's): 3 Layer Tea (iced -  layer of palm sugar syrup, one layer of evporated milk and one layer of black tea) you can actually see 3 layers!
Caponata di Orata (Rob's) - sweet and sour Sicilian cold salad with courgette, pine nut, sultana, red pepper, seabream, pancetta and basil EVOO
Ikan Masak Assam (Lyn's) - a sour and spicy fish dish traditional to the Malay and Peranakan cultures, it blends beautifully with the Rice herb salad accompanying this dish.
Nasi Ulam (Lyn's) - Malaysian Rice Herb Salad (contains fish as well as loads of different herbs, vegetables and spices) - Nasi Ulam, a tradition to the many Malays in Malaysia may be a laborious dish, but a delight to the discerning eater.
Cous Cous alla Trapanese 2.0 (Rob's) - Cous Cous warm salad topped with a lentil, cherry tomato, anchovy, garlic, chilli, parsley, caper wine sauce and slowly cooked squid. Food rave in your mouth.
Drink (Rob's): Shakerato all'Ananasso - a special Aperol based cocktail with vodka and pineapple juice
Ayam Percik (Lyn's) - Grilled chicken marinated over a course of 24 hours with coconut milk, a mixture of Malaysian spices -dollops and dollops of sauce to go with it from the drippings of the chicken while grilling.
Saltimbocca (Rob's) - Chicken fillet topped with San Daniele ham, mature cheddar and sage and slowly cooked in wine. Signature dish.

Dessert:
Bubur Cha Cha (Lyn's) - a coconut based sweet soup with melt in your mouth tapioca, yam and tapioca pearls.
Secret dessert (Rob's) - as custom with the Backdoor Kitchen
So now you know what's in store. How to book? Click here. Limited to 14 seats. Book now or regret not going. 
Excited,
The Innovative Baker

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Reminiscing and Contemplating - Why I do supperclubs :-)





Like what Julia Child said, I seem to think people who love eating, seems to always have a jolly smile on their faces. And this is why I do supperclubs. 

How did I get involved in one, why did I even consider hosting a supperclub are all the questions that many have asked throughout my last few months in London and ever since I got back to Malaysia and decided to feed my passion for cooking. Mind you, I will never open a restaurant, so you would have to bear with the fact that my supperclub are far too scarce (once in 2 months) but once you're booked in, and do come, you'd be a very happy bunny...

Well firstly what is a SUPPERCLUB? There have been many definitions from different people. But the best of summing it up is from Wikipedia:

"A supper club, traditionally, refers to a dining establishment that also functions as a social club. The term may describe different establishments depending on the region, but in general, supper clubs tend to present themselves as having a high-class image, even if the price is affordable to all."

My definition? well, I'd say that a supperclub is a gathering of like minded people wishing to experience new things over a table of great food cooked by an avid home chef. And since my embarking on this endeavour, I have met a ton of like minded people, became good friends with great home chefs turned cookbook writers, pop up hosts and restaurateurs, cafe owners, pastry chefs and most importantly home chefs. The hard part behind it is the preparation, the blood, sweat, tears and kitchen failures that we do get when cooking for a supperclub. Why? Well, a supperclub can range from 4 to 30 people. Essentially 10 is the maximum number of guests I'd think is ideal to produce some delectable food for, but the evolution of the name has since seen the number rake up to 50.

But put that all aside...the whole point of this post is to say why I do supperclubs and why I still do them. From the chef's point of view (taking a moment from my last supperclub in September 2012 where the guys in the kitchen called me chef and I had like the biggest most gleeful smile ever being called one), it is a time when you decide what dishes you as a chef would like to cook and that can best represent your skills as a chef. I got into it purely because my friends, far and wide, said COOK FOR PEOPLE ALREADY!!! Ana and Teresa of Flavours of Spain can attest to that along with Mark, one half of the Mark and Ce team and Jeanette, a fellow foodie. They were the first ever supperclub tasters and the results were phenomenal. Well at least in my books. That started me on my journey of hosting my first supperclub together with Baz, my partner in crime in the kitchen, that resulted in 2 other supperclubs before my final adieu from London.

