Thursday, December 12, 2013

Roasted Pork Loin with Crispy Pork Crackling in 4 Easy Steps

Caution: To appreciate this recipe you must understand that pork crackle (which is the crisp fatty skin of roast pork) is utterly unhealthy. You must be able to not give a damn and eat anyway.

Wow! How time has flown. I have missed my blog so much and have finally found a recipe I am so happy to blog about.

Pork crackling heaven – that’s where my other half was for a brief moment once he heard the crunch of the pork crackling of this roasted pork loin. Then he sunk his teeth into a piece – and he stayed in pork crackling heaven a while more.

I first saw this 500g of rolled up pork loin being sold at Jaya Grocer. It was rolled up so neatly and tightly secured with kitchen string. I had no idea how I was gonna cook it but I just knew I had to buy it.

After it sat in my freezer for a while, I decided one day I had to cook this before the year was over.  So I started googling recipes for roasted pork loins. I came across a few but I was mainly looking for something which I already had the ingredients for. Thus THIS was the perfect recipe.

Taken from Quay Po Cooks' blog it was a recipe she had written quite some time back. I have re-written the recipe to reflect the adjustments I made. I have also omitted the steps and ingredients for the vegetables and gravy as I did not make them and focused solely on the pork.

What you need:
1 piece 500g pork loin with skin on
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs McCormick Italian herbs [this is a blend of different dried herbs which I keep handy to add to lasagna, pasta sauces and stews]
1 tbs chopped garlic
1 tsp minced young ginger

What to do:
Prepare a deep roasting pan. Line the bottom with foil.
Preheat your oven to 220C.

Step 1
Score the skin of the pork crosswise at about 5mm intervals. Rub all the items into the pork loin and ensure you get the rub especially the salt into the cuts of the skin.

Step 2
Place the pork on a rack and then place the rack into the roasting pan. Put roasting pan in oven for 30 minutes. The high temperature will get the skin to crisp up.

Step 3
After 30 minutes, turn the temperature down to 175C for about 25-30 minutes. Keep basting the meat with the juices that have dripped below the rack every 10 minutes or so.

Step 4
Remove from oven – allow to rest for about 5 minutes and carve.

  • When carving, we found it easier to slice off the crackle then slice the pork loin into slices.
  • Once out of the oven, don’t wrap the pork loin with foil as this might soften the crackle.
  • I used coarse salt which I also sprinkled on top of the pork loin once roasted.
  • I prepared my own side salad to go with this.  Of course it’s better to oven roast some vegetables and even serve with some garlic bread.
  • Overall we thought the crackling was out of this world. So crispy and tasty. It’s best to serve the meat with the gravy. I did not have time to make the gravy but still found the roast delish!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Yummy Ground Beef Tacos

My colleague and I went for Mexican food one night and she recommended the ground beef tacos. I tried it and I really really liked it. I had two tacos, one crispy shell and one soft filled with flavoursome ground beef which was topped with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and shredded cheese. The most awesome part of course was the salsa sauce which brought everything together. Needless to say I was hooked and so inspired!

Couple of nights later I decided to make this for dinner. My husband and I enjoy dinners like these. I started by looking up a recipe for the ground beef itself and found one here. I decided on this recipe because I had most of the ingredients on hand already and the photo got me hooked. You can click on the link to grab the recipe from there.

The first thing you gotta do is prepare the ground beef filling. Make sure you season it well. Ground beef  goes best with tacos for me compared to chicken strips or fish fillets.

I ended up buying this packet of taco shells to use. They are of the crunchy variety.

This is how it looks like inside.

What you have to do prior to serving is to crisp it in the oven to give it a fresh crunch. The instructions are on the packet itself.

Lay it out like these and pop them in the oven for a bit. The end result is a super crunchy crispy taco shell.
Assembling. Here comes my favourite part. The fillings are really up to you. I stuck to lettuce, cheese and salsa sauce.

I should have shredded the lettuce but I used the entire leaf as a base instead. Ideal for lazy people.

I spoon a generous amount of the ground beef mixture onto the lettuce base.

I sprinkle lots of cheese on the top

I love this Salsa sauce! It was pretty pricey but very worth it.

Top up with Salsa sauce and you're good to go!

