Recipe: Pork Belly Kimchi Stew

You know what I love eating on a cold, miserable rainy day kinda evening?

Kimchi stew. It makes any rainy day instantly okay. But of course, if it’s cold and miserable outside, you won’t want to leave your comfortable, dry house. …So, I didn’t. I stayed home and made my own kimchi soup / stew instead and boyyyy, was it good! Too good not to share. First off – I am not very knowledgeable about Korean food, so this may not taste like the best kinda authentic stuff, but it’s damn well good enough for me, and I reckon I have pretty high (or snobbish, depends how you look at it) standards for food so I urge you to give this a go.

My favorite Korean foods are the BBQ meats, seafood pancake, and of course.. kimchi stews! Unfortunately, kimchi stews are quite pricey if you order it in a restaurant, and I never understood why. Soups must be one of the easiest and cheapest foods to cook at home. I love making soup. I love it even better when it’s hot and spicy kimchi stew! There’s something about kimchi that’s very appetizing. It’s crunchy, chewy, spicy, sour, and almost a little sweet… literally a burst of flavor in your mouth.

I felt compelled to share this recipe, because literally anyone can make it. I always hesitate to post recipes that are too complicated. For this pork belly kimchi stew, even a hopeless cook in the kitchen could throw these ingredients together in a pot, then magic happens!

Ingredients (4 serves):

  • 500g kimchi, with juice
  • 300g sliced tofu, firm or soft to your preference
  • 200g golden mushroms / your favorite asian mushrooms
  • 300g thinly sliced pork belly / you can replace this with, or add on beef slices or chicken meat
  • half a medium onion, sliced
  • 1 tom yam stock cube
  • 1 chicken stock cube 
  • 1 liter of water
  • a splash of sesame oil, black pepper & spring onions for garnishing
  • steamed rice or instant noodles to your preference

Directions: 

  1. Bring a medium pot filled with 1 liter of water to a boil, then pour in the kimchi, onions, tom yam and chicken stock cubes while stirring, then let the soup simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Taste test your soup at this point. If desired, water can be added to dilute the taste, or the soup base can be left to boil for a further few minutes to intensify the flavors. Kimchi stew is known for its very strong flavors.
  3. Once satisfied with the soup base, add into the pot your mushrooms, tofu and meat, cooking on medium to high heat for another 3-5 minutes, or until meat is properly done.
  4. If eating with noodles, I recommend turning OFF the heat, then adding your instant noodles to the pot, as it will cook very quickly and will continue to cook through as you are serving & eating it. Soggy noodles are awful, so be very careful with not overcooking them.
  5. Serve your kimchi stew very hot in a stone or thick bowl if you have one, and don’t forget to add your garnishing on the top! 

It’s such a simple recipe, but it’s the classic and fuss-free ones like this that I find myself going back to time after time. When you cook often enough, it’s not about what’s the best meal you can whip up for your taste buds…. it’s more like, “what delicious thing can I create with leftover ingredients in the fridge”, or “what if I only have 30 mins to prep and cook?!”  

I do like eating my kimchi stew with al dente instant noodles instead of rice, however, it’s important to note that if you’re having it with rice, you would want the soup to be thicker and more heavy on the flavors than if you were to be eating it with noodles. I used golden / enoki mushrooms, but really you can also add in shiitake mushrooms, shimeiji mushrooms and it’ll be absolutely wonderful. I just used whatever I had on hand that day, and that’s my style of cooking. If I had more meats, I would’ve also thrown in some chicken sausages and other random ingredients in there too.. have you heard of a Korean army stew before? ;) I like that concept of “anything goes”.. into this pot of soup. If you like it more spicy, throw in some cut chilli, and if you like it really sour like my boyfriend does, I recommend you adding vinegar for that extra acidic kick. I followed the recipe I’ve given above without adding anything extra, and I loved it the way it is. You can really decide to include, or omit any ingredients to your own liking for soups like these, because they’re so easy to handle and adjust!

