September 13, 2011

Day 8: Hot & Sour Eggplant & Spicy Pork Chops

We're teaming up with fellow food bloggers to host a Brown-Bag Challenge, a month-long initiative to eat consciously and save money by packing a lunch each weekday instead of eating out. Join us here and share what you're eating on Facebook andTwitter with the hashtag #brownbag.

Today my husband and I had Hot & Sour Chinese Eggplant for lunch along with Pan-fried Spicy Pork Chops over steamed rice.  We just devour this so much.  Even the kids would eat the pork-chops with us over dinner.  I just have to ease out on the spices to make a milder taste for the kids though.  I try to replicate most of the foods we've eaten out at home.  I would research online and find the closest match to what we've eaten. That way it's home-made, and I have control over the use of ingredients.  BTW, the pictures I used here are not mine.  I used the pictures from the site where I got the recipes instead. So you have a better picture of the dishes.

My son requested for his favorite Lunchables today to school.  I was supposed to make Tuna-melt sandwich for him, but he opted for his favorite.  So I gave in, since it's been a week since he had his last.  He brought in peach slices and juice pouch with him.

I say brown-bagging for my picky eater is a real challenge.  But I'm not giving up coz it's my only way to make him eat healthier foods to school.  I'm still in search though for a variety of kiddie lunch ideas that would be appealing for him.  So if you have ideas to suggest, please help me out by leaving a comment on this page.  I would highly appreciate it. See you tomorrow :o)

Hot and Sour Chinese Eggplant (by

2 long Chinese eggplants, cubed
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 green chile pepper, chopped

1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon chili oil, or to taste
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1.Place the eggplant cubes into a large bowl, and sprinkle with salt. Fill with enough water to cover, and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse well, and drain on paper towels.
2.In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, red wine vinegar, sugar, chile pepper, cornstarch and chili oil. Set the sauce aside.
3.Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Fry the eggplant until it is tender and begins to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour in the sauce, and cook and stir until the sauce is thick and the eggplant is evenly coated. Serve immediately.

Pan-Fried Spicy Pork-chops

5 thin sliced pork chops
1 chilli, deseeded
1 spring onion (shallot), chopped
1 tsp cooking rice wine
1/4 tsp five-spice powder (available at Asian store)
1/2 tsp pepper salt powder (available at Asian store)
a handful of cornflour, for oating
lettuce, for garnish

2 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cooking rice wine
2 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp cornflour
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger sauce
Pepper, to taste
Sesame, to taste

  1. Rinse pork chops and pat dry with paper towels. Tenderize with the back of a chopper. Marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Lightly coat both sides of pork chops with cornflour, removing excess flour. Fry both sides until brown and cooked.
  3. Push pork chops to the edges of frying pan. Add a bit oil in the center (see picture shown) and sauté spring onion, chilli and five-spice powder until aromatic. Sprinkle rice wine and pepper salt powder. Quickly stir and combine well with pork chops. Dish up and serve hot with lettuce or salad.

Tip: Adding some freshly grated ginger sauce will help tenderize the pork chops.
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