Dinners like these are fun! Be sure to get the ground beef as tasty as possible and your tacos will surely rock. You can also add sour cream, diced tomatoes or anything else you fancy. Overall, it's a pretty easy recipe. If you don't use up all the taco shells at one go, store it properly to use at another date.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Guest Blog: Yummy Fish Sambal

Hi there, The Sudden Cook readers! I'm Tanuja from Peonies and Pancakes and am so pleased to be guest blogging here. Like you, I’ve tried many recipes from this site and now, I’m really excited to be sharing one of my own.

My family and I are passionate about having home-cooked dinners. Usually, this consists of something simple like stir fried veggies or noodles but when I have some time to spend in the kitchen, I love whipping up a dish slightly more extravagant. Lately, that dish has been a delicious ‘fish sambal’. I’ve always had a love affair with this spicy dish yet never considered making it myself – it just looked too complicated –until my mom-in-law taught me how. Don’t let the long list of ingredients put you off. It’s definitely worth the extra trouble and will turn out perfect each time – a testament to the recipe! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

One more note: Make this when you have guests coming over and you’re sure to impress.



5 medium-sized slices of fresh tenggiri
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 potato cut in 1-inch squares
1 large onion, sliced
5 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger
2 tablespoon chilli paste/boh
3 stalks curry leaves
2 stalks lemongrass, cut into 1 inch length pieces or left whole, slightly crushed
1 tomato, cut into wedge
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp brown sugar
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
Salt, to taste
Cooking oil


Step 1: Rub fish slices with turmeric powder and allow to marinate for 10 min. Heat oil in a wok and deep-fry the fish slices until golden. Set aside on paper towels.

Step 2: Add the fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and lemongrass into the same oil (although you may have to remove some). Stir for a min.

Step 3Next, add the sliced onion, potato and tomato. Stir for 3 min, until fragrant.

Step 4: Add the ginger & garlic paste as well as the chilli paste/boh. Continue stirring for another 5 -7 min, making sure that the chilli paste is cooked properly.

Step 5: Stir in the water, coconut milk, tamarind paste, salt and sugar and allow to cook for a further 2 -3 min.

Step 6: Gently place the fried fish back into the gravy and mix well. Allow the gravy to simmer and thicken for a few min, until your desired thickness.Taste for salt and serve.

The Sudden Cook is mighty pleased to have my first guest blogger post an awesome recipe on the site. The fish sambal sounds awesome and I for one am gonna try this! Thanks Tanuja:)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mee Suah Soup with Minced Pork Ball and Pork Fillet

May was probably the busiest month I've had this year. Probably also the most fun. There were birthdays, there was a wedding, there was polling, there were election news - it was needless to say an interesting few weeks.

So here we are, beginning of June already. 

Sometime in April, my curiosity about mee suah began. I can't remember how. But I do recall my husband telling me he liked it and that only made me want to cook it. So I began googling some recipes and came across some from various bloggers.

It didn't seem too difficult to make and I seemed to have most of the ingredients. There is something quite exciting about trying a recipe which I never thought I would try. It could go either way but I believe therein lies the excitement. Sure if it sucks, you get disappointed but when it turns out you feel like you've really accomplished something.

Thank God, for me, the mee suah episode ended in the latter category.

Mee Suah with minced pork and pork fillet
Serves: 2

What you need:
100g mee suah [1 small packet]
1 litre water
1 piece ikan bilis stock cube
Minced pork
Pork fillet
2 eggs
Small amount of chives
Dash of white pepper powder

Garnish: Fried Shallots
This is the mee suah packet I use. Each packet is just the right amount of mee suah for 2 persons.

I use a combination of minced pork and pork fillets. Best to marinate them for a bit.

I break the egg into a bowl first so it holds its shape.

What to do:

Marinate minced pork and pork fillet each with:
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp light soya sauce
Dash of white pepper powder

I marinate the meat first to give them flavour. Do note, I don't add salt.


1) Empty 1 litre water into a pot and bring to a boil. Crumble the ikan bilis stock cube into the water and allow to come to a boil
2) Give the soup a mix. Add in pork fillets. Shape the minced pork into balls and drop into the soup. Allow to cook for 2 minutes.
3) Add in mee suah and chives. Almost immediately, add in the eggs (1 by 1 - break the 2 eggs into two separate bowls first so its easier to slide it into the soup base as it stays whole)
4) Once eggs cook a bit, turn off heat.
5) Dish into 2 bowls and garnish with fried shallots and dash of white pepper powder.
Be sure to boil the soup base thoroughly, Mee suah cooks fairly fast so  work fast!

Mee suah cooks fairly fast so be sure to:

  • Not cook the noodles too long
  • Serve the dish immediately


  • The soup was extremely flavourful
  • The egg yolk should be cooked slightly longer
  • I prefered the pork balls (minced pork) to the pork fillets
  • I would definitely make this again and hopefully this time I will nail it!

My other half said the only thing missing was some liver slices. Hmmm...I've never cooked liver - but that's a separate story. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easy to Make Mini Baked Cheesecake topped with Blueberries

Suitable: As a dessert dish

Pros: Can be made in advance and refrigerated, can also be kept in freezer

  • Take for a pot-luck
  • Bring them to the office party

Topping: Place fruits (preferably some berries) and icing sugar to complete the presentation

One of the easiest, tastiest and best recipes I discovered in 2012. I was surfing the web thinking of what to make for my sister’s Christmas party last year when I came across this recipe. I then made it for my own Christmas party and they were a hit. Once again, it’s from this website which I enjoy trying recipes from. I will reproduce the recipe here.

Mini Baked Cheesecake Recipe
Makes: 10

What you need:

150g Nice biscuits (website recommends Arnott’s brand)
70g butter, melted

250g cream cheese, softened (don’t use any form of Fat Free cream cheese, you won’t get the right results…at least I didn’t; use normal cream cheese)
75g caster sugar (1/3 cup)
1 large egg
20ml (1 tablespoon) lemon juice
100ml (5 tablespoons) thickened cream (I use ‘whipping cream’)

What to do:
Pre-heat oven to 180C

1) Line 10 holes of muffin pan (1/3 cup capacity holes) with patty/muffin cases. The website mentioned they use paper-lined foil cases that measure 8cm across the top and 5cm across the base.

2) Finely crush biscuits in a food processor or blender (I use a mortar and pestle). If you are using a food processor, the website recommends you add the melted butter to the biscuits crumbs and process until well-combined. If using a blender, tip the biscuit crumbs into a bowl and then stir in the butter.

3) Divide biscuit mixture evenly among cases (about one firmly packed tablespoon of biscuit mixture per case). Firmly press mixture down with the back of a teaspoon until smooth. Set bases aside while making the filling.

4) Beat cream cheese and caster sugar in an electric mixer or food processor. Stop the machine a couple of times to scrape down the sides and base of the bowl. When the mixture is completely smooth and creamy, add egg and beat until combined. Add lemon juice and cream and beat until well combined. Divide mixture evenly among the cases.

5) Bake cheesecake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes.

6) Remove cheesecakes from pan, place in an air-tight container and refrigerate.  Cheesecakes are ready to serve when they are cold and set. Remove cases before serving.

Cheesecakes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. They are suitable to freeze.

My Presentation:
Blueberries + Icing Sugar
  • Just before serving arrange all mini cheesecakes (minus liners) on a plate
  • Top each mini cheesecake with 4-5 blueberries
  • Dust icing sugar over

*You may use any berries according to your preference.

I usually make these when I host parties. Reason being, it can be made the day before and all I need to do on that day is decorate them right before serving!

Don’t forget to remove them from the liners/cases before plating them
Don't use 'Fat Free Cream Cheese' as the top of the cheesecake will look weird (not enough fat content perhaps?)

I made these mini caramelized onions and tomato quiche and these mini cheesecakes last year and they were a hit at the Christmas party!

If you prefer a cheesecake recipe which you don't have to bake but rather can just chuck in the fridge until set, try this.

Gotta love cheesecake in whatever shape or form!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Diego's Tortilla Wraps are Awesome!

In just one email they made me smile. In just one parcel they made my day.
Diego’s. Have you heard of them? They specialise in the manufacturing and distribution of Mexican inspired tortillas.

So there I was one fine day planning our dinner. I had it all mapped out in my head. I had some freaking awesome roasted lamb leftovers given by an aunt. I bought an avocado the day before and there was some lettuce in the fridge. So with this, I was gonna make – avocado lamb wraps.

I bought a packet of Diego’s wraps and headed home. Once there I had all the ingredients lined up and ready to be wrapped. I opened the pack of wraps (which has 6) and to my disappointment, they seemed to be sticking to each other. Rather than peeling them apart which might result in them breaking, I heated them in the microwave as per the packet instructions – hoping they would separate neatly once they were heated. This was not the case and the wraps were still stuck to each other.