There you have it: your own soul warming pot of kimchi stew!

—————————————————————————————————

P.S – It’s come to my attention that some people have been re-posting or re-distributing my recipes online without my permission. This is quite dismaying to learn of. I only post original recipes from trial and error ways in my own kitchen, and I work hard to bring you guys interesting content for your enjoyment. So I hope you’ll have enough respect, or morals, to include a link back to this blog / post or insert due credit when sharing my stuff online. Thank you!

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

Recipe: Mac & Cheese and Deli Sandwich by Perfect Italiano!

I love cheese. Cheese loves me.

If you don’t like cheese at all, there’s a chance we could never, ever be friends. Just like how I can’t understand why some people do not like fluffy bunnies. Cheese and bunnies are life.

I can almost never say no to something that has oozy melty cheese all over it. It is my ideal #foodporn. I don’t really take much of the stronger stuff like blue cheese or even parmesan, I definitely do not eat cheese on its own with a glass of wine, but I DO like it when it’s paired properly. For example, blue cheese in a gourmet burger or parmesan on bread or pasta! Yum.

As with any avid cook, I have my favorite brands for the choice of ingredients that I use in my home cooked meals, and today’s star of the post is… Perfect Italiano!

Perfect Italiano is a cooking cheese brand that adds simple Italian flair to everyday family meals! My most used product from Perfect Italiano is their good ol’ traditional Mozzarella cheese. They have both the grated version and the block version, for the recipes shown I used the block version. It has a soft, stretchy texture that’s wonderfully stringy when pulled apart, which makes it the ideal cheese to use for many different dishes because it can be baked, made into sauces, or just out of the packet, sliced.  Even people who don’t normally like cheesy foods can enjoy a good mozzarella dish thanks to its subtle, creamy flavor. With this awesome cheese, imma show you guys how to create two delicious dishes you can enjoy & share with your family and friends!

First perfectly cheesy dish from today’s line up: Baked Mac & Cheese!

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 300ml full cream milk
  • 200g sausages, chopped (any you like, I used chorizos)
  • 50g bacon, chopped (optional, or substitute with more sausages)
  • 220g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 160g spinach leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small / medium onion, diced
  • 300g macaroni pasta (or other short pastas like penne, fussili)
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 250g Perfect Italiano Mozzarella, grated
  • A handful of breadcrumbs 
  • A handful of Perfect Italiano Perfect Bakes

Directions:

1. Boil the pasta with a pinch of salt and a drip of olive oil until 95% cooked. Texture should be slightly undercooked or very al dente, because further cooking will be done in the oven later on. Rinse with cold water, toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and set aside.

2. Sautee the onions & garlic in a pan with some butter or cooking oil for 2 minutes.

3. Add the spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes, bacon and sausages and then stir fry on low heat until bacon and sausages are about cooked. It doesn’t matter if the meat is still a little pink. Empty your cooked contents into a deep large bowl.

4. In the same frying pan, melt 2 tbsp butter under low heat until it turns liquid. Immediately add 2 tbsp plain flour to butter, and stir constantly.

5. Once flour is dissolved, pour in milk and grated Perfect Italiano Mozzarella, continue stirring with gentle heat until cheese sauce becomes thick and smooth. Remove from heat once cheese sauce is of the right consistency to prevent overcooking. 

6. Combine cooked contents, pasta & cheese sauce together! At this time, do a taste test and add salt & pepper to your own preference. Pour into oven-safe baking dish.

7. Sprinkle top generously with Perfect Italiano Perfect Bakes, and breadcrumbs. If you have paprika, put some of that on too, for a perfect golden color after baking!

Perfect Italiano Perfect Bakes is a full-flavoured Cheddar blend with a little Mozzarella for stretch and Parmesan for bite. This special blend does not turn oily, and bakes to a delicious golden brown crust. Since I can’t resist melted cheese, it only made sense to complement my Mozzarella from Perfect Italiano with Perfect Bakes on top.

