Chinese-style Braised Tofu


3 pieces medium-firm tofu (about 1 lb)
1 Tbsp chopped green onion
1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 Tbsp soybean paste (optional)


1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 cup vegetable broth


  1. Drain Tofu and steam for 3 minutes. Cut into dices.
  2. Heat 3 Tbsp oil, saute garlic and soybean paste.
  3. Stir in seasoning and bring to a boil. Add tofu and cook until sauce is dried up (keep stirring to avoid tofu sticking to pan).
  4. Mix in green onion and remove to serving platter.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

Braised Chicken with Herb-marinated Peaches


1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
1 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into thin strips
3 lb bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 8)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium leek, white and light green part only, thinly sliced (1 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups Sherry Vinegar and Rosemary Marinated Peaches (see recipe below), drained, marinade reserved
3 cups lower-salt chicken broth
2 Tbsp drained capers
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, coarsely chopped


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat the oil in an 8-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot over medium heat. Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. If the pan is dry, add a little more oil.
  4. Season the chicken lightly on all sides with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown the chicken on both sides, about 12 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Turn the heat down to medium low. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp fat from the pot and then add the leek and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  7. Add the reserved marinade and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the liquid thickens, about 2 minutes.
  8. Add the broth, season lightly with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Arrange the chicken in the pot skin side up, return to a boil, and transfer the pot to the oven to braise, uncovered, until the chicken cooks through, about 25 minutes.
  9. Take the pot out of the oven. Turn the broiler on high. Transfer the chicken, skin side up, to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  10. Simmer the sauce in the pot over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced by about half, about 10 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the capers and peaches. Cook until heated through.
  11. Stir in the butter until it melts, then stir in 1 Tbsp of the tarragon and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  12. Meanwhile, broil the chicken until the skin is crisp, about 3 minutes.
  13. Return the chicken to the pot or transfer it to a large platter and spoon the sauce over it. Garnish with the prosciutto and the remaining tarragon leaves before serving.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Sherry Vinegar and Rosemary Marinated Peaches


3 medium ripe peaches, pitted and sliced, diced, or cut into wedges
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2-1/2 Tbsp spiced dark rum (optional)
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1-1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of granulated sugar


  1. Gently combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and let marinate at room temperature for at least 20 minutes and up to 24 hours.
  2. After marinating, you can refrigerate the peaches for up to 1 day.

Source: Cooking Fresh magazine

Chinese Sichuan-style Braised Pork Belly


6 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 teaspoons peanut oil
1 piece pork belly, about 2 lb
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
1/4 cup Chinese rice wine
4 cloves garlic, bruised
2- x 2-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
1 piece dried mandarin or tangerine peel
2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
2 star anise
I cinnamon stick
1-1/2 tablespoons Chinese rock sugar


  1. Cover the mushrooms in 1 cup boiling water and soak for 20 minutes, or until soft. Squeeze dry, reserving the liquid.
  2. Heat a large wok over high heat, add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the pork, skin-side-down, and cook for 5 minutes, or until well browned, then turn over and cook for a further 6 minutes, or until scaled.
  3. Add the stock, soy sauce, rice wine, garlic, ginger, citrus peel, spices, reserved mushroom soaking liquid and 2 cups water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1-1/4 hours.
  4. Add the sugar and mushrooms to the wok and cook for a further 45 minutes, or until the pork is very tender.
  5. Remove the pork from the stock and cut into slices about 1/2-inch thick.
  6. Strain the liquid into a bowl, then return the strained liquid to the wok. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until reduced to about 3/4 cup.
  7. Place the pork on a platter with the mushrooms and spoon on some of the cooking liquid. Serve with steamed rice as part of a meal.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: The Essential Wok Cooking

Spicy Lamb Shanks with Carrots, Chickpeas and Potatoes


4 lamb shanks (about 1 pound each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 large leek (white and pale green parts only), well rinsed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
4 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
four 3-inch-long strips of lemon zest, removed from a large lemon with a vegetable peeler
4 large sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
5 cups reduced-sodium beef broth, or as needed
3 small Yukon Gold potatoes (about 14 ounces total), scrubbed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
5 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
one 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
2 green onions (white and green parts), thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/2 cup very coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
warm naan, for serving
plain low-fat yogurt for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven or other wide heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then add the lamb shanks and cook, turning occasionally,for about 10 minutes, or until browned. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Add the onions and leeks to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Add the garlic, curry powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, thyme, and bay leaf and stir for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in the vinegar and cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits, for about 3 minutes, or until reduced by half.
  5. Return the lamb shanks and their juices to the Dutch oven. Add enough broth to nearly cover the shanks, bring to a simmer, and cover.
  6. Transfer the pot to the oven and bake for about 2 hours, or until the meat is just tender.
  7. Return the Dutch oven to medium-low heat on the stovetop. Add the potatoes and carrots and season lightly with salt. Cook at a gentle simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are nearly tender and the liquid has reduced slightly.
  8. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, carefully transfer the lamb shanks to a plate (try to keep them intact) and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Discard the thyme stems and bay leaf.
  9. Stir the chickpeas into the braising liquid and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are tender.
  10. Stir in the green onions and half of the cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  11. Return the lamb shanks and their juices to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes to reheat the shanks.
  12. Divide the lamb shanks and braising mixture among four wide shallow bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining cilantro. Serve hot, with naan and yogurt on the side.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Curtis Stone – What’s for Dinner?

Indonesian-style Braised Pork Belly with Sweet Soy Sauce


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 kg boneless pork belly, cut into 6- x 3-cm pieces
6 cloves garlic
6 shallots
4-cm piece ginger, thinly sliced
1 long red chili, halved lengthwise
2 star anise
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice
1 cup sweet soy sauce
1/2 cup light soy sauce
coconut water of 1 young coconut
8 eggs
steamed rice and lime wedges, to serve


  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium–high heat. Cook pork, in 2 batches, turning, for 3 minutes or until just browned. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add garlic, shallot, ginger and chili to pan, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Return pork to pan with star anise, Chinese five-spice, sweet soy sauce, light soy sauce, coconut water and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour or until pork is tender.
  4. Cook eggs in boiling water for 6 minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water. When cool enough to handle, roll eggs on a bench to crack shell. Add eggs with shells to pork, submerging them in braising liquid, then cook for a further 20 minutes.
  5. Remove eggs from liquid, peel and cut in half. Serve pork and egg with steamed rice and lime wedges.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Taste magazine