Those three supperclubs sealed the deal for me. The smile on people's faces when they eat your food, puts a happy smile on your face. But of course the butterflies in your stomach always strikes just before you serve because you don't know whether your guests would eventually love what you've dished out. My cooking skills were put to the test including time management, budgeting, organisation and being patient and calm. Oh my lord, if you could only hear the curses coming out from my kitchen (it is true when Gordon Ramsay swears when something doesn't go right in the kitchen) especially when my desserts don't go my way, you'd wonder why I put myself through it. 

Despite all the kitchen mishaps, the cuts, the burns, the OMG moments when you run out of ingredients, I still love having a supperclub. I meet the most amazing people. They come from all walks of life, professions, mindsets, countries, cultures and well eating habits! But...we all share one common passion - FOOD! And for what its worth, the blood, sweat and tears that we put into having a supperclub is only because we love sharing. The beauty of seeing the coming together of your menu and the fact that it does what it does, and keeps people coming back just goes to show that it is 100% satisfaction...for me at least and hopefully my guests who are now my fellow friends, foodies, mates and kick-ass buddies. 

So a huge shout out to my great great great friends in the foodie world -

Marta, Ce and Mark - whose constant encouragement and willingness to be guinea pigs every time I cooked truly paved the way to my wanting to actually have a supperclub
Wen - for having given me that benchmark to have my last supperclub in London before I left for good together with Baz.
Jason - for being the guy who said come on over and join me at my Peranakan Palace supperclub together with Goz.
Goz - for setting the tone for Asian supperclubs and now having a cookbook to his name
Selina - my Mauritian sexy chef foodie mate who never stops smiling and was definitely the hostest of the mostest!
Ana - one half of Flavours of Spain who encouraged me to have a supperclub and now is a great friend
Teresa - the other half of Flavours of Spain who adds the crazy in the Flavours of Spain and also supported my decision and didn't mind being fed to the brim
Rob and Fabio - you guys are like the epitome of Italianness. I truly enjoyed our time together!
Jaime - The awe inspiring Le Cordon Bleu pastry chef graduate whom I met over Twitter and is now a great friend!
Shuhan - for sharing an equal passion for the love of cooking
Christine - for her bubbly nature and sexy steamed buns that somehow I never got to taste
Greg - for assisting Baz and I when we needed a car to shop and a car to transport ourselves to our supperclub locations
John - who became my eating buddy every time we needed to go somewhere. And for definitely showing me the ropes when I went back to London for 2 weeks and had the eating time of my life
Sam - the micro brewer whose beers are sure to take the world by storm.
Erik - the quiet subdued Swede who definitely shares a love for food and a passion for life much like mine.
Cherry - the great Cantonese chef whose food I still remember and salivate to this day.

and to Baz - if not for you and your SURE WHY NOT attitude, we wouldn't have had Budaya Kusina in London and your patience for letting me run things. You are a great chef!

To those whom I haven't mentioned, not that I haven't forgotten you, but there's just too many of you to name in person. But thank you to every single one of you for taking the risk in eating Baz and my food. And for insisting I still run a supperclub here in Malaysia. 

It has been a rollercoaster of a year but this has been the best year yet! Here's to a year's worth of Supperclubs but more importantly here's to all the PEOPLE who make SUPPERCLUBS what they are!

Much love from the Straits of Melaka,
The Innovativebaker

Stay tuned for a guest post from Selina, the Mauritian Supperclub host hailing from Croydon.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Deutschesupperclub feiert OKTOBERFEST! (Deutschesupperclub celebrates Oktoberfest!)


It is Oktoberfest time!! Yes.. seriously and true to my word the Deutschesupperclub's fourth time will be so thematic you cannot say I didn't try! The menu has expanded (so has the price but only for specially themed supperclubs) and a collaboration with Ales & Lagers to pair beers with the dishes planned for the night!

Deutschesupperclub 

celebrates OKTOBERFEST!