8. Pop the dish into preheated oven of 200 degrees, & bake for 10 minutes to finish off!

..Ready for some oozy gooey food porn?!


Now that is one very pretty bed of mac & cheese. Imagine laying that down on the dinner table for your family to tuck into! I’m sure you’ll be their favorite person in the house. Yes, I am my own favorite person in my house.

Check out that perfect crust on the top.. *content sigh* Thanks to a thin layer and of course, Perfect Italiano Perfect Bakes! (and paprika, it does wonders for color)

I’ve switched things up quite a bit by adding spinach, cherry tomatoes, bacon and sausage meat, making it a very substantial meal. I know the classic mac & cheese doesn’t have all these extra ingredients, but trust me when I say you’re never going to look at plain mac & cheese again after having this awesome version!

After all… what’s there to complain about? The yumminess factor just increased exponentially. Look at it just overflowing with wonderfully stretchy Perfect Italiano mozzarella. My kinda happiness. It is one of my favorite pastas to make for myself and dinner parties, and there is NEVER any leftovers!

.
.
.
.
.

If you’re looking for an easier, fuss-free (and healthier) option to use Perfect Italiano Mozzarella to make a meal for your family, I’ve got you covered too!

This Deli Sandwich is totally simple, and something busy people or amateur cooks will have the time + skills to prepare, because everything will take less than 30 minutes.

Ingredients (serves as many or as little as you want it to):

  • Sliced whole grain bread
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Sliced ham (your favorite type, smoked salmon would work too)
  • Sliced avocadoes
  • Lettuce (or any salad leaves you like)
  • Mayonnaise or other dressing if you don’t like dry sandwiches
  • Perfect Italiano Mozzarella or Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus
  • A knob of butter

Directions:

1. Butter the bread slices & sprinkle with garlic / onion powder if you have some at home (optional)

2. Load on plenty of Perfect Italiano Mozzarella or Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus into a heaping pile on top of your bread slice! I used a mixture of both! It may look like a lot, but it melts down to a pretty reasonable amount. Or maybe I’m just crazy.
3. Pop the bread slices into a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 6 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted. 

4. Once the bread slices are out, you may start assembling your sandwich! I like displaying my top bread slice with the melted cheese side up for extra yumminess factor.

Easy as 1, 2, Cheese!

Tell me this doesn’t make you salivate.

…Liar!

I’ve garnished mine with a cherry tomato on top, held in place with a toothpick through my sandwich. This would be an ideal lunch for people on-the-go, because you can quickly make this in the morning and bring it to work!

A balanced meal that was ridiculously easy to prepare. You’ve got your carbs and fibers, vegetables, protein, vitamins and dairy all on one plate.

For more Perfect Italiano meal ideas and suggestions / recipes on how to use their cheeses in your everyday home cooking, check out their website here

If you do try any of my recipes (they are original!) please do tag me on Instagram at @shiberty #shibertycooks, and also tag #perfectitalianosg so that we can view your successful dishes! ;)

Happy cheesing!

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

Recipe: Matcha Pistachio Tofu Cheesecake

Today’s recipe is as healthy as a dessert or a cake is going to get.

You won’t need an oven or any baking skills for this no-bake cheesecake, because it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy! It’s so light & easy on the palette, you can enjoy it with little guilt, even if you’re trying to watch your diet.
This Matcha Pistachio Tofu Cheesecake has a texture that’s a cross between a pudding and a real cheesecake.

It’s not rich like a New York Cheesecake, in fact it’s the very opposite… it just glides over your tongue and slides down your throat instead of getting stuck in your teeth and the roof of your mouth, making you feel thirsty and greedy. If you’re looking for something really rich and indulgent, this is not it. A tofu cheesecake is intentionally light on the taste buds. My mom would approve of this, I think!

Ingredients (7-8 slices):

Tofu Cheesecake Filling

  • 300g silken tofu
  • 250g SCS cream cheese
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 200g natural plain yoghurt / sour cream
  • 50g full cream milk
  • 15g gelatin powder
  • 50ml warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Biscuit Base

  • 200g digestive biscuits
  • 80g melted SCS butter

Matcha Pistachio Topping

  • 20g matcha powder
  • 100g crushed salted pistachios

SCS is my preferred brand of butter for its premium quality & top notch smooth, creamy texture. It’s an extremely popular brand used by a lot of bakers in Singapore since it became a household name many years ago. I used SCS cream cheese for my tofu cheesecake filling & SCS butter for the biscuit base.

Other recipes I’ve used SCS butter for include buttercream, butter cookies, cupcakes & cakes, spreading on toast for breakfast.. I always insist on using real butter for my cooking & baking. Shortening, margarine or other forms of alternative have just never cut it for me. You can definitely taste the difference when you don’t use the good stuff. And when I bake or cook, I HAVE to use the best stuff. I will settle for nothing less, it would be a dishonor to my own cooking and dignity. I’m that particular about it.

In other words… To me, butter is gold!

Directions:

  1. Line a removable base baking pan (8″ round size) with baking paper and spray with non-stick cooking oil.
  2. Crush the digestive biscuits into fine crumbs and combine with melted butter.
  3. Press tightly into cake pan with the back of a spoon. Leave baking pan in the freezer until required later.
  4. Dissolve and stir gelatin powder in warm water. Set aside for use later.
  5. Empty the rest of tofu cheesecake filling ingredients into an electrix mixer, and mix until well combined, around 1 minute. Add the dissolved gelatin at the end, stirring thoroughly.
  6. Remove baking pan from the freezer. Pour your tofu cheesecake mixture into the pan.
  7. Sprinkle the top generously with matcha powder and pistachios. 
  8. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or until firm to the touch, when it doesn’t wobble too much when you shake the pan.
Make sure you use a cake pan with a removable base, because that’s the only way you’re going to get your tofu cheesecake out without wrecking it!

When it’s ready to be served, I run along the edges of the cake with a warm butter knife, scraping against the pan to make sure the edges come out as smooth as possible.

This recipe is so effortless and elegant – just mix away, then after 4 hours in the fridge.. you’ve got your dessert! No fuss, just pure pleasure. The hints of matcha and traces of pistachio complement the cheesecake wonderfully. Subtlety is everything in this recipe
Most people like to mix the matcha powder into the filling, which makes it end up looking like some sort of weird green cheese block at the end. I’ve done things differently by layering it generously over the top because the presentation is so much prettier and as long as you sprinkle enough of it, the green tea notes will still be there. Just on the top, so it doesn’t alter the taste of the rest of the cheesecake.
On this note, though, I have to mention that pistachios and matcha are not a necessity in this recipe. If you don’t like green tea or you’re allergic to nuts, try replacing the topping with a tangy & sweet fruit like passionfruit puree or raspberry compote. Equally delish!

Enjoy your perfect little slice of homemade Matcha Pistachio Tofu Cheesecake!

—————————————————————————————————————


SCS knows how much I love baking and sharing about my kitchen adventures on my blog, so they have generously offered to gift 5 of my lucky followers / aspiring bakers with their very own SCS Bakers’ Kit, worth $128!


Filled with baking goodies & essentials such as measuring spoons & cups, heatproof oven mittens, baking trays and silicone moulds.. now if only I had one of those when I started out baking… would’ve made my life a lot easier! Never under estimate the power of the right tools in the kitchen.

To win yourself a set of SCS Bakers’ Kit, all you have to do is:

  1. “Like” SCS Facebook page.
  2. Leave a comment on this blog post describing why you prefer SCS dairy or how you personally enjoy using SCS products, be it in your baking / kitchen / simply spreading over toast!
  3. Don’t forget to include your name & email address.
  4. Winners will be chosen by 28 February 2014 and contacted via email shortly after.

For more information & news about SCS Dairy and access to yummy free recipes to use their products in, visit their website!

xoxo,
Jess
xoxo,
Jess
Previous Posts12345