The closest version of a burger in Chinese cuisine, these Asian Pulled Pork Buns are so tasty and fuss-free to make, they are guaranteed to be a family favorite!
Some time ago, I made a fusion version of the traditional Hokkien dish, Braised Pork Belly Taco. Braised Pork Belly is originally served in lotus leaf buns, and they are usually cooked over a long time until soft and extremely fragrant.
I wanted to make a less fatty version for my kids so with the same base marinade, I made these delectable Asian Pulled Pork Buns for dinner when we celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival at home last month. These flavorful buns were like mini sliders that were so delicious and versatile, perfect as an appetizer, or as a hand-held pass around at parties or on its own as a meal.
Using the slow cooker also made this recipe extremely easy and fuss free to make. Just prepare the ingredients and let the slow cooker do the rest of the work. At the end of the day, simply pull the meat apart and pop them back into the fragrant sauce. The recipe also freezes very well and you'll get a few meals out of this this large batch recipe.
Asian Pulled Pork Buns
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
3 to 4 lb Pork Shoulder or Boston Pork Butt
6 oz Shallots (thinly sliced)
18 cloves of Garlic (lightly smashed)
5 tbsp Cooking Oil
2 oz piece Ginger (lightly smashed)
12 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
3 Cinnamon Sticks
6 Star Anise
3 tbsp Chinese 5-Spice Powder
1 1/2 tbsp Cumin Powder
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 White Pepper Powder
3 tsp Sesame Oil
3 oz Rock Sugar
5 cups Water
Lotus Leaf Buns (available in most Asian supermarkets, in the frozen section)
1. In a wok, heat up 5 tbsp of cooking oil. Once heated, brown the whole pork shoulder or Boston pork butt on all sides. Set aside.
2. In the same wok with the leftover oil, add in thinly sliced shallots and light smashed garlic. Stir fry until fragrant and soft.
3. Add in dark soy sauce, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, Chinese 5-spice powder, cumin powder, salt and white pepper powder. Mix well.
4. Add in water, sesame oil, rock sugar and lightly smashed ginger. Mix well.
5. Bring to a boil and lower heat to allow it to simmer for 10 min.
6. Place browned pork shoulder or Boston pork butt in the slow cooker. Pour the marinade over the meat. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours.
7. Once ready, remove the pork shoulder or Boston pork butt from the slow cooker onto a chopping board. Shred the meat and place them back into the sauce.
8. Serve with cilantro in lotus leaf buns.
Always a popular choice for week night dinners, this Bacon Wrapped Chicken is kept moist & juicy with a boost of added flavor.
It has been over 3 weeks since school started and the kids' activities are back in full swing too. I am so glad that both Bella and Jamie are having a great time learning and making new friends. However, for me, this is the time of the year that I often struggle a little to be as productive as I hope to be. While we truly enjoy the warm summer days, I always look forward to fall. Not just for the cool weather but also for the upcoming holidays. I can't help but feel that this is a very festive time of the year - with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up. So, I guess I am still pretty much on holiday mode.
But life cannot be on a standstill, especially if we have our family depending on us. So, quick and easy recipes are my go-to for week night dinners. I always try to make it a point to have warm homemade meals for the family during the week nights, despite having to run from one after school activity to another. And this Bacon Wrapped Chicken recipe is a hit with my family. It is simple to make, delicious and cleaning up after is a breeze.
Here are more quick and easy recipes that make a frequent appearance on our dinner table:
1. Chicken Fajita Soup
2. Five Spice Bacon Wrapped Pork
3. Ginger Soy Minced Beef
4. Garlic Lemon Butter Salmon
5. Spaghetti Bolognese
Bacon Wrapped Chicken
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
3 lb Boneless & Skinless Chicken Thighs
12 to 16 Slices of Bacon
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Chili Powder (you may add more for a spicer version)
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp Honey
1. In a large bowl, season the chicken thighs with 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp balck pepper and 1 tbsp olive oil. Mix well and ensure that chicken is well coated with seasoning.
2. Wrap the seasoned chicken thighs with bacon slices and place it on a baking tray.
3. Brush on honey onto the bacon wrapped chicken pieces.
4. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 min on the middle rack. And broil on medium for about 5 min or until bacon is lightly charred.
