Pork Carnitas墨西哥手撕猪肉

Carnitas is Mexico’s version of pulled pork. If you’re new to Carnitas, try this recipe and it might become your new addiction.

Made by slow cooking pork fully submerged in lard, this confit method of cooking yields pork that’s unbelievably rich and tender with loads of crispy golden bits.

Don’t skip the step to brown the Pork Carnitas. Pan frying to get the golden bits is not optional – the cooked and shredded pork has to be double cooked in the skillet to capture the elusive combination of flavourful juice and crispiness.

My secret of the recipe is to include soy sauce in the rub to add into another layer of the flavour, which you would not expect from a Mexico restaurant. But this is optional for you.

Serving 6-8

  • 2kg/4lb pork shoulder, skinless, boneless (2.5kg/5lb bone in)
  • 2 teaspoons    salt
  • 1 teaspoon      black peppercorn
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 japapeno      deseeded, chopped, (optional)
  • 3/4 cup            fresh orange juice (from 2 oranges)


  • 2 teaspoons                ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon               dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon               olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons             light soy sauce


Step 1- Slow cook the pork shoulder

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F°/160C°.
  2. Rinse and dry the pork shoulder, Rub all over with salt and pepper.
  3. Combine the Rub ingredients then rub all over the pork.
  4. Place the pork in an oven-proof pot, top with the onion, jalapeño (optional), minced garlic (don’t worry about spreading it) and squeeze over the juice of the oranges.

5. Cover the pot and bake in the oven for 3 to 4 hours until the pork is tender and can be easily pulled apart. Remove the pork from the pot. Use your hand or two forks to shred the pork.

6. Skim off the excess fat from the juices left in the pot. This is optional. Only do this if you think you have too much fat in the juices. If you have a lot more than 2 cups of juice, then reduce it down to about 2 cups. The liquid will be salty, it is the seasoning for the pork. Set liquid aside – don’t bother straining onion etc, it’s super soft.

Step 2 – Crisp cooked and shredded pork

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in a large non-stick pan or well-seasoned skillet over high heat. Spread pork in the pan, drizzle over some juices. Wait until the juices evaporate and the bottom side is golden brown and crusty. Turn and just briefly sear the other side – you don’t want to make it brown all over because then it’s too crispy, need tender juicy bits.
  2. Remove pork from skillet. Repeat in batches (takes me 4 batches) – don’t crowd the pan.

Step 3 Taco Fixings

  1.  warm tortillas according to packet instructions.
  2. Pile up the crispy pork carnitas. Spoon pico de gallo or any spicy tomato salsa on the pork then top with 1 or 2 spoons of sour cream. Enjoy!


1. Best way to store: Shred pork but don’t pan fry. Keep pork and juice separate, refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months (for freezer, I put pork in containers/ bags and put juice in ziplock bags in the same container).

Gently reheat juice to make it pourable (congeals when cold). Pan fry per recipe, drizzling with juice.

3. Storing leftovers after pan frying: Keeps extremely well, but tends to lose juiciness when it cools down. Just drizzle with juice, cover with cling wrap and reheat – the crispy bits hold up very well. It’s not quite as crispy as when cooked fresh, but still seriously tasty.

Pico De Gallo墨西哥碎番茄沙拉

Sometimes when you eat authentic Mexican food, they give you this salsa stuff made with tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos. You can add a squeeze of lime juice to pico de gallo, but I prefer this basic recipe. Once you serve this with your Mexican dish such as tacos, you will want it with all your Mexican dishes.

Serves 4 to 6

  • 4 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapenos, diced  (optional)
  • 2 sprigs or 1 cup, cilantro, minced
  • 1 teaspoon         salt
  • 1 tablespoon      extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons              lime juice       


  1. In a medium bowl, combine tomato, onion, jalapeno pepper (optional)) and cilantro. Season with salt, olive oil and lime juice. Stir until evenly distributed. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Thai Chicken Salad

Borrowed the idea of Laab (meat salad in Thai), the recipe gives a tasty option to make good use of a lot of leftover roast you most likely have in summer. The simple Thai dressing transforms the less desired leftover and make it a great choice for a quick lunch or a refreshing appetizer for your family dinner.

