pork pancakes & slaw

If you like duck pancakes, I am sure you will like this meal.

There isn’t a duck in sight, instead, a pig.

Sticky, moreish, Char Sui style barbecue pork belly ribs, spring onion pancakes and an asian slaw with a delish peanut butter dressing. Yum!

I have always loved going out for Chinese; “fried china” as my brother has called it since we were kids. Family birthday dinners were always spent at our local Chinese restaurant and I have fond memories of playing under the dinner table, long before iPads were a distraction for kids.

I love Chinese restaurants so much because of the laid back, sharing atmosphere. I have joked often that we need to buy a ‘lazy Suzanne’ and even thought it would be a good idea to have our wedding reception at a Chinese restaurant, serving bulk fried rice, prawn chips and old faithful dishes like Mongolian lamb, honey chicken and sweet and sour pork. (Cork Daddy wasn’t as convinced, mind you).

We did however celebrate my hen’s party dinner in China town in Sydney… but that’s a whole other story.

So this is a terrific meal for when you have people over as it’s easy to share and you can get stuck in and get your fingers dirty. The inspiration for these dishes came from Bill Granger’s ‘Everyday Asian’ cookbook. A beautiful book with some great, easy recipes.

Grab a freezing cold beer and tuck in.

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spring onion pancakes (enough to make about 6 thin pancakes so would work for 2 pax. Double the recipe if you have friends over.)

1 cup plain flour
1 pinch of salt
1 egg (2 if the eggs are really small)
1 3/4 cup of milk
Butter for greasing the pan
2 spring onions finely chopped
Knob of butter for greasing the pan

  • Sift the flour and salt in to a large mixing bowl
  • Make a well in the centre and crack in the egg, using a whisk – whisk the egg and slowly incorporate the flour as you go.
  • Gradually pour the milk in and continue to collect more flour from the edges of the bowl until everything is mixed in and you have a nicely combined batter with some bubbles. (This is important to whisk nicely as you want air in your mixture so that the pancake is nice and light).
  • Let it sit until you are nearly ready to sit down to eat.
  • Heat a non stick crepe pan or shallow frying pan on medium heat and grease with a little bit of butter.
  • Using a soup ladle, pour in just enough pancake mixture to thinly coat the base of the frying pan (I use 3/4 of a soup ladle full) and tilt the pan around so that the batter is all evenly laid out.
  • Sprinkle a small handful of chopped shallots over the pancake, let it cook until it is brown underneath (shouldn’t take long) and then flip it over and finish off the cooking on the other side. (Daddy Pig it up and give the kids or guests a laugh by trying to flip the pancake in the air). Practice makes perfect.
  • Remove and keep warm on a plate until you have finished all the mixture.

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char sui style slow cooked pork ribs (serves 2/3 people with leftovers)

4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large knob of ginger, cut in to matchsticks
3/4 cups soy sauce
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Chilli flakes or fresh chilli (optional)
1 kg boneless pork belly ribs

  • In a small bowl, mix all marinade ingredients together and then add the ribs. Marinade overnight in the fridge if possible, or otherwise, get cracking. (NB The flavours intensify if you can leave the meat to marinade).
  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper or aluminium foil. Put the pork ribs in the tray and cook in the oven for approximately an 1 hour 15 minutes, constantly brushing the marinade over the ribs with a pastry brush (about every 15 minutes). Turn the ribs around each time you go to brush the marinade over.
  • Once the ribs are cooked, chop them in to bite size pieces and serve with the salad and pancakes. (Or with steamed rice and Asian greens).

delicious asian slaw with peanut butter sauce (small serving for 2-3 pax)

Half a red onion, sliced
Half a green cabbage, shredded
Half a red capsicum, sliced thinly
4 Spring onions, sliced finely on the diagonal
1 small Lebanese cucumber, sliced finely lengthways

dressing

1 tablespoon of peanut butter
4 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 small knob of ginger – grated
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of half a lemon
1 tiny dash of sesame oil
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
1 small fresh chilli chopped finely, or a sprinkling of chilli flakes

  • Simply chop up all the vegetables and arrange on a platter or in a bowl.
  • Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad.– Fresh mint or coriander would also be good to throw in. As would other vegetables such as purple cabbage, yellow capsicum, finely sliced iceberg lettuce or finely chopped celery. Be creative here with your plating – you can mix it all together or serve like I have with vegetables all displayed separately for something different. Make sure to dress the salad right before serving however so as not to let the vegetables go soggy. 

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Now why would you eat out?

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