Makes 4 servings
Thin strips of boldly seasoned and skewered meat that is cooked quickly over long beds of hot charcoals.
During this past summer holiday, one particular Singapore classic food that I have been making often is Satay. These little hand held meat skewers are such a versatile dish. They are perfect for parties as an appetizer, as a tray pass food or as a light meal! I even made them for Jamie's 5th birthday pirate themed party. I called them "Pirates' Peg Legs" and not only were the guests amused, they were impressed with this quintessential Singapore street food.
And they are easy to prepare too, although one should plan ahead of time for marinating and cooking. I typically marinate the meat the night before and skewer the meat the next day before grilling them over my Satay grill, which is a long rectangular grill using charcoals. But you can grill them over any type of grill or even bake them in your oven if a grill is not available. The skewers are flipped frequently to ensure even cooking while basting it with a mixture of coconut milk and vegetable oil. Boldly seasoned and lightly charred over the grill, these Satays are so flavorful and delicous. Definitely one of my family's favorite recipe that I have made so far!
Satays are typically served with cucumber, shallots, ketupat (a type of Malay style rice dumpling packed in a diamond shaped woven palm leaf pouch) and a peanut sauce in Singapore. Unfortunately, Bella is allergic to peanuts and so we usually do not have it with peanut sauce. However, I do have a bottle of a store bought Satay peanut sauce that I'd let friends sample with the Satay if they wish to. The sauce is readily available in the Asian supermarkets. So, if you are thinking of grilling this weekend or on Labor Day here in the US, perhaps you might want to shake things up with this favorite Singaporean hawker food!
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
3 1/2 lbs Beef Filet Mignon or Chicken Thighs
8 oz Shallots
6 cloves Garlic
1 1/2 inch slice of Turmeric
1/4 inch slice of Galangal
4 1/2 stalk of Lemongrass (white portion, sliced thinly)
1 1/2 tbsp Coriander Powder
1 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
1 1/2 tbsp Tamarind Extract
1 1.2 tsp Anise Seeds
6 tbsp Sugar
3 tsp Salt
6 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Skewers (soaked in water for 20 min)
Basting Sauce Ingredients
1/3 cup Coconut Milk
4 1/2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1. Cut beef and/or chicken into small 1/4 inch cubes and set aside.
2. In a food processor, blend the shallots, garlic, turmeric, galangal, lemongrass, coriander powder, cumin powder, tamarind extract, anise seeds, sugar, salt and vegetable oil until a smooth paste is formed.
3. Mix the marinade with the meat and allow it to marinate for 3 -4 hours or overnight if time permits.
4. Prepare the charcoal grill, use charcoal sparingly as too much heat will burn the Satay easily.
5. Skewer the marinated meat and prepare the basting sauce by mixing the coconut milk and vegetable oil together.
6. Cook the Satay over the grill, flipping frequently to ensure even cooking and baste it with the coconut milk and oil mixture. Lightly char it, if desired.
Makes approximately 200 Satays
A classic soft and chewy cookie that will be a hit with adults and kids alike. So quick and easy, it is one of my favorite recipe to make with my kids.
This year's summer holidays came and went by in a flash! I had taken the entire summer off from blogging and had the most wonderful time with my family traveling, boating, swimming and just about any family-fun activity there is. The kids are now settled back in school and I am feeling refreshed & excited to share with you what I have been up to all summer.
Every summer, as a fun family tradition, I try to get my kids involved in the kitchen. Inviting your kids into your kitchen to help with meal preparations or to make a special recipe not only helps them learn and refine some basic skills, it is also a wonderful way to spend quality time together. They get to explore new foods & learn about nutrition and also develop math and reading skills as they help measure and read directions.
So, for the 4th of July, we decided to bake some cookies together. This recipe is so simple & easy to follow and yet, they bake up so tender and delicious! We used red, white and blue M&M's in honor of America's Independence Day but any colors will work just fine. In fact, Bella said that we could make another batch in August with just red and white M&M's for Singapore's National Day. Orange and black would be perfect for Halloween. Orange, yellow and brown for Thanksgiving or any Fall festival party. And not forgetting Christmas with red and green. The possibilities are endless!
