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Entree: Pork and Mushroom Dumplings with 3 dipping sauces.

Main: Hong Shao Rou (Red braised pork belly), Stir Fried Eggplants in Plum Sauce, Sichuan Spicy and Sour Potatoes and Biang Biang Noodles.

Gave myself a bit of a challenge on this one and tried to really go authentic Chinese rather than what we get here in Australia (at least in the restaurants). I decided to try and make dumplings and noodles from scratch. Was a lot of fun!

The dumplings were great. The fresh filling was amazing and I’ll be making these again.

The Red Braised Pork Belly is slowly braised in Shaoxing wine and light and dark soy sauces. Then the sauce is reduced to a really thick consistency. The pork belly was literally like soft butter in texture.

The Biang Biang Noodles are handmade thick noodles and then cooked in a hot chilli oil for flavour. Loved them. I used the following recipes for Sichuan Spicy and Sour Potatoes and Egglplant in Plum Sauce.

Next up: Columbia

World Kitchen Tour Day 34: Chile

Entree: Cheviche

Main: Pork Belly Asado, Pedre Salsa and Sopaiillas

Cheviche is fresh fish cooked by adding lime/lemon juice. The acid cooks the fish. Chilean Cheviche is different to Peruvian cheviche, and it has less ingredients. Peruvian cheviche usually has extra things like sweet potato and corn, whilst the Chilean version just has some coriander, onion, chilli and capsicum. I love cheviche.

The Asado Marinated Pork Belly is a Chilean BBQ. This dish was made from pork belly marinated for a day in vinegear and spices, then slow cooked for three hours.

Chilean Sopaipillas are a pumpkin donut containing pumpkin, flour and salt that are deep fried. They can be used as a savoury or a sweet dish in Chile. It depends on what you serve them with.

I served a Chilean Salsa with the BBQ.

Next up: China

Chilean Pork Belly Asado (BBQ)

Mchuzi wa Biringani, Salade Du TChad with Kisra Bread.

Chad another poor central African country that totally delivered.

Kisra is a local fermented flatbread made from millet flour, I used finger millet which is grown extensively in Chad and gives it the nice dark colour. It is also very popular in Sudan but they make it from sorghum instead. It is a lot like injera bread from Ethiopia if you have ever had the chance to visit an Ethiopian restaurant. It is an unusual bread as it is leavened by the natural yeast in the fermented flour a bit like sour dough and has a rubbery texture and a sour dough like taste.

Mchuzi wa Biringani is a simple eggplant stew. Salade Du Tchad is a salad made from banana, cucumbers, chillis, raisins and rice. The honey lemon dressing in the salad really cuts through the stew and balances everything.

Next Up: Chile

Kanda ti Nyma

The Central African Republic is pretty much the poorest country in the world. Average income of little over US$1 a day, average life expectancy of 52, second last on the human development index, endless civil war and high crime rates. Researching this country to try and cook a meal was quite sobering.

I also learnt some new things food wise, peanuts are called groundnuts in Africa and in an attempt to be as authentic as possible I learnt how to make my own peanut butter from a bag of peanuts.

Kanda is a meat ball and comes in two forms in the Central African Republic. As meat is limited and expensive the meat ball mix is fortified with seeds or nuts to pad it out. Usually pumpkin seeds or groundnuts. I used groundnuts for this. Then cooked in a peanut and okra sauce served with rice or Fufu (cassava pudding).

The result is a really nice dish. The people of the Central African Republic might be poor but they make the most of what they have and Kas commented last night that she was enjoying meals from the poorer African much more than that of the other richer countries.

Kanda ti Nyma was a winner.

Next Up: Chad

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