On Facebook

Szechuan Sauce Pork - Special Fry Rice - Killer mini Cucumber Pickle!

This started out as a fun experiment for a sauce which neither of us have made from scratch before. But as is often the case when we have a day (Sunday on this occasion) with nothing else planned, we kind of elaborated on the theme!

The Various recipes below might take a bit of reading, but the outcome from all the elements was really good. Pick and choose the components you fancy…..

Szechuan Sauce

Szechuan Sauce Ingredients:-

1 Tbsp Cornflour & a little cold Water
2 Tbsp of Soy Sauce
1 Tsp of Oyster Sauce
1 Thumb of Ginger, minced
4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Tsp of Black Peppercorns (Szechuan if you can get them)
1 Tsp of Coriander Seeds
1 Tbsp of White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp of Cider Vinegar
The Juice of 1 Lime
1 Tsp of Chinese Five Spice
1 Tsp of Cayenne Pepper
2 Tbsp of Brown Sugar
8 to 10 Dried Chillies
300Ml of Chicken Stock
Salt to season


(1) Crush the Peppercorns and Coriander Seeds.
(2) Add Oil and fry in a pan along with the Chillies until aromatic.
(3) Stir in the Garlic and Ginger.
(4) Add the White Wine Vinegar, Cider Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Oyster Sauce & Stock and allow to simmer.
(5) Add the Brown Sugar, Five Spice, and Cayenne Pepper.
(6) Add the Cornflour & Water to thicken while simmering and stirring.
(7) Season with Salt if required and stir in the Lime Juice.
(8) Set aside, the sauce will reheat well.

Szechuan Stir-Fry


½ Red Pepper, sliced
1 Onion, diced
1 Carrot, finely sliced
1 Spring Onion, diagonally sliced
1 Large fresh Chilli, sliced
Salt & Pepper to season
Oil to fry


(1) In a large frying pan or Wok fry all the ingredients until softened.
(2) Add to the Szechuan sauce, reserving a little of the sauce.
(3) Stir in and simmer for a few minutes.

Special Fry Rice


1 Mug of Rice
½ a Red Pepper, sliced
2 Eggs, beaten
½ an Onion , sliced,
A slug of Soy Sauce
Chorizo, cut into small cubes,
5 Mushrooms, quartered
Frozen Peas
Oil to fry


(1) Boil the rice in water until it is softened but still has a bit of bite.
(2) Drain and run boiling water through to get rid of the starch.
(3) Set aside covered until everything else is ready to go. I might be an hour, so cover it.
(4) When your meal is almost ready to serve heat a large frying pan or Wok and add a little Oil.
(5) Fry the Red Pepper, Onion, Chorizo and stir well.
(6) Stir in the Eggs gradually.
(7) Add the Mushrooms and stir until softened.
(8) Stir in the boiled Rice.
(9) Just before serving add the Peas and stir until everything is thoroughly heated.

Buttermilk marinated battered Pork Strips


Pork marinade

2 Pork Porks, cut into strips. Discard the fat
440Ml of Buttermilk
1/8 Tsp of Mono-Sodium Glutamate
Cayenne Pepper
Chilli Flakes
Fresh ground Black Pepper
Garlic Salt
Onion Salt

To coat:-


Batter Ingredients:-

2 Eggs
Plain Flour (Gluten free for us)
Soda Water
Garlic Salt
Onion Salt


(1) Mix the marinade ingredients and add the Pork Strips.
(2) Allow to sit in the fridge for at least an hour while you prepare everything else.
(3) When you are half an hour of so away from serving make the batter ingredients.
(4) Heat a fryer to 170c.
(5) Remove the Pork from the marinade individually and dredge each piece in Cornflour.
(6) Fully coat in the batter and fry until they are slightly browned and pop up.
(7) Set each aside to drain on kitchen paper and repeat until they are all done.
(8) When you are ready to serve up drop the whole lot back in the fryer to brown and drain again before serving.

Szechuan Killer mini Cucumber Pickle


3 Baby  Cucumbers, cut until strips
2 Tsp of Peppercorns, crushed
½ Tsp of Coriander Seeds, crushed
8 Small dried Red Chillies
A Thumb of fresh Ginger, finely sliced
Soy Sauce
100Ml of White Wine Vinegar
500g of Castor Sugar
1 Tsp of Salt
2 Clove of Garlic, finely sliced
Oil to fry


(1) Fry the crushed Peppercorns,  Coriander Seeds and Chillies until fragrant.
(2) Add the Ginger & fresh Garlic and stir.
(3) Add the Soy Sauce, White Wine Vinegar and simmer.
(4) Stir in the Sugar & Salt and allow to reduce over a low heat.
(5) Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
(6) Arrange the slices of Cucumber in a jar and pour over the cooled liquid. Seal with a lid.
(7) This will improve with age, but if very good to eat as it is.

So to assemble. (We’d about had it at this stage!)

You’ll probably have a fryer still hot and smoking?

(1) Snap a few Rice Noodles into short lengths.
(2) Plate up the Special Fried Rice.
(3) Dunk the Noodles and as soon as they puff up drain them.
(4) Add a layer of the Szechuan Stir-Fry over the Rice.
(5) Lay the Battered Pork over the top.
(6) Pour over the remaining hot Szechuan Sauce.
(7) Garnish with the crispy Noodles and a bit of Spring Onion.
(8) Serve the Killer mini Cucumber Pickle, as a side.