For more of my favorite recipes to make with kids, go to:
Gem Biscuits - These adorable "Gem Biscuits" promises fun and color in every bite! Kids will have so much fun icing the biscuits and learning about colors
Homemade Wontons - With the little extra hands helping, this batch recipe will leave you with ready made meals for days to come.
Sweet Potato Balls - A great recipe to include for Thanksgiving as the kids lend a hand and talk about what they are thankful for.
Candy Coated Chocolate Cookies
by Miss Crumbs A Lot, adapted from Robbi's M&M's Cookies
1 cup Brown Sugar (packed)
1/2 cup White Sugar
1 cup Butter (cold)
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cup Candy Coated Milk Chocolate Pieces (We used M&M's)
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown and white sugar together.
2. Add in eggs, vanilla extract and mix well.
3. Add in the sieved all purpose flour, baking soda and salt and mix well until a soft dough is formed. Add in 3/4 cup of candy-coated chocolate pieces and set the rest aside. Mix well.
4. Drop dough by spoon onto a baking tray. Push a few candies gently on top of each dough ball with the candies that was set aside.
5. Place the trays of dough in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes before baking.
6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 36 pieces
A delicious and tender pork roast that is a great weeknight dinner roast or Sunday lunch for a crowd, paired with all your favorite trimmings.
A couple of weeks ago, while planning our meals for the week and writing up our grocery list, I was about to make my go-to recipe, Five Spice Bacon Wrapped Pork again. But I decided to change things up a little. No one was really complaining as this recipe is definitely a family favorite. But I thought it'll be nice to have a couple of these easy recipes that I can rotate. with
This Honey Ginger Lime Pork is infused with honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and lime, the few staple ingredients in my kitchen. It is quick and easy to throw all the ingredients together, marinate the meat and then just let the oven do the work.
Honey Ginger Lime Pork
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
2 lb Pork Ribeye Roast
1 oz Ginger (minced)
1 Tbsp Garlic (chopped)
1/3 cup Honey
3 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1/2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
Juice of 1 lime
Salt & Pepper
Chopped Cilantro (for garnishing)
Lime Wedges (for serving)
1. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 oz minced ginger, 1 tbsp chopped garlic, 1/3 cup honey, 3 tbsp light soy sauce, 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce and juice of 1 lime. Mix well.
2. Season the pork ribeye roast with salt & pepper. Pour sauce over the pork ribeye roast, ensure that it is well covered and allow it to marinate for an hour or overnight, if time permits.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the marinated pork into a roasting pan and pour the marinade sauce over as well.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minute on the middle rack. Then broil on hight for minutes on the middle rack until nicely charred.
5. Transfer the pork roast onto a cutting board, drizzle some sauce over and save the rest for serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
A sweet and savory miso sauce, spread on fried eggplants then broiled to perfection.
I have always been a fan of eggplants or what is also commonly known as aubergines. In Singapore, I actually grew up calling it brinjal. I particularly liked the soft and mushy texture when it is cooked, especially when they are fried or oven broiled till they are charred on the surface. Eggplants are often used in many cuisines in Singapore; Indian curries, Chinese Yong Tau Foo and in Japanese & Korean dishes as well.
I started making this recipe quite regularly when I wanted a low fat meal but still feel full from it. Spicy Miso Eggplant is fairly easy to make with a simple store bought miso sauce. The miso sauce adds a lovely umami flavor to the somewhat slightly bland eggplant. It makes a great side dish for sharing or as a main dish on its own.
Spicy Miso Eggplant
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
1 Large Eggplant
2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Sesame Oil
4 tbsp Spicy Miso Sauce (or you can use regular non-spicy miso sauce)
Salt & Pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Cut the stem off and slice the eggplant into half. Hold the eggplant half, skin side down, in the palm of your hand and use a small sharp knife to cut the flesh into a diamond pattern. Ensure that you do not cut all the way through.
3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and season the eggplants with a pinch of salt & pepper. Pan fry the eggplants, flesh side down on the pan for a few minutes, until they are lightly charred.
4. Remove from heat and brush on 1 tsp sesame oil and 2 tbsp spicy miso sauce on each eggplant half. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.
5. Bake in 425 degrees F on middle rack of oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the eggplants are soft and cooked through. Broil for 7 to 8 minutes on high on middle rack to charr and brown the eggplants further before serving, if desired.
