Occasional stories, food and travel inspiration

Occasional stories, food and travel inspiration

Braised Pork and Beans inspired by Mrs Andersen

When my mother arrived in Australia in the 60s as a high school student from Hong Kong she didn’t know how to boil water.


It was her German/Australian landlady, Mrs Andersen (pictured below with her husband), who taught her how to cook.


One of our favourite family recipes — Stir-Fried Pork and Beans — is actually a variation of a recipe Mrs Andersen taught my mother. Apparently Mrs Andersen learned about Chinese cooking techniques and recipes from cookbooks. It’s funny to think that my mother was taught how to cook Chinese food by a German/Australian but that’s how it was.

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This Braised Pork and Beans recipe, that I developed recently for Bertolli Olive Oil, is a variation on my mother’s recipe, which in turn was a variation of Mrs Andersen’s. I’ve fancied it up a little, added quite a lot of ginger and used dark soy sauce instead of light soy sauce but in essence it is similar. It’s rich and comforting, which makes it perfect for those cooler nights when the sun falls quickly and it’s dark in the late afternoon.

Mrs Andersen died before I was born so I don’t remember her unfortunately.  However, I think she’d be quietly pleased to know that she is remembered so fondly, and that her cooking is now inspiring a new generation of cooks. That’s how powerful a legacy the food that we cook can leave.



 Note: I was commissioned by Bertolli to make this recipe but I have not been compensated to write this post. I just really like this recipe and wanted to share it here, too. 

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