Nov 26, 2023

Smoked Sardines and Stracciatella Cheese Crostini - Hurray Store Bought Ingredients

Fancy crostini doesn't have to be a hassle to put together all the time. If you can source quality store bought ingredients, it'll only take you 10 minutes to put together something nice for the crowd, or why not just for yourself?

Smoked sardines and stracciatella cheese crostini -

Smoked sardines and stracciatella cheese crostini


  • 100 grams canned smoked sardines 
  • 125 grams stracciatella cheese
  • 1 medium baguette
  • Some pickled red cabbage
  • Some fresh dill


Slice the baguette. Usually I would drizzle some olive oil over and perhaps rub garlic on it before toasting. However, the canned smoked sardines I used was smoked over beech wood and preserved in rapeseed oil, so I'm going to keep the main focus on that and keep other ingredients as simple as possible.

Fangst smoked sardines and other ingredients for crostini

So toast the baguette slices as it is. Once the texture turns slightly crunchy on the edges, remove from heat.

Toasting baguette slices

Drain out excess liquid from the stracciatella cheese. Tear a small portion then lay on the baguette slices. Top with some pickled red cabbage then add the smoked sardines on top.

Lastly, garnish with fresh dill then it's good to go. I think 10 minutes total to put together the whole thing?

Smoked sardines and stracciatella cheese crostini

I got the smoked sardines during my trip to Denmark, but you can use whichever varieties of your liking, preferably pick something smoked for this recipe.

Smoked sardines and stracciatella cheese crostini

After trying one crostini, I actually added more dill than the ones showing in the pictures for myself. Simply love the flavor of dill, the more the merrier, it does really well with the smoked sardines I'm using here.

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Nov 20, 2023

Looking for Another Rice-Killing Dish? Try This Pork Strips Wood Ear and Cilantro Stir-Fry

Even though there're pork strips and wood ear, but the key to this recipe is actually cilantro. The usual flavor-booster in many Chinese dishes, a little bit here and there for a refreshing touch. But this time, we're putting the spotlight right on it. Not just a spoonful, but one big handful of cilantro adding to the stir-fry.

Pork strips wood ear and cilantro stir-fry - 

Pork strips wood ear and cilantro stir-fry


  • 1 handful/small bundle cilantro
  • 220 grams pork strips
  • 200 grams fresh wood ear
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 red chili
  • 2 tablespoons light-tasting cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon pickled chilies (泡椒)


  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese rice cooking wine


  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar


If you can't find pork strips, simply use pork belly and slice into strips yourself. A bit more work but manageable. Marinate the pork strips with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of Chinese rice cooking wine. Give it a quick mix and massage, keep it aside while prepping other ingredients.

Marinating pork strips

I like to rinse the wood ear with hot water before using it. Mostly for cleaning and to wash-away excess slimy thing on the outside. Once ready, trim-off the tougher center for the fresh wood ear then slice to strips.

Fresh wood ear sliced to strips

Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Destem and chop the red chili. Trim-off the cilantro stems then section the remaining part to shorter pieces. Depending on the type of cilantro you have, some are tender even for the stem part. If you got tougher cilantro, it might be better to chop it instead of sectioned.

As for the pickled chilies, if you can't find the Chinese variety, I think the Mexican pickled jalapeños are just as delicious, and definitely much spicier, so be careful if you're substituting with jalapeños.

Bring out a pan and drizzle 2 tablespoons of preferred cooking oil. Switch to medium heat or medium high heat. Add in pork strips together with chopped garlic and chopped chili. Give it a quick stir-fry till the pork nearly turns all white.

Cooking pork strips with garlic and chili

Add in all the ingredients listed under the "sauce" section. Also add 1 teaspoon of pickled chilies. Give it a quick mix.

Adding sauce for pork strips stir-fry

Add in wood dear and cook for about a minute. Transfer cilantro over and cook for 30 seconds or so.

Pork strips wood ear and cilantro stir-fry

Taste and adjust if needed. Once the flavor has been checked, plate and serve.

Pork strips wood ear and cilantro stir-fry

Even though it's more of a Chinese dish, but Chinese pickled chilies can be hard to find, even for me in Taiwan unless I'm up for making it from scratch. Interestingly Mexican jalapeños happened to be a wonderful alternative. I can imagine the end result is tasty, if not even more delicious, and definitely packed with fiery heat. 

Other pork stir-fry recipes: