Braised Bitter Gourd Chicken (苦瓜焖鸡)

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Although I can't stand the bitterness of bitter gourd, this is a dish I crave for very often. Sometimes I just miss the taste of it, eat it, hate it and soon after, miss it again. I've been trying different ways to reduce the bitterness of bitter gourd and found that soaking it in salted water and boiling it prior to cooking really helped.


  • 500g chicken - chopped
  • 1 onion – cut in ring shape
  • 4 cloves garlic – sliced
  • 1 whole bitter gourd
  • ½ tbs Taucu minced bean paste (碎豆醬)
  • Corn starch/ water slurry


  • ½ tbs Oyster sauce
  • ½ tbs Chicken stock
  • ½ tbs Light soya sauce
  • 1 tsp Sugar


  • Slice bitter gourd and soak in water + ~2 tbs salt for at least 1 hr.
  • Pour bitter gourd together with salt water into a pot and bring to boil.
  • Let it boil for a minute then drain. Rinse bitter gourd in cold water.
  • Heat up oil and sauté garlic and onions till soft.
  • Add in chicken and taucu minced bean paste fry till slightly brown.
  • Add in bitter gourd, seasonings A and enough water to cover half of the ingredients, simmer on medium heat for 20mins or until chicken is cooked.
  • Thicken with corn starch/water slurry.

Black Bean Fried Rice

  • 1½ cups cooked rice
  • 2-3 tbs dried black beans (豆豉)
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 onion - diced
  • 1 red chilli - sliced
  • ¾ cup mixed vegetable
  • ¾ cup fish cakes – cut into cubes
  • 2 crab sticks – cut into cubes
  • Soya sauce
  • Sugar


  • Sauté garlic, black beans and onion with oil.
  • Add chili and fry till fragrant.
  • Add in mixed vegetable. Lightly fry.
  • Mix in fish cakes and vegetables, stir fry until vegetables are soft.
  • Remove all from heat, leave aside for later use.
  • Heat oil in pan, add in rice. Lightly fry.
  • Crack eggs into pan and fry with rice.
  • Mix in previously fried ingredients into egg fried rice when egg is cooked and dry.
  • Add soya sauce and sugar to taste. (really nice with sweet dark soya sauce (kicap manis) too!)


Saturday, 21 June 2008



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Wednesday, 18 June 2008

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Mushroom Soup Pasta with Tuna

Sunday, 15 June 2008

  • Pasta (any kind, I prefer penne and shells)
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cans of tuna
  • 1 carrot - diced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

  • Cook pasta till half cooked. Drain.
  • Heat up soup in a pot.
  • Pour in the brine from the cans of tuna.
  • Add in carrots and sugar.
  • Toss in pasta. Cook untill pasta is done.
  • Mix in tuna.
  • Add salt to taste.


Smoked Salmon with Caramelised Onions

Can't remember why I bought a pack of smoked salmon. Might have wanted to put it in my tuna casserole but thought it might be a bit of a waste. So I came up with the idea of having it with caramelised onions. Well, caramelised onions go with almost anything! It was yummy!

  • Smoked salmon - shredded
  • 1 large onion - cut into wedges
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • Salt
  • For caramelised onions. Heat up oil in pan. Add in onions, a pinch of salt and brown sugar. Lower heat to medium/ low. Stir occasionally. Cook onions until browned.
  • Place on serving plate.
  • Topped with smoked salmon.
  • Sprinkle on some black pepper and enjoy!


Sirloin Steak with Wild Mushroom Sauce

Friday, 13 June 2008

We had steak with wild mushroom sauce the day after chicken chop cause Jeff wanted steak and I wanted to eat the mushroom sauce again. Added a knob of butter into the wild mushroom sauce this time and it was more fragrant.

  • 2 slices (~250g each) Sirloin (~3/4 inch thick)
  • Coarsely ground black peppercorn
  • Salt
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs olive oil

Wild mushroom sauce


  • Thaw sirloins to room temperature 1 hr before cooking.
  • Sprinkle salt on both sides.
  • Coat both sides with black pepper.
  • Heat butter and olive oil in pan.
  • Place steak in pan when oil in pan starts smoking (do not overheat pan).
  • Flip over after 1 min.
  • Remove after 1 min.
  • Cover with foil and let it rest.
  • Pour away excess oil/ butter after frying steak. Toss the asparagus in leftover oil/ butter. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper. Serve with steak.

Chicken Chop with Wild Mushroom Sauce

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Broccoli and chicken. That's all the fresh groceries we had in the fridge yesterday. Found half a bag of dried wild mushrooms left that I bought from Florence last year so I decided to make chicken chop with wild mushroom sauce. I've always wanted to try chicken chop but Jeff has the impression that chicken chop is always very dry and tasteless. Tried it yesterday and Jeff said it was a good experiment and yum! Very juicy and tender! The wild mushroom sauce was just yummilicious!

  • 2 chicken legs - deboned
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • All purpose flour

Wild mushroom sauce:

  • 1 cup dried wild mushrooms
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ cube chicken stock
  • Corn starch slurry
  • Black pepper


  • Couscous
  • Mixed herbs
  • Paprika
  • Chicken stock cube
  • Black pepper
  • Hot water (enough to cover couscous)


  • Flatten and tenderise deboned chicken with a meat tenderising hammer.
  • Season with salt and black pepper on both sides. Leave aside for at least 10 mins.
  • Beat egg in a bowl.
  • Spread lots of flour onto a plate.
  • Dip chicken in beaten egg.
  • Transfer to plate with flour and coat on both sides.
  • Pan fry until golden brown on both sides.
  • Sprinkle on more black pepper and serve with wild mushroom sauce.

Wild mushroom sauce:

  • Wash mushrooms thoroughly.
  • Soak mushrooms in water until softened.
  • Pour everything including water used for soaking into a pot and bring to boil.
  • Dissolve in chicken stock cube.
  • Add Worcestershire sauce and sugar.
  • Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickened slightly.
  • Further thicken with corn starch slurry.
  • Season to taste.
  • Mix together couscous, mixed herbs, paprika.
  • Dissolve chicken stock in hot water and pour over couscous.
  • Cover lid and leave aside for about 10 mins.
  • Remove lid, sprinkle on some pepper and mix around with a fork.


Tomato Fried Rice

I crave for fried rice ever so often. It's like my comfort food - a simple yet very satisfying dish. Fried rice with tomato sauce is one of my favourite version of fried rice. Just add whatever leftover ingredients you have in your fridge, fry and enjoy!

Ingredients: serves 2

  • 1 ½ cups cooked rice
  • 2 eggs + ½ tbs oyster sauce – beaten
  • ½ can spam – cut into cubes
  • ½ cup ham – chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup cabbage – chopped into thin strips
  • ½ red chilli – sliced (optional)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Oyster sauce
  • Pepper


  • Fry spam until golden brown.
  • Add in ham, stir fry lightly.
  • Mix in cabbage, ½ tbs oyster sauce and chilli.
  • Add 1-2 tbs of water and stir fry until cabbage is cooked.
  • Place all ingredients in a plate for later use.
  • Heat up oil in pan, add eggs.
  • Mix in rice.
  • Add tomato sauce (a lot of it, just squeeze your heart out!) and 1 tbs oyster sauce, mix evenly.
  • Add more tomato sauce/ oyster sauce/ pepper to taste.
  • Mix in other ingredients.
  • Ketchup and oyster sauce go really well together, just like tom yum and soya sauce.

Glutinuous Rice Dumplings (Zongzi - 粽子)

Friday, 6 June 2008

The Dragon Boat festival (Duanwu jie, 端午节) falls on the 8th of June this year. It's one of the many Chinese traditional festivals and to me, it's zongzi festival. Zongzi (粽子) is Chinese rice dumplings made of glutinuous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves. According to Wikipedia it is traditionally eaten to commemorate the death of a famous Chinese poet - Qu Yuan. My grandmother used to make them and when you see zongzi in the house, you'll know it's dragon boat festival. Nowadays, you can get zongzi anytime of the year and you just keep wondering when exactly is dragon boat festival. I know it's dragon boat festival mainly because other food bloggers are posting recipes of zongzi. I made some a few years ago and will not be making any this year as it involves a lot of work.

Ingredients: 12 medium dumplings For glutinous rice prep:

  • 500g glutinous rice
  • 1 cup braised meat sauce
  • ~1/2 cup shallots – minced
  • 1 tbs dried small shrimps – soaked and minced
  • 1 tbs dark soya sauce
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs concentrated chicken stock

For bamboo leaves prep:

  • Bamboo leaves
  • Strings (* don’t use bamboo strings, break easily)


For braised meat (滷肉):

  • Add in roasted chesnuts to braised pork belly and refrigerate overnight.
  • Scoop off oil (white surface layer).
  • Reheat and take out mushrooms, pork and chestnuts. Leave aside for later use.

For glutinous rice prep:

  • Soak glutinous rice for at least 4 hrs/ overnight.
  • Sauté shallots and small dried shrimps.
  • Stir in rice when shallots are browned.
  • Add in braised meat sauce, dark soya sauce, oyster sauce, chicken stock and stir until all sauce evaporated.
  • Leave aside for later use.

For bamboo leaves prep:

  • Boil bamboo leaves and strings until bamboo leaves are soft.
  • Wash under running water until clean.
  • Remove hard tips and leave aside for later use.


  • Using 2 leaves, fold them into a cone shape. (Fold the leaves so the two opposite sides parallel to you meet with the V at the top.)
  • Fill 1/3 of the cone with glutinous rice.
  • Add in mushroom, chestnut, an egg yolk and meat.
  • Fill the cone with glutinous rice. Flatten surface.
  • Fold the V-top part down towards cone.
  • Fold the left side ‘wings’ around the filling, then wrap the right side ‘wings’ around to form a pyramid shape.
  • Tie with string.


  • Place dumplings in boiling water and boil for 40-50 mins.

Baked Pasta

This is what we like to do with out leftover ham and cheese from our weekend toasty treats.


  • 1/2 baking bowl of Pasta (I personally prefer seashell shaped ones or Penne)
  • 1 canned chopped tomatoes
  • Mixed vegetable
  • Frankfurters/ ham/ bacon/ minced meat
  • 1 large onion – diced
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2-1 tbs sugar
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cheese (We like a mixture of mature cheddar and mozzarella)


  • Boil pasta till half cooked. Drain.
  • Sauté onion and mixed vegetables with olive oil, a dash of salt and sugar till softened.
  • Add in frankfurters/ ham/ bacon/ seafood and lightly fry.
  • Stir in pasta.
  • Mix in canned tomatoes and tomato paste.
  • Dissolve in stock cube.
  • Add salt/ sugar to taste.
  • Pour everything in baking bowl, sprinkle on some black pepper, top with cheese and bake at 200°C until cheese is browned (~20 mins).

Steamed Chicken with Chilli Oil

Sunday, 1 June 2008

One of Jeff's creations. Chilli oil is surprisingly addictive. We've been adding it into almost everything like stir fries, fried rice, fried noodles and even steamed chicken.

  • 500g Chicken – deboned
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs chilli oil flakes (drain oil, use only flakes)
  • Mix everything together.
  • Steam on high heat for about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

Shaoxing Drunken Chicken (绍兴醉鸡) II

Did another version of Shaoxing drunken chicken earlier this week. This is much more straightforward as compared to the cold version. I usually add black fungus to this dish, but ran out of it.


  • 500g Chicken – chopped into pieces
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • ~5 slices of ginger
  • 2 stalks spring onions - cut into 1.5 inch pieces


  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs Light soya sauce
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tbs Sugar
  • 1 cup + 1 tbs Shaoxing wine


  • Sauté ginger and spring onions with sesame oil until fragrant.
  • Add in chicken, and stir fry until chicken is slightly browned.
  • Add in 1 cup of Shaoxing wine and the rest of A, cover lid and simmer until chicken is cooked and gravy thickened.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Remove from heat, drizzle on 1 tbs Shaoxing wine.


Steamed Chicken with Dang Gui

This is a dish we eat very often cause it's simple, tasty, and healthy.

  • 500g chicken – deboned
  • ~5 slices dang gui (当归, Chinese angelica)
  • 1 handful gei chi (枸杞, Chinese wolfberry)
  • 1 tbs shaoxing wine
  • Sesame oil


  • ~½ tsp salt
  • ~½-1 tbs soya sauce
  • ~½ tsp pepper


  • Mix chicken, dang gui, gei chi and A.
  • Steam on high heat for 15mins or until chicken is cooked.
  • Remove from heat, add shaoxing wine and drizzle a bit of sesame oil.
  • Optional ingredients: black fungus and chinese mushrooms.