Chinese pork shank soup

4 boned pork shanks  (from a Chinese butcher)

1kg of pork bones (from Chinese butcher)

bunch of Asian greens

1 cup black turtle beans

pack of 2 minute noodles

7 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of mirin

2 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

3″ piece peeled ginger

3 tablespoons brown sugar

sesame oil

for serving. Sliced spring onion, fried onion and fried garlic

Bring a pot of water to the boil add the bones and the shanks.  Boil for 5 minutes rinse and drain.

This is one of the big differences between a Chinese soup and a western soup. Instead of browning the meat and the bones they  are blanched. This removes  the scum that clouds the stock.

Place the soy sauce, mirin, the spices  and 2 tbs brown sugar in the pressure cooker.

add the drained meat and bones

add the turtle beans

cover with cold water to just below the maximum

pressure cook on high pressure for 1 hour.

Remove shanks, with a small amount of the cooking liquid, roughly slice them into small pieces

add sesame oil into  a frying pan. Add sliced meat, liquid and 1tbs sugar. Cook until liquid is gone and meat browns in mixture

add greens to pressure cooker cook on high for 5 mins

cook 2 minute noodles


add a scoop of cooked noodles to bowl, add soup with one or two of the bones. Top with cooked meat, sliced shallots, fried onion and fried garlic.

Chinese Pork Shank Soup

Chinese Pork Shank Soup ready to cook


Chinese Pork Shank soup cooked in about 1 hour.

Store a watermelon.

Big watermelons are a challenge.

Where do you keep them? They take a huge amount of fridge space and are heavy.

We lived in Esk a few years ago. A watermelon growing area. I miss buying huge watermelons for $2 at the farm gate.

A farmer told us this. Put the watermelon in a shady spot in the garden, until your ready to eat it.

We did this at Christmas a couple of weeks before we bought the watermelon popped it on some straw in the garden.

We didn’t eat it till about 10 days after Christmas.

The one in the photo I bought 10 days ago. From the back of a farmers ute. Very fresh.

I’m using it tonight for a family dinner.


Finally the Mango’s are starting to ripen

It hasn’t been the hottest summer on record. They have been slow to ripen. Logan food gardeners who are about 30 mins away have their mangos in the freezers already.

However the size and taste is incredible. They are so sweet. This tree is truly my favourite in the garden.



2013/14 mangos.


Finally starting to ripen.

I think they have taken longer in the bags. Though there is no sign of fruit fly. I’m not sure if I would use them again. We have about 30 mangos on the tree still. I’m not sure what kind they are but they are very sweet.

The Ground to Ground Primer – Coffee Grounds for the Garden


Using Coffee grounds in compost

Originally posted on Ground to Ground:

coffee logoMaking a difference, one latte at a time

Used Coffee Grounds (UCG) have been used on plants and in compost for hundreds of years.

Somewhere along the way most of us gave it away, stopped growing our own food, and relied on an increasingly effective industrialised effort to provide food to the table.

Most of us are totally dependant on food production systems which exclude us from all but the final step of consumption – We buy and consume only the end products, and if for whatever reason the shelves become empty, the only thing left to do is starve.

I wanted some measure of control over how my food is produced, while appreciating the environmental footprint of doing it.

The first step was to start improving the quality of my soil through compost, fertilizer, and vermicast. This is when I discovered an almost limitless and cost free additive to…

View original 1,608 more words

Looking after your Christmas Ham

Put a cotton pillowcase in a bowl of water with a good splash of vinegar.

Wring out excess water.

Keep ham in this rinsing out bag in vinegar and water every day.

Once it starts to get to the end. Slice up left over put into ziplock bags and freeze small quantities to use in a myriad of meals.

Use the bone to make my Dad’s favourite and mine pea and ham soup.

Fried rice
Macaroni cheese
Omelettes and frittatas
Ham and eggs
Baked potatoes with ham and cheese
Ham cheese toasties