Braised Pork Belly with Tomatoes in Soy Sauce

Braised Pork Belly with Tomatoes in Soy Sauce

Pork is so tasty here in Malaysia compared to the US. I don’t know what it is but there is just more flavor to the pork meat here. It is unabashedly porky and isn’t dry like what I have found in the US, where I always have to brine the pork for it to taste like anything at all. Maybe it is also because the pork we get here at the market is really fresh and mostly locally raised. Whatever the reason, it’s just delicious.

The interesting thing about buying pork in Malaysia is that if you go to the wet market, you will find all the pork vendors in a separate part of the market away from the rest of the other meat vendors. Pork is non-halal for Muslims so whenever you want to buy pork, you need to buy it from a special section. The same happens if you go to a grocery store—they have a special section for all the non-halal items including some imported desserts and foods that may contain lard, gelatin and other pork parts.

The other day, I was at the grocery store in the non-halal section and found some pork belly on sale at a 25% discount. Though it was a thin slice, it had beautiful layers of meat and fat and was just calling my name. I decided that I had to buy it and figure out something to cook later on. (more…)

Almost Gone, Almost Home

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…

All our bags are packed

I can’t believe it’s been a whole month since I last posted that the House of Annie is moving to Malaysia.  Since then, our house has been a frenzy of activity, with running multiple garage sales, re-sodding the backyard, selling off almost all of our furniture, and seemingly endless trips to drop off donations at Goodwill.  I have had no time or energy to blog at all!

Well, the movers have come and gone.  All our kitchen supplies and other stuff are in a big box heading to Malaysia.  We’ve turned our keys back to the landlord and now we’re actually living out of our suitcases, staying at our Pastor’s house in these final few days before we fly off as well.

Since we don’t have our kitchen to cook in and our pots, pans and ingredients to cook with, this week has been a whirlwind of eating out with many of our friends. While it has been very nice to spend time with them over a meal without having to fuss over a stove, eating out is taking a toll.  We’ve found ourselves longing for some good, home-cooked food.

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Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Ultimate Backyard Lu’au

How many of you are thinking about going Hawaiian?

Kahala Beach, O’ahu, Hawai’i

Kahala Beach, O’ahu, Hawai’i

While most of us aren’t able to fly to Hawai’i, we can bring the tastes of Hawai’i to our homes – by throwing a lu’au! A lu’au is a Hawaiian feast featuring traditional foods such as poi, kalua pig, poke (“POH-kay”), lomi salmon and haupia. Often, there will be music as well as hula dancing.

Not many of you might know how to throw a lu’au. Being from Hawai’i, I wanted to share some of these traditional lu’au foods with you all. So if you’re looking for lu’au food recipes, this would be the place to come.

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Corn Bread with Bacon Recipe

We made this corn bread recipe as part of our Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 Ultimate Rib Showdown meal. It was really delicious and matched well with ribs. I got the corn bread recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart (I love this book by the way!). I’ve used it before in a Thanksgiving meal and loved it (Peter Reinhart recommends trying to find turkey skin in place of bacon for that). But hey, bacon is always good!

Corn Bread with Bacon

Corn Bread with Bacon

What I love about this corn bread is that the flavor of corn is very evident and there’s a really wonderful mouth-feel in the texture of the corn bread. This comes from the use of polenta-grind cornmeal and the fresh corn kernels that go into the bread. The buttermilk plays nicely with the sweetness of the corn and the bacon adds a nice savoriness to counter the sweetness of the whole bread. Overall, it’s a very rich, flavorful, and toothsome corn bread.

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About Us

My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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