Coconut Red Bean Pudding


Boiled Pinto Beans


1 pound (453 g) pinto beans*, soaked overnight in cool water (or for at least 6 hours)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
1/2 white onion, finely diced (55 g)
3 large cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 Tbsp or 9 g) OR garlic powder
1 pinch each sea salt + black pepper, plus more to taste
1 packet of red peppers (from the costco pizza)
1 Tbsp (8 g) ground cumin or marjoram

1. Add pinto beans to a large pot and cover with cool water (at least a few inches above the beans as they will expand). Soak for at least 6 hours or overnight* uncovered at room temperature.
2. Once beans are soaked, drain and set aside.
3. Heat your large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil, diced onion and garlic (powder), and season with a healthy pinch each sea salt and black pepper. Stir to coat and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until onion is soft and translucent.
4. Next add drained beans and cover with water about 2 inches over the top, as the beans will expand while cooking.
5. Place lid on pot. Then reduce heat to medium to medium-high and simmer for 40-50 minutes, or until beans are tender.
6. Stir to coat and cook on low for 10 more minutes to let the flavors meld.

Store beans well covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Will keep in the freezer for 1 month (oftentimes longer).
*1 pound dried beans typically equals 2 cups dried or 4-5 cups cooked.
*The chili powder I used was from Whole Foods and contains a blend of chili peppers, cumin, garlic, oregano, coriander, cloves and allspice.
*6-8 hours is the optimal amount of time for soaking your beans. The longer you soak them, the more tender they will become, and the more likely they will split and separate during cooking. So if you can’t get to them right away, simply drain, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Inspired from

Taro Cake 2

2 tablespoons oil, plus more for pan-frying and greasing the pans
3 links Chinese sausage, roughly chopped (you can also substitute 4 oz. bacon)
½ cup dried shrimp, roughly chopped (optional)
6 scallions, chopped
1½ to 2 lbs. taro, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 teaspoons salt
2½ cups water, plus 2⅔ cups
7 cups rice flour
3 ½ cups glutinous rice flour
Heat oil in a large wok over high heat. Add the Chinese sausage and pan-fry for 2 minutes. Add the dried shrimp and stir-fry for another minute. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the scallions to the hot wok and stir-fry 1 minute.
Add the sausage, dried shrimp, and taro to the wok. Stir-fry for 3 minutes and season with 2 teaspoons salt. Cover the mixture with 2½ cups of water and make sure all the ingredients are evenly submerged. Cover the wok, turn the heat down to medium low and allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes.
In the largest bowl you have, add the rice flour and glutinous rice flour. Add another 2⅔ cups water along with the taro mixture. Mix thoroughly until a cement-like paste forms.
Generously oil two standard 9-inch round cake pans and divide the mixture between the pans. Spread the mixture evenly in the pan, making sure there are no air pockets in the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly onto the surface of the taro mixture. Let stand at room temperature for an hour.
In a steamer, bring the water to a simmer. Steam the taro cakes for 45 minutes. If a toothpick inserted in the taro cakes comes out clean, it’s done. Allow the taro cakes to cool completely.
At this point, you can seal the taro cakes tightly in a ziplock bag and freeze them for later. If you’d like to eat them now, simply slice into rectangles. Heat a couple tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium heat and pan fry the slices of taro cake on both sides until golden brown and crispy. Sprinkle with salt and serve. You can put out a little oyster sauce for dipping, or just eat these plain!

Pressure Cooker HK Oxtail Soup

2 lb oxtails (2 lb = 900 g)
1 onion
3 celery stalks
3 carrots
¼ cabbage (1/4 cabbage = 160 g/5.4 oz)
2 tomatoes
2 Yukon gold potatoes or 1 large potato
½ lb stew beef (chuck cut into bite-size cubes) (1/2 lb = 227 g)
1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups water + salt (instead of beef stock)
2 Tbsp tomato paste

Seasonings A
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp dried basil/thyme
2 bay leaves

Seasonings B
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp kosher salt (for table salt, use half)
Freshly ground black pepper

1) To completely remove blood from the bone, soak the oxtails in cold water for 1 hour and discard the water.

2) Meanwhile, cut the onions into wedges, chop celery stalks into small pieces, and cut the carrots into chunks.

3) Roughly cut the cabbage into 1 inch squares and rinse under running water.

4) Cut the tomatoes into wedges and cut them in halves. Cut Yukon gold potatoes into quarters and soak in water for 15 minutes to remove excess starch.

