Little Guy, Big Kitchen

A Little Guy Woking in His Big Kitchen

Thai Style Braised Pork Belly

This recipe is from Cheat Eat’s blog.

The recipe here is a Thai version and one of my favourite. It features the most basic of Thai flavours: pepper coriander paste and fish sauce. The gravy is sweeter due to the generous use of palm sugar while the melt in the mouth pork belly is savory, sweet, peppery and garlicky. If no one is there to stop me, I would have eaten all the pork belly together with 2 big bowls of gravy covered rice and really hate myself for the rest of the month.

500g pork belly with skin, cut into thick pieces
2 tbsp oil
½ tbsp white peppercorns
1 tbsp coriander roots (if unavailable, use the stem)
1 tbsp garlic
4 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 tbsp palm sugar (if unavailable, use dark brown sugar)
3 cups water

Using a mortar and pestle or food processor, grind the white peppercorns, coriander roots and garlic into a fine paste.

Heat a sturdy pan with a lid, add oil and lightly brown the pork belly over medium heat. Remove from pan and set aside.

Using the same pan, stir fry the pepper and coriander paste over low heat till fragrant. Add the fish sauce, dark soy sauce, palm sugar and ¼ cup water. Turn the heat up to medium and bring the sauce to a boil. Add the pork belly, stirring to coat every piece of meat with the sauce.

Add the remaining water to the pan, bring the sauce to boil again. Turn down to low heat and half cover the pan. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half and the pork belly is tender. This will take about 1 to 1½ hour.

The sauce can be used on other cuts of pork, chicken, eggs, pressed tofu and deep fried tofu.


August 22, 2006 Posted by | Recipes, Thai | 6 Comments

Tofu & Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce

I’m referring this from AromaCookery.
100 gms minced pork/chicken/beef
1 300 gm-block tofu, cubed
1 400 gm-can button mushrooms (drained weight 200 gms)*
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
chopped spring onions, to garnish

1 tbsp light soy sauce
0.5 tbsp sugar
0.5 tsp cornstarch

For the gravy
2 tbsp oyster sauce**
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 cup water
cornstarch solution to thicken

1. Mix the minced meat with the marinade ingredients.

2. Heat a wok till hot, add 2 tbsp oil. Fry the chopped chilli, shallot, and garlic till fragrant.

3. Add the marinated meat, breaking it up into fine bits with the frying spatula.

4. Add the mushrooms, oyster sauce, and light soy sauce, stir-frying till everything is well mixed. Add the water.

5. When the mixture starts to simmer, do a taste test and adjust if necessary. Add the tofu, and let the gravy come to a boil again.

6. Gently mix the tofu with the mushrooms and meat, taking care not to break the delicate tofu cubes. Thicken the gravy slightly with cornstarch solution.

7. Transfer to a dish and garnish with spring onions. Serve hot with plain rice.

*The button mushrooms can be substituted with canned straw mushrooms.

August 22, 2006 Posted by | Chinese, Recipes | 1 Comment

Spicy Shrimp Garlic Pasta

I’m referring this from The Cooking Monster’s blog.

Ingredients (for 4-6 people)

  • Spaghetti (or you can sub with linguine, as recommended by the original recipe). I used the whole pack.
  • 1 pound medium shrimp/prawns, deveined, shelled and chopped coarsely. Use a meat cleaver. Easier!
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley. Not sure how to get this back home but I’m sure BSC’s Cold Storage will carry it!
  • 1 tsp of chilli flakes
  • 1-2 cups of white wine. Be sure to use a good one. We used a cheap one ‘coz we don’t really drink wine and had no way to finish it. Had NO taste at all!
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • A nice BIG skillet/wok


  1. Put pasta to boil. Remember to toss in 1/4 cup of salt into boiling water with pasta. 10-12 mins is best.
  2. In the meantime, in a pan/skillet/wok, brown the garlic
  3. Toss in prawns and chilli flakes. As soon as the prawns turn pink, remove.
  4. Using same skillet, toss in butter and wine. Cook until half of the mixture remains (half will dissipate into thin air!). By now, the pasta should be cooked. Remove, strain and leave one side.
  5. Return chilli/prawns into the butter/wine mixture in the skillet and cook thoroughly
  6. Toss in parsley and mix nicely
  7. Toss in pasta and mix until everything is distributed nicely
  8. Serve piping hot!

August 22, 2006 Posted by | Pastas, Recipes | 1 Comment