Makes 2 servings
3 of my favorite breakfast or brunch foods that would be perfect for Mother's Day!
Mother's Day is a wonderful celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society. I always look forward to this day because Bella and Jamie get really excited with wanting to surprise me. Even if it is as simple as presenting me with a cup of coffee that they brewed by themselves (with Kian's supervision, of course) and a homemade card, I love how thrilled they get to be able to do that for me.
Another family tradition that we have on Mother's Day is that I will get to take a break from cooking. Kian, Bella and Jamie love taking over the kitchen and making breakfast or brunch for me. Pancakes and crêpes are one of my favorite breakfast foods and they do make some exceptional ones.
If you're looking for different ideas for breakfast or brunch on Mother's Day that you can fix on your own or together as a family, here are my top 3 favorite ones from my blog.
1. Gula Melaka Banana Pancakes
A great combination of the good old fashioned classic pancake recipe with a Southeast Asia twist.
2. Cloud Eggs
Marshmallow textured like eggs whites with runny eggs yolks. A fun recipe to make with the family.
3. Kaya Coconut Jam
Spread it on toast with some butter & serve it with soft boiled eggs, coffee and you'll have yourself a Singaporean breakfast.
A traditional Thai dessert made out of steamed glutinous rice infused in a sweet coconut cream and served with sweet mangoes.
A couple of weeks ago, the family was invited to Bella's 3rd grade musical performance after school and we were really excited for her. Unfortunately, Kian was traveling for work and could not make it, so she was pretty disappointed. To cheer her up, I decided to take her and Jamie to an early dinner at our neighborhood Thai restaurant before the performance. They both love the dumplings and noodle dishes there.
After dinner, Bella asked to have her favorite dessert, Mango and Sweet Sticky Rice. I ordered it for them and the two of them just devoured that plate. They've always loved this dessert. Then I realized that I actually have all the ingredients at home to make this dessert! I even have the mangoes already.
So, that weekend, I decided to make it for them again at home. It really is a very simple recipe if you plan ahead of time. The glutinous rice needs to be soaked in water for a few hours or overnight in order for it to cook well. I soaked it for 5 hours that afternoon and was able to have it ready for dessert after dinner. Bella and Jamie, who are 2 of my biggest critics when it comes to food, said that it tasted so much better than the restaurant! I guess that statement says it all and I am just thrilled to be sharing this recipe with you!
Thai Mango and Sweet Sticky Rice
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
1 cup Glutinous Rice (soaked in water for 5 hours or overnight)
1 cup Coconut Milk (divided)
3 tbsp Sugar (divided)
1/2 tsp Salt
Sesame Seeds for garnishing
1 large Mango (peeled and cut into thin slices)
1. Wash and rinse glutinous rice well. Soak in cold water for 5 hours or overnight.
2. Drain the rice well in a sieve and transfer to a steel deep dish. Steam cook for 45 minutes or until the rice is cooked and tender. Check the water level in your steaming pot or wok occasionally and add more water when necessary.
3. While the rice is cooking, add 2/3 cups of coconut milk, 2 tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt into a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil and stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Keep the mixture warm until the rice it ready.
4. Remove the glutinous rice from the steaming pot or wok when it is ready and stir in the coconut milk mixture into the rice. Cover the dish with a plastic wrap and let it stand for 30 min or until the mixture is fully absorbed by the rice.
5. Bring the remaining 1/3 cup of coconut milk and 1 tbsp of sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to allow it to cool and thicken.
6. Mold about 1/4 cup of the sweet sticky rice onto a plate, drizzle the rice with the sauce and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve with the sliced mangoes.
Makes 4 servings
Oven Baked Lemon Garlic Shrimp, a delicious and simple to make recipe that is a perfect entrée for your family dinners or large group parties.
I have always liked Ree Drummond's (aka The Pioneer Woman) recipes. Her recipes are always so delicious and easy to follow. Last week, I decided to get some shrimps for dinner. We don't often have shrimps for our meals and I thought I'd change things up a bit. And I immediately thought of an episode of "The Pioneer Woman" where Ree made this super easy Oven Baked Lemon Garlic Shrimps.
