When my Mum came to stay over Christmas last year, she cooked a few meals for us. Each time we get together, she would always cook pig trotters for her favourite (and only) son-in-law. BBQ Man LOVES pig trotters but sadly enough for him, we weren’t able to find trotters in Toowoomba. So Mum cooked pork belly instead. She slowly braised it with salted soy beans and a tonne of garlic, and I was amazed (actually almost delirious) over the results. Not only was it tender, but it was so silky smooth as well. Swoon! I picked up some pork belly at the supermarket over the weekend, to cook in my masterstock. Ah…it was heaven! So if you haven’t made your masterstock yet, perhaps this might tempt you…

Melting down my masterstock, all dark and rich with promise…

This dish is quite the quintessential Chinese dish – it’s called Red Cooked Pork. Once you have your masterstock, it’s unbelievably easy to make. I melted down my richly gelatinous masterstock, replenished it with more soy, rice wine and water. Sliced up garlic, ginger and spring onions, threw them in with sliced pork. I let it simmer for about an hour (we went to the park to work up an appetite), came home to cook rice and stir fry some bok choy. Done! I served the pork with lots of coriander and chilli, which were fantastic counterpoints to the sweet, rich pork. Bok choy was an excellent accompaniment, crunchy with its slightly bitter end notes. There were no leftovers except for what I saved for the Little Miss’ lunchbox…

This was my post on making masterstock; it has a link to a good masterstock recipe – https://josashimi.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/masterstock-tasting-my-chinese-heritage/

This post to dedicated to those vegetarians who faithfully read this blog, even though it’s littered with animal body parts. (Yes, that’s you, Jan.) I’ve been trying to think of a dish that I can make that is vegetarian, that will get eaten in this house. We are committed meatararians in this house. Having said that though, we do love vegetables. Honestly. We do. We just like our veggies with meat.

I’ve been experimenting with stir fries, and this one is one of our favourites – pumpkin stir fry. Even the BBQ Man relishes it. Pumpkin is a little unknown ingredient in stir fries, which is a shame because its sweet flesh marries beautifully with a savoury stir fry sauce. This particular stir fry has a tart finish, which balances the sweetness of the pumpkin. It really is deeelicious!

josashimi pumpkin stir fry

This dish is will serve 2-3 as a main dish eaten with steamed rice, or 4-5 as a side dish. When choosing your pumpkin, it’s best to find one that hasn’t got lots of bumps and ridges, so that it is easier to peel. Butternuts are ideal

Ingredients:

400g pumpkin, peeled and diced to bite sized pieces

100g capsicum, sliced to thin long strips

1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

oil for stir frying

1 cup of water

2 tbs rice wine vinegar

2 tbs Chinese rice wine

2 tbs salted soy beans

1 handful coriander

2 tbs fried shallot

Method: 

Heat oil in wok or large pan

Fry garlic until slightly brown

Add pumpkin, stir through for 2-3 minutes

Add capsicum

Add abt 1/4 cup water to the wok, enough to cover the bottom. Turn up heat to high and place lid over wok for 3-4 minutes (the water will steam and cook the pumpkin a little faster than just stir frying)

Add the remaining water, rice wine, vinegar and soy beans to the wok. Stir through, lower heat and simmer until the pumpkin is tender. (The cooking time for pumpkin will vary according to variety and ripeness. I usually cook it until the edges go a little mushy.)

Serve with coriander and shallots on top