Steamed coconut buns

Quick and easy steamed buns to serve with pork or stir-fries

The first time I saw this recipe I refused to believe it was so easy. It comes from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals book and I’ve used it time and time again. He creates a great chicken dim sum recipe with them but the buns were a bigger hit than the chicken in my house. There’s a great cucumber pickle he served with it though which I’ve put below.

Check out my buns
Check out my buns

The main thing to remember with these is to not over mix them. Jamie does it in a food processor (for speed basically) but I generally do it by hand because washing a food processor is a bastard of a thing I actively try to avoid.

Think of it  – loosely – like a scone dough. Bring it together, form a log, portion it and voila!

Dongpo (think slow cooked in soy) pork w/steamed buns for #everyfuckingnight
Dongpo (think slow cooked in soy) pork w/steamed buns for #everyfuckingnight

Steamed coconut buns
Fantastic Chinese steamed buns
Cuisine: Chinese
  • 1 400g tin coconut milk
  • 2 heaped cans full of SR flour
  • Good pinch of salt
  1. Tip the coconut milk into a bowl
  2. Add the flour and salt and bring together into a dough
  3. Tip onto a floured benchtop, roll into a log, then break into 8 even pieces
  4. Place each piece into a muffin case and put them into a bamboo steamer, they should be quite snug
  5. Put a wok over high heat and fill about 10cm deep with water, bring to the boil
  6. Put the steamer over the top of the water and cook for 10 minutes

Quick cucumber pickle
A quick cucumber pickle which brightens any meal!
  • 1 telegraph cucumber (or 2 Lebanese cucumbers)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or white vinegar)
  1. Peel the cucumber into long strips using a vegetable peeler or slice very thinly
  2. Mix with the soy and vinegar
  3. THAT'S IT!


Dongpo Pork

An easy recipe for dongpo pork, pork belly slowly cooked in soy, rice wine and ginger

I have a group of friends that range from school days, through university and up to Twitter who try to get together once every four to six weeks to have dumplings. We call ourselves the Twitter Lunch Club, TLC for short, which is appropriate because sometimes emergency dumpling summits are held if one of us is in crisis.

Dongpo (think slow cooked in soy) pork w/steamed buns for #everyfuckingnight
Dongpo (think slow cooked in soy) pork w/steamed buns for #everyfuckingnight

One of the dishes we have at our favourite dumpling establishment is this pork dish, served at room temperature which is covered in this thick, sweet, addictive sauce. I can’t recall what it’s called on the menu, we sit there and reel off dish numbers to minimise delay in getting food on the table.

But I’m here to tell you I have replicated it. I’m certain it will take me a couple more goes to perfect it but sweet LORD it is good.

As with basically everything I cook it is not technically hard but this one does take time. I actually did it over two days because I realised after I’d started I’d really left my run too late.

Dongpo pork, stage 1.
Dongpo pork, stage 1.

This recipe for dongo pork (best name ever) comes from my current favourite cookbook, Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School. He won Australian Masterchef a few years back and has done so much to make Asian cookery more accessible to those of us wary of the wok.

Dongpo pork, stage 2.
Dongpo pork, stage 2.

I bought my pork belly from an Asian butcher, their pork is always far superior to what you get at a skippy* one.

The glistening jewels of dongpo pork.
The glistening jewels of dongpo pork.

Dongpo Pork
Sweet, earthy fatty morsels of pork belly slow cooked in soy and ginger
Cuisine: Chinese
  • 1kg pork belly
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ cup dark soy
  • ½ cup Shaoxing win
  • 4 tbsp yellow rock sugar (or caster sugar, which is what I used)
  • 1 tbsp Chinese tea leaves, steeped in one cup of hot water (I had Jasmine so used that, Adam says its optional)
  • 5 cm piece of ginger, peeled, sliced and bruised
  • 4 thick spring onions, cut into 5cm lengths (I didn't have any so used an onion)
  • rice or steamed buns to serve
  1. Place the pork in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a simmer.
  2. Simmer for 10 minutes
  3. Drain, rest until cool enough to handle and then cut into 7x5cm blocks
  4. Heat the peanut oil in a wok or frypan and brown off the pork in batches (I did this in my Le Creuset)
  5. Bring the sauces, wine, sugar and tea to the boil (Adam uses a claypot but says a Dutch oven or good heavy based saucepan will work)
  6. Add the ginger and spring onions
  7. Add the pork (Adam said skin side down but mine would play fairly so I ended up just dumping it all in) and then top up with water until the pork is covered
  8. Bring to the boil then simmer for around 2 hours or until the pork is very tender (I would recommend here making sure the pork is always covered in enough liquid as some of mine dried out a bit)
  9. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and set aside
  10. Turn the heat back up and reduce to a thick glaze
  11. Pour over the pork and eat immediately with steamed buns or rice


You must make it immediately!



* Skippy, as in Skippy the kangaroo = anglo

Zucchini gratin

A beautiful bake of zucchini, rice and cheese

Sometimes you make something that forces you to slow down. For me that normally involves baking and I love it. You can’t rush yeast, a cake needs time, dough wants methodical kneading, pastry asks for, well, everything.

So I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen and while I am not the greatest fan of zucchini I needed to make it instantly. What I didn’t realise was it was going to force me to go slow and follow a number of steps. I am, in reality, a much more ‘bung it all in and hope for the best’ cook.

Salting the zucchini
Salting the zucchini

It’s based on a Julia Child recipe and while I own her voluminous Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volumes 1 and 2 I have never cooked from them. So I was, in effect, uninitiated.

