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Monday, October 10, 2011

Braised Pork Belly with 梅乾菜

This is another recipe that I learn from hubby's grandma. I still remember when the first time I ate it at hubby's grandparent house, Grandma said "you are Hakanese right? this is Haka people's food". In Indonesia, my family called this food "Babi Hong" in Chinese restaurant in Indonesia, usually they cut the pork belly very wide and thin. When hubby's grandparent cooked it, they cut it into cubed. The meat cut is really up to one's preference.
I still remember that Grandma was trying to telling me the recipe in Chinese, and I was't familiar with the Chinese term of the ingredients and she got frustrated and said " bu dong lah!" ( don't understand!). Later on, I learned that sheng jiang means ginger.
This dish is so delicious, you need to cook it for a long time to make the meat very tender. When you cook it long enough, the meat should just melt in your mouth...oh so good! Usually it required 3 hours to cook it to perfection. Constant checking on the pot is very important, we don't want it to get burn.
I burn a pot before when I leave at the apartment, and my apartment was filled with smoke...I still remember the noise of the smoke alarm!! sigh...that's why now I prefer to cook them in a slow cooker. It's the lazy way of cooking...hehe...I can put it on the slow cooker, and it would cook overnight. Then the next morning I'll wake up to the delicious tender meat.

Ps. This dish required to use fatty pork belly with skin attached.

1 pack of pork belly, sliced. Because I'm using slow cooker, I sliced my meat thick, it's 2 fingers thick.
hard boiled eggs, peeled (optional)
mei gan chai / preserved Chinese vegetable (look at the picture above). Soaked in hot water for one hour, then rinse for 3 times.
Sesame oil

Sauce Ingredients,
1 handful of garlic, crushed
6 stalk of green onion, sliced medium length
4 thumb ginger, sliced medium thickness
3/4 cup Chinese cooking wine
1 cup light soy sauce
2/3 cup soy sauce paste / thick soy sauce
10 pinch of sugar

Cooking Method,
1. Heat a large pan, drizzle generous amount of sesame oil
2. When the oil is hot, add green onions, garlic and ginger. Using medium high heat, stir the ingredients until it fragrant.

3. Add the pork, stir fry until the pork half cooked and turn slightly brownish

4. Add the cooking rice wine, soy sauce, thick soy sauce and sugar

4. Mix the sauce and the meat well, then transfer them into a slow cooker and add 2 cups of water

 5. Put the hard boiled eggs and mei gan chai on top of the meat, then close the slow cooker lid. I put it to cook on 10 hours low heat

6. After 2 hours, I flipped the eggs so it would be nicely browned, then pour some of the sauce on top of the mei gan chai again. 

7. Let it cook overnight, then you will wake up to a delicious braised pork belly, ready to be enjoy with warm steam rice.

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