Posts Tagged ‘plum sauce’

Porkchops in Asian Sesame and Sour Plum Sauce Marinate

May 20, 2008

All you carnivores out there… Welcome to my world!

Embracing my Chinese heritage and taking advantage of the easily available fresh ingredients in Singapore, I came up with this special pork roast recipe during the last Christmas Feast for my meat loving family.

Preparation time: 40 min + optional overnight marinade time

Cooking time: 1 hour per kilo of pork in 160 degree C oven



  1. Tahini Sesame paste (find out brand) – available at Cold Storage
  2. Sour plum sauce (available in provision stores or supermarkets)
  3. Roasted sesame seeds – optional
  4. 5 Spices powder
  5. Paprika – optional
  6. Soya Sauce + a dash of Sesame oil
    (for extra flavor: add finely diced up ginger, garlic and onion and dump into microwave to cook in soya sauce for 1 min)
  7. Garlic powder
  8. White Pepper
  9. Salt


  1. Rack of pork chops or simply use pork roast cuts

Step 1) Preparing the marinate

Mix equal portion of sour plum sauce and sesame paste, make sure it is enough to fully coat the meat cut you have chosen

Add all the other marinade ingredients into the sour plum and sesame paste mixture. You can taste the marinate to make sure the taste is right for you. Add more salt if it is not salty enough, but not the soya sauce, we won’t want the paste to be too runny. *Don’t worry, the marinate is edible till you put it on the meat*

Should look like a thick paste.

Optional: How to prepare Roasted sesame

Step A) Pan-fry sesame seeds over medium flame on a non stick pan till it turns into light golden brown.

From this whitish color:

…to this light golden brown color

Step B) Pound/Grind the roasted sesame seeds.

I luUrve my mum’s old school stone pound, she was using it even before i was born!

Just slightly crush seeds to release the fragrance. Pounding them into fine powder is not necessary, unless you have the time….

Step 2) Preparing the meat

I chose the cut with the longer rib bones and I will be removing the top most layer of skin (chewy layer where most of the gelatin and collagen is found – can be used for preparing braised pork or soup).

I intentionally requested the butcher to leave the pig skin on for me to remove because I want to keep a thick layer of fats as the extra layer of fats adds to the meat’s juiciness – The butcher usually cut a good amount of fat off together with the top layer of skin so that he can resell it later.

How to remove the skin:

Keep the knife point right below the layer of skin and hold it at an angle. Slowly slice the skin away, be careful not to cut yourself when you are concentrating on the meat!

WARNING: If you are not confident, don’t even contemplate the above action. Get the butcher to do it and tell him to keep most of the fats on!

After removing the skin, rub the meat with salt and pepper – especially when dealing with cuts with a thick layer of meat . Flip the rack over and make shallow incision between ribs to help get the flavor into the meat.

Step 3) Slather on the marinate on the meat!

Now wrap the the marinated rack in waxed/baking/parchment paper, then another layer of aluminum foil to prevent it from drying up in the fridge. Put into the fridge to marinade overnight.

Step 4) Ready to cook!

Reheat the oven to 180 degree C.

Unwrapping the marinated rack you will see that the marinate is stuck to the paper and on the meat. Scrap off excess marinate both of the meat and the waxed paper, we will need to use it later.

The meat going into the oven should look like this:

To make a good roast, I advice that you get a good roasting pan. I got mine from Pantry Magic at Holland Village. If not, get those aluminum roasting pans.

Put some oil in the pan and heat it up in the oven. Then when the oil is hot, bring the pan out, place the meat rack into the pan, top side down. This will sear the top part of the meat to seal in the fats.

Bring the roast out 30 minutes later, flip it over and pour the marinate paste over the pork rack. Return the rack into the oven, placing the meat at the lowest level in the oven to prevent too much burning of the marinate. Cook for another hour plus, depending on the weight of the meat.

The best bet would be to get a meat thermometer:

*Used camera phone, thus the low resolution*

Poke the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, should read 160 degree C if the meat is cooked. Alternatively, poke roast with a tooth pick, the juice running out should be clear.