Zum Starten:

Bratwurst mit Kartoffelsalat Berliner Art
(German Sausages with Berlin Style Potato Salad)
Brezel

Obatzter
(Cheese Spread)

Brezel / Langenstangen
(German Pretzel)

Hauptgerichte:

Muscheln Reinischer Art
(Mussels cooked the Rheinvalley style)

Schweinebraten mit Bratkartoffel und Rotkohl
(German Roast Pork with grilled potatoes and purple cabbage)

Schnitzel vom Huhner mit hausgemachte Mayonaisse
(Chicken Schnitzel with home made mayo)

Kaesespaetzle
(Cheese Spaetzle - German Egg Noodles)

Wurstsalat
(Sausage Salad)


Zum Ende:
Mystery Dessert

The desserts will remain a mystery as I love throwing in surprises! This time round with Ales & Lagers in tow, the price has slightly changed:

Just the meal will be RM120 (already including the processing fee on Plateculture.com)
With the beer pairing will be an additional RM60 (with about 6 - 8 beer pairings - 100ml portion of beer - this will be paid on the day of the meal). So how does it work?

Pay for your meal in full on Plateculture and then update me via donnowhat2cook@gmail.com or DM me on Facebook or Twitter that you want the beer pairing too. 

So why turn up in blue and white like the Oktoberfest logo and join in the festivities!

So when? where? how? what do you do?

When: 26 October 2013
Where: Location to be revealed on confirmation of booking on Plateculture
Time: 8pm onwards
Seats: 8 (3 tentatively reserved)

Are you allergic to anything? Lemme know at least a week before so I can prepare an alternative.

So quickly book b4 it sells out... there won't be any supperclubs until December.

omm paa paa omm paa paa going in the background,
The Innovativebaker

Monday, 19 August 2013

Durian Cake - not like you know it!


Yes it is DURIAN season here in Malaysia. Every corner of PJ and KL and probably the rest of Peninsular Malaysia will have a make shift stall selling the various types of Durian Kampung (Village Durians), Breeds from D24, 88, Musang King and the lot. I was always intrigued in using Durian as an ingredient in a cake rather than making it into frosting. Much like banana cake / bread where bananas are used to substitute sugar and or added for additional moisture, I used the durian pulp exactly for that purpose.


My first attempt at baking this was not much of a success following an existing recipe found on someone else's blog. Well, the picture was definitely a fantastic looking Durian Cake so I figured, eh, what's the harm right? But soon, I realised that the batter, after baking, was wet and did not rise as it should (despite using self-raising flour). So I decided last night to make my own using my own measurements and voila the results were great! So here's the recipe for all those who want to make it too :-)

Ingredients:
250g self-raising flour (sifted)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
200 to 220g of butter - softened at room temperature
150g caster sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
310g durian pulp (this can be done a night before or when softening the butter at room temperature)

Method:
  1. First heat up your oven to 180 Degree Celsius. Then butter and flour your loaf tin and lay a piece of greaseproof paper. Set aside.
  2. Next, beat the sugar and butter together until pale and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, fully incorporating each egg into the batter before adding the next one.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. You'd be surprised at how the salt adds another depth to the cake.
  4. Then add the dry ingredients and milk intermittently. Once incorporated, remove from the cake mixer and fold in the durian pulp.
  5. Spoon into the loaf tin, levelling it and then bake for about 50 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.
  6. TIP: 10 minutes before the cake is done, cover the cake with tin foil to avoid it from becoming too brown at the top. This also encourages the centre of the cake to continue cooking.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before removing from the loaf tin to cool completely.
  8. Serve with TEA!

I couldn't wait so I had a slice as soon as I could. And boy was it heavenly. So why not try this version out instead of always resorting to having a creamed cake? Certainly a lot healthier right? 

NOTE: the sugar content in the recipe is a lot lower than usual because of the natural sugars that the durian pulp has. So, this adds as a way to replace too much sugar in a cake recipe :)

Recipes becoming a norm,
The Innovativebaker



Sunday, 18 August 2013

Deutsche Supperclub Nummer Drei - Deutschland triff Osterreich (Deutsche Supperclub No 3. - Germany meets Austria)

Yeap! Deutsche Supperclub Nr. Drei is here and eagerly awaiting to serve up great food once more. This time Germany's close knit neighbour, Austria will also be highlighted through its cuisine and closely related ties shared between the foods both countries share.

