Sunday, 18 October 2015

Dishing Up A Hakka Meal

        A perfect Hakka dish must fulfil the three principles : salty, fatty and fragrant. And pork is the main feature in the majority of Hakka cooking.
        Despite possessing only Cantonese roots, I have always had a penchant for Hakka dishes. Braised pork with preserved vegetables (mui choy kau yoke), braised pork with yam (wu tao kau yoke), Hakka style fried pork belly, drunken chicken in glutinous rice wine, braised pig's trotters with vinegar, Hakka yam abacus, Hakka noodles and braised pork belly with black fungus…all these are my favourite dishes.
        To my delight, my Hockchew hubby has fallen in love with Hakka style fried pork belly (which is a regular dish in my kitchen) and braised pork with black fungus (after I introduced it to him at Ying Ker Lou, a famous Hakka restaurant in Kuala Lumpur). Taking a break from marking dreary exam papers, I decided to try my hand at cooking the braised pork with black fungus.

Ingredients :
500g of pork belly (skinless and cut into pieces)
30g of black fungus (soaked in water till softened)
4 - 5 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of five spices powder
1 tbsp of soya sauce
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
1 tbsp of shaoxing wine
1 tsp of pepper
2 tsp of sugar
1 tbsp of tapioca flour
2 tbsp of plain flour
2 pieces of preserved red beancurd
1 egg
800ml of water
2 cloves of star anise (which I didn't put in because hubby is averse to it)

Method :
1.   Season pork belly pieces with 1 preserved red beancurd, soya sauce, five spices powder, pepper, 1 tsp of sugar, and the two types of flour. Leave to marinade for at least 3 hours.
2.   Add egg to the marinated pork belly 30 mins before cooking.
3.   Deep fry the marinated pork belly in hot oil over high heat until golden brown. Dish out and drain well.
4.   Saute garlic and the remaining preserved red beancurd over low heat till fragrant.
5.   Add in black fungus, 1 tsp of sugar, oyster sauce, shaoxing wine. Toss well. Pour in water and bring to boil.
6.   Add the fried pork belly pieces (and star anises). Cover the wok. Simmer for approximately 40 minutes until the pork belly pieces are tender and the flavour has been absorbed. Serve hot.

Hakka braised pork belly with black fungus
        Hubby's verdict : very good, better than Ying Ker Lou's

        And all that slaving in the kitchen to dish up a Hakka meal was worth it!

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