The defining element of this Thai meat salad or laab dressing, is the toasted rice powder by using any kind of white rice, though traditionally it is done with Thai sticky rice. It is not laab without toasted rice powder. So no excuse to skip this ingredient.

I have provided a small “base” recipe so you can scale up to whatever quantity of leftovers you have. Be sure to scale up all ingredients proportionally; except the chilies, which you just add to taste.

Serve 1 to 2

  • 1 tablespoon          uncooked white rice
  • Roughly 150 g leftover chicken or any roast meat
  • 1 teaspoon     finely chopped palm sugar or light brown sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon          fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon          lime juice
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon     dried chili flakes, to taste
  • 3 tablespoon    finely sliced shallots
  • A big handful of mint or any other fresh herbs you have sitting around. Both cilantro and green onions are good options.


  • Make toasted rice powder: In a dry saute pan, add the rice and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly until the rice has a deep brown colour. Remove from heat and grind into a powder in a mortar and pestle or using a coffee grinder.
  • For leftover poultry, shred the meat into small strips. If using roast beef, thinly slice into bite-sized pieces. Heat the leftovers up slightly in a microwave so they are warm or room temp.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, chilies and shallots; stir until the sugar is dissolved. 
  • Add the leftover meat, toasted rice powder and fresh herbs, and toss until well combined.

Asian Dinner Rolls餐包cān bāo

There are so many creative ways to use this easy but great milk bread recipe. The milk bread dough, as a base dough, can be shaped to make loaf, cinnamon rolls and hot dog buns. The final product, as you can see from the photo my choice of our dinner rolls for this post, is fluffy, soft, slightly sweet, and golden.

Makes about 32 rolls or two loaves

  • 500g         bread flour高筋面粉
  • 70g                             cake flour低筋面粉
  • 75g (1/3 cup)      white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon   dry yeast 酵母
  • 1 teaspoon   salt盐
  • 1 +1 egg
  • 160ml (2/3 cup)      heavy cream, room temperature
  • 200ml            milk, room temperature     
  • 1 tablespoon    sesame seeds or/and poppy seeds, optional
  • Simple syrup, optional


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients of 500g bread flour, 70g cake flour, 75g white sugar, 1 tablespoon of yeast and 1 teaspoon of salt.

2. In the same mixing bowl, place into 1 egg. Gradually add into 160ml heavy cream and 200ml milk. Use your hands to mix everything together..

3. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for about 10 minutes till dough become smooth and elastic. If you’re in a humid climate and the dough is too sticky, feel free to add a little more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it comes together. If you feel the dough is a bit dry, you can add into 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk.

4. Wrap the bowl with cling film. Let the dough rest for about 1 to 2 hours till the dough becomes 2 times bigger in size. This is called the first proof. Proofing can take about 1 to 2 hours depending on the room temperature. If you use oven proofing function, it will take about 1 hour for the dough doubling in size.

5. Place the dough on the lightly floured surface. Punch air out of dough. Using a dough scraper, roughly cut the dough into 32 equal pieces. Each piece is about 35g. Shape each dough piece into a nice round ball by pulling from all the sides and tuck into the bottom. Keep the seam side on the bottom.

6. Line the baking tray with parchment paper. Place all the balls on the tray. Leave 1 inch gap between the balls. Cover the tray with a kitchen towel. Let the dough balls rest in a warm place (or use oven proof function) for 45 minutes to 1 hour till the dough balls rise in one and a half (1.5 x) in size. This is called the second proof.

7. Position a rack in the middle of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350° F/175°C. Brush the risen dough with egg wash.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds – this is optional. Bake the buns for 22-24 minutes.

8. Remove from the oven and brush the buns with simply syrup (sugar water) to give them a great shine, sweetness, and color.