Siu Mai Banh Mi

Makes 4
450g minced pork or chicken
1 large egg
10 water chestnuts, minced
½ tbsp fish sauce
½ cup chopped spring onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
225g canned tomato sauce
2 shallots, chopped
1 tbsp oil
4 small baguettes, halved lengthwise
4 tbsp mayonnaise
50g pork liver or chicken liver pate
1 Japanese cucumber, sliced
½ cup coriander leaves
100g Vietnamese pickles*
 ¼ cup sliced red chillies (optional)

All ingredients for the recipe are available at supermarkets in Singapore
1 Combine the pork, egg, water chestnuts, fish sauce, spring onions, ¾ of the minced garlic, ½ tbsp cornstarch, ½ tbsp sugar and ½ tsp salt, and mix well by hand.
2 Shape the mixture into 16 meatballs and steam for 20min until cooked.
3 In a small bowl, mix ½ cup water with the tomato sauce and remaining cornstarch, sugar and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
4 In a pan, stir-fry the shallots in the oil over high heat. Add the remaining garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce mixture and remaining water, and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
5 Spread mayonnaise and pate on the baguette halves.
6 Coat the meatballs evenly with the tomato sauce. Sandwich them in the baguettes with coriander leaves, pickles and red chillies.
They taste better than store-bought ones, says chef Belinda.
Makes about 100g
1 Peel and julienne one carrot and one daikon. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle over 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp sugar.
2 Knead the vegetables for 3min to squeeze out the excess liquid. Rinse under running water, then squeeze out excess liquid again. Set aside.
3 To make the brine, dissolve 120g sugar into a mixture of 300ml rice vinegar and 240ml warm water. Pour over the vegetables, covering them completely. Set aside for one hour.

This article was originally published in Simply Her October 2013.