You have no choice but to slow down but I was making it for dinner so didn’t want to slow down and got a bit cranky with the whole thing. Salting zucchinis, par-boiling rice, slowly sweating off onions, it doesn’t sound like much but for a weeknight #everyfuckingnight it was frustrating.

Stupidly labour and saucepan intensive zucchini gratin ready for the oven
Stupidly labour and saucepan intensive zucchini gratin ready for the oven

But dagnammit it tasted out of this world which annoyed me even more (and everyone except Felix inhaled it). So my advice is definitely make it but go into it with patience, a willingness to wash up a lot and the knowledge you will be handsomely rewarded.

Voila! Zucchini gratin for #everyfuckingnight (and probably never again).
Voila! Zucchini gratin for #everyfuckingnight (and probably never again).

Zucchini gratin
  • 1.1kg zucchini
  • 1½ tsp of salt
  • ½ cup white rice
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tblsp olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tblsp plain flour
  • Milk, as needed, although broth of your choice would work just fine
  • ⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter
  1. Preheat oven to 200C and put your oven rack in the top third of your oven
Prepare the zucchini
  1. Halve lengthwise, and if seeds are particularly large, core them out. Grate using a food processor unless you're a masochist and want to do it by hand
  2. Place in a colander set over a bowl. Toss with kosher salt then let drain (according to Julia Child for 5 minutes). I weighted it and drained it for 30 minutes. Don't throw the liquid away
  3. Squeeze a little bit out and taste it. If it's really overly salty (mine was) rinse it under the tap and squeeze out (this water you don't save).
  4. Squeeze all of the zucchini in handfuls collecting the juices into the bowl of drained liquid. You really want to squeeze it out so you don't have soggy gratin.
Prepare rice
  1. Bring to the boil for just 5 minutes then drain and set aside.
Prepare the rest
  1. In a large frying pan, cook the onions slowly in 3 tablespoons oil for 8 to 10 minutes until tender and translucent.
  2. Raise heat slightly and stir several minutes until very lightly browned.
  3. Stir in the grated and dried zucchini and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes
  4. Sprinkle in the flour, stir over moderate heat for 2 minutes, and remove from heat.
Assemble dish
  1. Measure the drained liquid from the zucchini. You want 2½ cups. I got that exactly (skill!) but if you don't add some milk to make up the difference.
  2. Stir into zucchini-onion mixture, return pan to stove over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the rice and all but 2 tablespoons cheese (I added all the cheese then sprinkled extra over the top because, cheese.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  5. Pour into a baking dish, sprinkle over more cheese and dot with butter
  6. Bake for 30 minutes (if it's browning too quickly cover with foil then uncover again for the last 5 minutes.



Chicken and bacon pasta bake

When you’re groaning at having to make dinner again make this.

If you’re not already, follow me at Instagram, search the hashtag #everyfuckingnight and you will see a feed of the dinners I am cooking my boys.

Chicken bacon pasta bake 1

This dinner is solely thanks to my dear friend S who knows the best places to have dinner, always checks in on me and is breeding olympians. She’s made this as the kids meal on two occasions we’ve been over for dinner – the second time because they all loved it the first.

It’s a dinner standard in her house and will now be in ours.

Chicken bacon pasta bake 3


Chicken and bacon pasta bake
A fantastic dinner option even most fussy kids will eat.
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
  • 500g packet of pasta - shells or spirals would be my advice
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 6 slices streaky bacon - if using more traditional rashes you get in Aus then probably 3 would do it
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 500g jar of pasta sauce - your brand and flavour choice
  • couple of handfuls of grated cheese
  1. Cook pasta until almost done - meaning if it's meant to cook for 12 mins cook it for 10. Drain
  2. Saute the onion, garlic and bacon in a glug of oil for about 5 minutes or until there's a bit of colour coming on but not crispy
  3. Add the chicken and brown, don't go crazy because it will cook in the oven
  4. Add the pasta sauce
  5. Tip in the pasta and combine thoroughly
  6. Stir in a big handful of grated cheese
  7. Tip into a baking dish, top with more cheese
  8. Bake at 180C for 30-45 mins - this is basically dependent on how much time you have and how crispy you want the top to be.



One pan roasted chicken and potatoes

Thursday’s radio spot saw me veer away from the sweets (quelle horror!) to show a steady course to one of my go-to one pan roasts. The big tip here is to have a rare moment of organisation when you buy your chicken pieces. Throw them in a snap-lock bag with the marinade before poping them in the freezer. It means on the night you’re going to have it all you need do is defrost the chicken, toss with the potatoes and roast. As my friend Beth says, BANG.

dinner winner


One pot wonder

  • 1kg chicken pieces (drumsticks, wings, pieces that are on the bone)
  • one lemon, cut into chunks
  • few lugs olive oil
  • a handful mix of fresh herbs (eg tarragon, sage, parsley, thyme)
  • 4 garlic cloves, slightly crushed but skins still on
  • one onion, cut into chunks
  • heaped dessert spoon of dijon mustard
  • good pinch of salt and a healthy grind of pepper
  • 6 potatoes, cut into wedges
  1. Combine the chicken with the marinade in a bowl or large snap-lock back and combine thoroughly
  2. Marinate for a long as you’ve got – ideally a couple of hours at least
  3. Preheat your oven to 180C
  4. Tip the chicken pieces and potatoes into a baking dish and toss together, add a few more lugs of olive oil if everything’s not getting nicely coated with the marinade. You could probably sprinkle over some more salt and pepper here as well.
  5. Bake for about an hour or until everything is nice and golden with some crispy bits and charred bits and basically a pan of ridiculous goodness.


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