Step 5) Ready to serve!

Bring the rack out, let cool for about 5 minutes to allow the meat to contract and retain its juice in the meat. Then serve on a large chopping board. I sprinkled some sesame seeds over the top as garnish,

This photo seriously don’t do the rack justice…

Look at how yummy the meat is…

Serve the meat at the table. Cut it right in front of your guest or family so that they will drool with anticipation!

*My family thinks that the whole process of waiting is absolutely torturous… – I would like to thank them for waiting graciously while I took the photos*


Its the expression that counts…. Thanks Bowen


Oops…. Off to the gym…


Wet Markets in Singapore… My trip there

May 14, 2008

How familiar are you with your wet market? I find that there are lesser young Singaporeans visiting the wet markets today, which in my opinion is a big mistake if you are a real foodie or cook, because this is the place where you find the freshest and finest ingredients.

Contrary to what most people assume, wet markets aren’t that wet and dirty after all, though i do agree it does smell a little. Wet market have evolved to be be very visitor friendly for beginners as well as to avid fresh grocery shoppers. The food is definitely clean too. And most important of all you get a good deal for many things.

There are cases where some grocers/butcher do overcharge if you are a newbie (not the ones i introduce here
), I trick is to hear what the other people in the market ask and watch what they do, especially when they ask for prices. As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as Romans does”.

I visited my favourite wet market this morning at Geylang St 17 and as usual, I got a cart full of fresh goodies to prepare simple dishes to drool over. Unfortunately, I can’t link to the map now as the street directory SG is down – will post it up once it is ready!

First of all, let me introduce you to Uncle Willy, the Butcher (Please don’t laugh, its really his name)!

I must say, Uncle Willy has the freshest pork cuts in town and at the most reasonable price. I have been patronizing his store for about 3 years and he has never once failed me.

From the lovely pork ribs for soup, lean meat mince for pasta, fatty pork belly for stew and even the pig’s kidney for my sister’s confinement meals, they are all fresh without the “piggy” smell.

Being in a household of 10 family members including my dearest housekeepers, I buy a significant amount of meat… yes we are all carnivorous. Of which, my favorite is the full rack of pork chops I always get from him. They tend to take longer to prepare, but the outcome of juicy chops is worth much more then the effort required.

You can find him in the market right at the corner of the meat section (#01-97), or call him directly at 91858593 to order the meat cuts you want, usually 2 days in advance. Let him know that you are recommended by the young girl who lives at Katong. Haha~

Next up: The must visit provision shop!

I call them the king and queen of spices! Uncle and Auntie always give me the best tips on how to cook with spices and they often help me decide what to cook for dinner.

This type of provision stores which sell chinese herbs and spices are very common in wet markets. They are often more then willing to give patrons a good 101 intro to cooking traditional asian cuisine and are also glad to introduce to you their galore of ready spices.

Try out their plum sauce – tangy sweet and sour plum sauce, perfect marinate for your pork loins! Find them at #01-96.

Next up: Poultry!

If you want fat duck/chicken, beautiful marylands or the very nourishing black chicken, here is the place to get it. Similar to Uncle Willy’s store, 108 has very fresh poultry that you will sure to taste different when you roast your chicken.

A note to all of you whom have never visited the wet market:

You will find a lot of treasures not only in terms of getting good deals for fresh food, but also gaining a lot of new knowledge specifically to cooking asian cusine. I learn something new everytime I go to the market.For example: A tip on treating sore throat, which i will share in the subsequent postings.

Things to look out for in subsequent posting after my grocery trip:

1) Salty Vegetable Duck Soup – Xian Cai Ya Tan

2) Emperor Herbal Kampong Chicken – Yao Cai San Ba Ji

3) Purple Barley – to rid heatiness

4) Asian Five Spice Roasted Chicken – Wu Xiang Kao Ji

5) Sesame and Plum sauce Pork Chops

And if there are any other dishes that you would like me to find out for you, I will be more then glad to do so.