Wednesday, 5 September 2012

slow food so good

I'm normally not an advocate for slow cooking. If you have been following my blog, you would have noticed that I usually go for quick and simple dishes that could be put together under 30 minutes. It came with no surprise that I have been keeping this 'Taiwanese-style braised pork with rice' recipe for more than a year and no actions taken until recently. I can't remember how it surfaced from my piles of recipes, but I am really glad that I attempted something seemingly complicated and beyond my cooking skills. A quick glance at the long list of ingredients almost made me wanted to strike it off the list. After reading the instructions a couple of times and mentally going through the steps, I thought it really isn't as difficult as I have imagined it to be.

This slow dish is really worth the extra effort. The braised pork was very fragrant and delicious. The five spice powder and the fried shallots added so much flavour to the dish. I think these two ingredients are key to achieving the authentic taste. The strange thing was, the fragrant reminded me so much of nyonya bak chang (glutinous rice dumpling)! Everyone enjoyed the meal and all gave thumbs up to this one-bowl dish. My better half nodded with approval and assured me the taste was very close to the one he had in Taipei. Of course, I choose to believe him even if it was a white lie ;)

Braised Pork with Rice (台式卤肉饭)

(serves 4)

10 shallots
4 ~ 6 eggs
10 dried shiitake mushrooms
10g dried shrimps (hay bee, 虾米)
500g pork belly
1 thumb size old ginger (about 5g), minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons five spice powder (I used only 1~1.5 tsp)
2 star anise (八角)
2 tablespoons Shao Hsing Hua Tiao wine
3 tablespoons fried shallots*
2 tablespoons light soya sauce
1 tablespoon dark soya sauce
30g rock sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
some water


*to make fried shallots, peel about 10 shallots, cut into thin slices. Pan fry with oil until golden (turn off the heat once the shallots turn golden, it gets burnt easily). Drain on paper towel and leave to cool. Reserve the oil. Alternatively, you can use ready made fried shallots.

- Place eggs (use room temperature eggs, cold eggs may crack easily upon boiling) in a pot and fill with enough water to cover the eggs, add a pinch of salt (to prevent eggs from cracking). Boil for about 10mins. Remove from pot and place eggs in cold water(easier to peel the shells). Peel and remove the shells. Set aside.

- Wash dried mushrooms, soak in water for 30mins. Drain and cut into 0.5cm small cubes. Reserve the water. Wash dries shrimps, soak in water for 30mins or until soften. Drain and minced. Wash and cut pork belly into 1 cm cubes. Blanch in boiling water for about 3 mins. Rinsed the blanched pork belly, drain and set aside.

- Heat 1 tablespoon oil (reserved from frying shallots) in a wok. Stir fry minced ginger, garlic and dried shrimps till fragrant. Add in five spice powder and star anise, stir fry till fragrant. Add in blanched pork belly, stir fry till browned. Add mushrooms, toss to combine.  Add shao hsing wine by pouring it over the side of the wok, toss to combine. Add in fried shallots, light soya sauce, dark soya sauce, rock sugar, toss and stir fry to combine. Add the reserved water from soaking the mushrooms. Top with more water until it covers all the ingredients. Bring to a boil.

- Transfer everything to a claypot or casserole (note: the water level should be over the ingredients by at least 2 inches). Add in the hard boiled eggs. Cover with lid and leave to simmer for about 1.5hrs (turn the eggs around in between the cooking time). Add in salt and continue to simmer for another 10mins. Remove from heat. There should still be some sauce remaining when the dish is done, the sauce will appear glossy and thickened (from the fat of the pork belly).

- Serve with rice and blanched xiao bai cai (baby bok choy).

Recipe source: 贝太厨房


Unknown said...

Looks good. The gravy goes very with white rice.

What's Baking?? said...

ooh this looks absolutely yummy. I could eat 2 bowls of rice with this dish.

Simply bakes said...

Yeap, totally my kind of lunch:) I love it HHB!

PH said...

Definitely worth the effort! It looks very delicious. I would attack the eggs first :)

Angelic Heart~ said...

looks very nice and delicious! i love this type of meal~ Thanks for sharing.:)

The Experimental Cook said...

Arhgg! I miss Taiwan already. Looking at your creation, I can understand why your folks love it so much.

Edith said...

my kids' favourite!

Anonymous said...

looks very tasty! now my turn to bookmark... =D

Orchidea said...

I am so glad to have afound your blog... I lived in S'pore for 7 months in 2005 and loved it. There are so many good food that I miss.

CY said...

I've never tried Taiwanese cuisine before, but we love braised and stewed dishes so I might give this a try! :)

Kimmy said...

Hi HHB, you should believe your hubby's praises on this dish. I tried several outlets when I was in Taiwan last year but none makes me wanting for more. I'll try yours and let you have the feedback. My hubby is quite 'yim chim' when it comes to food tastes. If he gives the thumbs up, it is definitely GOOD. I like your way of serving a meal [good food, fuss free and no greasy kitchen].

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Kimmy, hope this recipe wont disappoint last trip to Taipei was almost 12 years ago, I can't remember the taste at all. But, my younger son who came back from his recent school trip to Taipei told me he tried this dish (but it was minced pork over rice), he told me the one he had taste better than mine, he had 3 bowls in one sitting ;)

Kimmy said...

Hi HHB, your son had 3 bowls cos' the portion is really small. My hubby had 2 bowls and complained too much fats and yes it is more minced meat and sauce.

Anonymous said...

Hi HHB, if I want to use chicken instead of pork, should I blanch the chicken meat for 3 mins? Would tigh meat or breast meat be better?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, I dont think you can replace it with chicken, the taste will be very different. You will need to use pork belly as the fat will help thicken the sauce.

Chuany said...

Already Tested it. DELICIOUS :) Thx HHB