5) Cut the stew beef into smaller pieces.

6) After soaking the oxtails in one hour, drain and place them in a large pot and cover it with cold water. Bring it to boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, turn down the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, skimming foam on the surface frequently. After 10-15 minutes, take out the oxtail.

7) Press the “Saute” button on your Instant Pot and heat 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil. Once the pot is hot, add the stew beef and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Brown the beef. Don’t flip the pieces around until they release themselves. Transfer the meats to a plate from the pot.

8) Add the onion and sauté until they are coated with oil and become tender. While sautéing, scrape the flavorful charred bits from the bottom of the pot. 9) Add the tomatoes, carrots, and cabbage and coat them with oil.

9) When the vegetables are a bit wilted and soft, add the boiled oxtail, browned stew beef, and beef broth

10) Add tomato paste and Seasonings A (1 tsp paprika, 1 Tbsp dried basil, and 2 bay leaves).

11) Cover and lock the lid on the pressure cooker. Make sure the steam release handle points at “sealing” and not “venting”. Press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button on the Instant Pot to stop “saute” mode. Press the “Meat/Stew” button to switch to the pressure cooking mode. Press “plus” button to change the cooking time to 45 minutes.

12) When it is finished cooking, the Instant Pot will switch automatically to the “Keep Warm” mode. You have 2 options to release the pressure: 1) slide the steam release handle to the “Venting” position to let out steam until the float valve drops down, OR 2) let the pressure release naturally, about 15-20 minutes.

13) After de-pressurizing is completed, unlock the lid and add the potatoes and celery and 2 tsp. kosher salt.

14) Cover and lock the lid on the pressure cooker. Make sure the steam release handle points at “sealing”. Press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button and. Press the “Manual” button to switch to the pressure cooking mode. Press “minus” button to change the cooking time to 15 minutes.

15) Again, de-pressurizing with one of 2 methods, unlock the lid. Mix well and ladle the soup to individual bowls. Mix in 3 Tbsp. brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar, and black pepper

Hong Shao Niu Rou Mein


2 1/2 pounds bone-in beef shank
1 large onion, quartered
2 tomatoes, quartered
3-4 peeled garlic cloves, minced
1 piece of large ginger, sliced into large thin pieces
1/3 – 1/2 cup soy sauce
very small handful of rock sugar
1/4 cup shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
3 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Broad Bean Paste with Chili
3-4 dried Thai red chilies, optional
1-2 pounds Asian noodles, depends on how much soup vs. noodle ratio you like
Green onions, for topping

Optional vegetables
blanched bok choy
napa cabbage
fresh cilantro as garnish

Bring a pot of water to boil and briefly boil the beef chunks for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until a white foam forms at the top of the water. Drain dirty water, rinse beef shanks, and set aside.

1. In the pressure cooker over medium high heat, saute garlic, ginger, scallions, and star anise in vegetable oil until fragrant.
2. Add beef shank pieces. onions, chili bean sauce and saute for a few minutes, until the beef is slightly browned.
3. Add soy sauce and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add everything else!
5. Bring up to high pressure and cook under pressure for 25 to 30 minutes. Slowly release pressure and serve.

Tried Boneless Shank.
Less Cinnamon next time

Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
2.5 tbsp red wine vinegar
2.5 tbsp water
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2.5 tsp dry mustard
0.6 teaspoons paprika
0.6 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 dash hot pepper sauce

In a blender, combine brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, water and Worcestershire sauce. Season with mustard, paprika, salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Blend until smooth.

Instant Pot: Easy Ribs

1 rack baby back ribs
4 tablespoons your favorite BBQ sauce (We used Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce)
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper

1) Prepare the Baby Back Ribs: Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs with a paper towel.
2) Season the Baby Back Ribs: Season the Baby Back Ribs with generous amount of kosher salt and ground black pepper.
3) Pressure Cook the Baby Back Ribs: Place 1 cup of cold running tap water and a trivet into the pressure cooker. Place the baby back ribs on top of the trivet. 4) Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 25 to 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and full Natural Release. Open the lid carefully.
5) Preheat Oven: While the baby back ribs is cooking in the pressure cooker, preheat the oven to 450F.
6) Apply Sauce and Finish in the Oven: Brush your favorite BBQ sauce all over the baby back ribs on all sides including the bones. Place the baby back ribs with the baking tray in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes.

Serve: Remove the ribs from the oven and serve!

Which is more tender? Higher or lower water level?