So with no alternative, I tried pulling them apart and what I got were torn sheets of wraps which made for a very ugly dinner. The lamb and avocado were mighty good but I could not get over the wraps breaking.

So the next day I google-ed Diego’s and came across their website. I used their feedback form and vented. On that same day, they e-mailed me apologising profusely and promising to make up for it.

Couple of days later- they sent me 3 packets of their wraps, a tortilla warmer and some recipes to try out! It was so amazing of them and I hope those reading this who haven’t tried out their wraps will do so! I’ve used up all 3 packets using different variations of fillings and wish to share one recipe for a filling here below.

Minced Beef in Tortilla Wrap
By Amy Beh (from the Kuali section of The Star)

200g fillet of beef, coarsely minced
60g fresh white button mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped spring onion
5 pieces tortillas
Iceberg lettuce, whole leaves and shredded
Shredded carrot
 ½ tsp ginger juice
 ¼ tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp sugar
A pinch of salt
½ tsp light soy sauce
½ tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornflour

Put minced meat into a deep bowl and add seasoning. Mix well to combine. Add spring onion.
Heat olive oil in a non-stick saucepan. Sweat the white mushrooms for a minute. Add the beef and fry briskly until meat is cooked through. Dish out and set aside.
Microwave each piece of tortilla on Medium High for 10-15 seconds. Remove and place on a flat plate.
Layer with a whole leaf of iceberg lettuce and 1-2 tablespoons of beef mixture. Add a little shredded lettuce and carrot. Wrap neatly and serve immediately.

My Notes:
I omitted the carrot and spring onions
I wrapped it with spreading a bit of tomato paste on the wrap, layering the beef mixture and the lettuce on top.

After the lamb and avocado combo, I found this slightly underwhelming.
I think I would have preferred beef strips as opposed to minced beef.

Another quick and easy filling is marinating chicken breast with some Nando’s Peri-Peri sauce (which I always have in my fridge) and grilling at 220C for 15 - 20 minutes, turning over once. Be sure to baste the breast with olive oil before putting into the oven. Once done, cut into strips and use as wrap filling together with lettuce.

The tortilla warmer is awesome - just pop all the tortillas inside, place in a microwave oven and heat.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies!

So I’ve come to realise baking cookies can be quite tricky. I mean making the cookie dough part is kinda easy but once it gets into the oven, that’s when you lose control.
I’ve made cookies that have:

Burnt at the base
Come out in uneven shapes
     Come out in uneven colours (the top is brown but the rim of the cookie is brown-er
      Not spread out as thinly as seen in the recipe book

So with this recipe, I found that the cookies did not spread out as thinly as in the recipe book. So that was the only bummer, cause I wanted them to look like how they did in the book, all large, perfectly round with a medium thickness (ala the Subway cookies).

But they turned out like how most of my cookies usually do. Not too large, round here and there with a slightly-more-than-I-like thickness. Looks aside they tasted great. I really liked them. While I just made a batch of crunchy cookies, I was looking to make one with a slightly more soft and chewy texture. And these cookies are just that.

I got this recipe from an awesome cook book my sister gave me for Christmas. I must say that the photography in this book is top notch. It really makes me want to be a food stylist if there is such a thing. The recipes are targeted at beginners and they start with the simplest recipes such as omelettes and mash potatoes and progress to more advanced recipes such as lasagna. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Source: beginners, STEP-BY-STEP; the perfect guide for new cooks

What you need:
175g plain flour
 1tsp baking powder
125g soft margarine [I used butter]
85g light muscovado sugar (I used the regular brown sugar I had)
55g caster sugar
½tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
125g plain chocolate chips

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 190C. Lightly grease two lined-baking trays [I use 1 baking tray and bake them in two batches]

Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat until well combined. [I usually beat the butter and sugar first, add in the egg and beat, followed by the vanilla essence and mix, then lastly sift in the flour and baking powder, then add in the chocolate chips and stir]

Place tablespoons of cookie dough on the baking trays spacing them well apart to allow for spreading during cooking.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. [I baked them for about 12 minutes]

Using a palette knife transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. [I usually leave the cookies on the tray for 5 minutes after I take them out (to continue the cooking process) and only transfer to wire rack after].

I liked the soft and chewy texture of the cookies.
Overall, I would make it again but would use this recipe if I wanted the crunch factor.

Lastly I would like to wish all my readers a Happy Chinese New Year!

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