It was so quick and easy to prepare. And because I like to keep after meals clean up to a minimum, I popped in a tray of broccoli that was drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with black pepper, salt and oregano leaves together with the shrimps in the oven.
In 20 minutes, dinner was ready and boy, were the shrimps delicious! I served the shrimps and broccoli with some bread for the kids to dip into the hot and bubbly butter sauce. They absolutely loved it!
Oven Baked Lemon Garlic Shrimp
by Miss Crumbs A Lot, adapted from The Pioneer Woman
2 lbs Raw Shrimps (deveined, shells on)
1 cup Cold Butter (2 sticks)
1/4 cup Chopped Cilantro
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
4 cloves Garlic
Juice of 1 whole Lemon
Bread for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange the shrimps in a single layer on a baking tray.
2. Cut the cold butter sticks into small chunks and place them in a food processor. Add in 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper. 4 cloves garlic and juice of 1 whole lemon. Pulse until they are combined.
3. Sprinkle the cold butter crumbles over the shrimp.
4. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes or until the shrimps are cooked (opaque looking) and the butter sauce is hot and bubbly.
Makes 4 servings
This Asian style Shepherd's Pie may be low in carbs but it is full of flavor. Bound to be a family favorite!
Y'all! I did not expect this recipe to be such a hit with the family and I am really excited to share it with all of you. I came up with this dish because a couple of weeks ago, we were having a conversation with our kids about what we used to eat at dinners with our families when we were kids. And Kian told Bella & Jamie that one dish that his dad loved to make when he was a kid, was Shepherd's Pie. So, I thought it'd be great to make that dish for him, to bring back some childhood memories and also to let the kids try out this classic dish.
As some of you may know, we are still on the Slow Carb Diet where we cut out carbs, dairy and sugar except for one cheat day a week. Well, I couldn't wait till Saturday (which is usually our cheat day) to make this dish so I decided to challenge myself a little and make a low carb version of it.
I pulled out one of my old recipes that is an absolute favorite with the family, Ginger Soy Minced Beef, and modified it slightly for the pie filling. And, instead of using mashed potatoes, I used mashed cauliflower. It was really a simple dish and I never expected it to be this popular. I actually thought the kids might not enjoy it as much and was prepared to break out the mac & cheese back up. But it was so good, and healthy too, that we had no leftovers! A whole 2.5 qt casserole was gone! This is for sure, going to be a frequent dish in our household.
Asian Low Carb Shepherd's Pie
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
2 whole Cauliflower Heads
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Garlic Powder
2 lb Minced Beef (90% lean, 10% fat) *I usually get grass-fed beef as well
2 cloves Garlic (minced)
2 oz Ginger (minced)
1 Onion (finely diced)
8 oz Edamame Soy Beans
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
3 tbsp Oyster Sauce
2 tbsp Shaoxing Chinese Cooking Wine
1 tsp Light Soy Sauce
1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1 tsp Shallot Oil
Dash of White Pepper Powder.
1. Prepare the cauliflower mash first. Cut cauliflower into small chunks and place them in a deep dish. Steam cook them for 10 to 15 minutes or until they are soft.
2. Drain any excess liquids and place cooked cauliflower in a food processor. Add in 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp garlic powder. Blend until a smooth mash is produced. Set aside.
3. Prepare the sauce by mixing 3 tbsp oyster sauce, 2 tbsp Shaoxing Chinese cooking wine, 1 tsp light soy sauce, 1 tsp dark soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp shallot oil and a dash of white pepper powder together in a bowl and set aside.
4. In a cast iron pot or a pot with a heavy bottom, heat up 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Add in minced garlic and ginger, stir fry for a few minutes until it is fragrant.
3. Add in finely diced onion and continue stir frying until the onions are translucent.
5. Add in minced beef and stir fry further, breaking up the meat as you fry until the meat is cooked. Add in 8 oz edamame soy beans, the prepared sauce and mix well. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes.
6. Place the cooked meat mixture in a 2.5 qt casserole dish or oven proof deep dish and spread the cauliflower mash evenly over the top.
7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Makes 4 Servings
A Singaporean SAHM living in Houston, Texas. Discovering her potential in the kitchen with authentic Singaporean Cuisine. And exploring the dynamic food scene Houston has to offer.