So what is to be expected at the next Supperclub on the 21st of September? Here's the MENU:

Zum Starten:

Zwiebelkuchen
(Onion Tart) - A traditional dish served up during Fall.

Nuernburger Bratwurst mit Kartoffelsalat
(Nuerburger Sausages with Potato Salad) - A tradition in Germany to have at least some kind of Sausage

Haupgerichte:

Bierfleisch mit Rote-Rueben-Salat
(Beef braised in Beer with Beetroot Salad)

Wiener Schnitzel mit Pommes
(Pork Schnitzel with French Fries)

Zum Ende:

Sacher Torte
(Traditional Viennese Chocolate Cake with Apricot Compote and Rum Filling)

An all new menu, with a little Innovativebaker Twist here and there... just know you would not go home hungry... 

What are the details of the next Supperclub?

Date: 21st September 2013
Day: Saturday
Time: 8pm onwards
Price: RM96 (RM80 + booking fees on Plateculture.com)
Seats Available: Maximum 8 (first come first serve basis)

Book your seats now! 4 Seats have already been reserved... so book the remainder or wait til the next date gets announced :)

Bis dahin sage ich erst,
Die Innovatifbaeckerin




Friday, 9 August 2013

Roast Pork - nuff said!


The Roast Pork, probably the most sought after Chinese Roast there is next to BBQed Pork and Roast Duck. The Germans and similarly with the British, this dish also appears in their top of the list go to dishes for Sunday Roasts in Britain and every day meals in Germany (Yes...no kidding).

So I know many have asked how does one make this dish? I have had varying degrees of success with this one and I think it all depends on the cut of the meat, how big it is and how you have rolled it up. I think sometimes, leaving it flat does provide better coverage for the pork skin to crackle up better then rolling it up. Rolling only helps when you have a spit that rotate thus equally cooking your rolled up pork belly. Hence why the Germans call it Spiessbraten (Spitroast). Anyway, enough rattling on to the ingredients:

The general prefered cut of meat is Pork Belly. Ask your butcher to recommend the cut suitable for roasting, clean the skin, punch holes into the skin and scour the meat side.

Spice Mix for Chinese Roast Pork:

5 Tbsp five spice powder
5 Tbsp fine sea salt

Spice Mix for German Roast pork:
3 1/2 Tbsp sea salt
5 Tbsp of a spice pre-mix for roast meats that contains the following: cumin powder, coriander powder, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper

Method for both types of Roast pork
  1. Firstly marinate the meat by rubbing the spice mix on the meat side. Then the salt on the skin. Wrap in cling film or a ziplog bag and leave in the fridge for 24 hours. 2 hours is also ok though the meat may not be as flavourful.
  2. Take out the meat after the desired length of marinating and leave it to come to room temperature. Never roast the meat cold. It will contribute to uneven cooking.
  3. Heat up your oven to 180 Degree Celcius. Scour the pork skin with your knife but only half way.
  4. If you intend to roll your pork belly, then use kitchen twine. Tie the twine at one end first and use the twine to encircle the rolled up pork belly. Tie at the other end of the pork belly and cut remaining twine off.
  5. Sit the meat on the grill section of the roasting pan. This is the grill attachments that comes with a deep roasting pan. In the roasting pan, add about 2 to 3 cups of water. This will help with keep the meat moist when roasting.
  6. Next cover with tin foil. Then place in the oven to cook for about 2 hours. 
  7. After 2 hours, remove the tin foil and place it back into the oven for another 15 minutes before cranking up the oven to 220 Degrees to make your crackling. (Just before cranking up the oven, remove the kitchen twine to avoid it being burnt!)
  8. Then you will see the pork skin starting to pop, crackle and pop even more. This should take about 20 minutes give or take.
  9. Remove the roast pork from the oven and let it rest on the roasting pan first before serving. This is to encourage the juices to remain in the pork and not flow out of it.
  10. The pork oil and juices at the bottom of the pan can be used to make a sauce. Entirely up to you.
There you go! It is relatively easy to make. Just a long cooking period. But from what my diners and family members have said, this is a winner.......

The Innovativebaker 

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