If you’ve go to this stage – You’ve waaaay to much time on your hands and should really be working in a Commercial Kitchen!!!

It was really good though….


Ox Heart Ragu

The tale behind this dish goes something like…. We’ve been eating Pork with everything for the last few days thanks to a ½ price deal. So on Thursday for a bit of fun and a change of culinary scenery I bumbled off to intentionally got something a bit ‘Ropey’. For £1.65 we didn’t have great expectations for this chopped up atrocity. How wrong can you be?!

Clearly it a slow cook gig and you’d really not want to try this on a camp-stove at this time of year. But in the summer over a fire……


450g of Diced Ox Heart, steeped in Milk
1 Tin of chopped Tomatoes, plus ½ a tin of water
2 Tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar
2 Carrot, finely chopped
2 Stick of Celery, finely chopped
1 Large Red Onion, diced
1 Tbsp of Tomato Puree
2 Tbsp of plain Flour (Gluten free foe us)
1 Pint of mixed Beef and Red Wine Stock (We’re using Morrison’s own brand Stock Pots – Which are cheap and really good)
6 Mushrooms, finely sliced
1 Tsp of dried Oregano
½ Tsp of Cumin powder
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
A dish of Oyster Sauce
1 Tsp of Worcester Sauce
1 Tsp of Gluten free Yeast Extract (Own brand Marmite)
1 Tsp of dried Thyme
½ Tsp of Onion Salt
½ Tsp of Garlic Salt
A sprinkle of Mono-Sodium Glutamate
Oil to Fry
Salt & Pepper to season
Italian style hard Cheese and fresh Parsley to garnish


(1) Drain the Ox Heart of the Milk.
(2) Season the Flour with Cumin, Garlic Salt, Onion Salt and Salt & Pepper.
(3) Coat the chopped Ox Heart in the seasoned Flour.
(4) In a large frying pan fry to Heart in a little Oil to seal on all sides.
(5) Remove the Heart and set aside.
(6) Add a little more Oil to the pan.
(7) Add the Onions, Carrot, Garlic & Celery and fry over a medium heat to soften.
(8) Return the Heart to the pan and stir in the Tomato Puree.
(9) Add the Stock and simmer for a few minutes.
(10) Add the Oregano, Thyme and Mushrooms and simmer for a couple of minutes.
(11) Add the remaining ingredients and stir.
(12) Transfer to a casserole dish and place in the oven.
(13) Cook at 160c and 3 ½ to 4 hours.
(14) Serve over Rice Stock Stick Noodles and garish with Italian style hard Cheese and fresh Parsley.

This was really good and far exceeded our rather bleak expectations! There’s also over half of the Ragu left which we’ll be heating and serving up in Jacket Potatoes this evening. Not bad going for £1.65…….


Pork Parmo #2

There was a one day special on Pork at the local supermarket yesterday. Suffice it to say Pork will be our meat of choice for the next few days! These leg steaks cost us the extortionate price of £0.94 so Sue reinvented our take on Pork Parmo.

Served with hand cut chips, Peas and homemade Coleslaw, this was a really tasty and quick meal. We used some remaining braising stock from the Lamb Neck we had in the fridge. Which was very rich and tasty.

Our previous version is here

Lamb Neck Fillet

Although Lamb is traditional at this time of year we can’t realistically justify spending £20+ on a leg of Larry. So we went for a neck Fillet. It was very tender and tasty after long slow cooking.


1 Lamb Neck Fillet, seasoned with Salt & Pepper
1 Onion, Sliced
1 Leek, sliced lengthways
1 Carrot, finely batoned
1 head of Garlic, halved
a few Black Peppercorns
2 Bay Leaves
1 Tsp of dried Rosemary
4ml of Stock
125Ml of White Wine
1 Tbsp of Tomato Puree
1 Tbsp of cornflour with water
Oil to fry


(1) Sear the seasoned Lamb on all sides in a little Oil and place in a casserole dish.
(2) In the same pan fry the Onion, Leek, Carrot and Garlic, until they have softened.
(3) Stir in the Tomato Puree then add the Wine and Stock.
(4) Add the Peppercorns, Rosemary and Bay Leaves.
(5) Stir in the Cornflour mix and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
(6) Pour the sauce over the Lamb and place in the oven covered.
(7) Cook for 3 hours at 160c.

We served ours with Leeks, Carrots, Peas and roast Potatoes.


DIY Brown Sauce - Gluten Free

There is logic in this madness. Almost all Brown Sauces have Wheat Gluten in them. That’s a serious no-no for Sue. There is actually no need and as far as we can tell so far this version tastes much better anyway. We’re supposed to give it 10 days to mature. Well, we’ll see how that goes!!!!


4 Apples, cores and chopped
300g of Prunes, chopped
1 Large Onion, diced
375g of Brown Sugar
72G of Salt
900ml of Malt Vinegar
1 Tsp of dried Ginger
½ Tsp of Allspice
½ Tsp Cayenne Pepper
¼ Tsp Grated Nutmeg


(1) Open all the windows!
(2) Bung it all in a really big pan and bring to the boil.
(3) Stand outside as the Vinegar fumes will be making you gasp by now!
(4) Reduce the heat and simmer until everything has reduced by 1/3, stirring regularly.
(5) Remove from the heat.
(6) Use a hand blender (Food processor will be fine) and wuzz everything up.
(7) Once cool pour into a clip top jar.
(8) Set aside for 10 days!!!!!

We recycled an existing plastic squeezey which we’ll top up as required.

Social Links


English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish