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Thursday, May 7, 2015


My late grandma was a good cook for Nyonya dishes. Her Chien Bak was specially good but we didn’t really get to learn how she prepared the dish as we were still young.
Moreover, she passed away quite suddenly due to heart problems.  During that time, treatment for heart diseases aren't as advanced as now.  There is no such thing as prevention of diseases or sicknesses then.  How good it would be if she is still around and I will have the chance to learn from her some of her signature dishes.
I came across this Chien Bak recipe in Nyonya Flavours and gave it a try to see if it is similar to that of my grandma’s.  It isn't the same as my granny's but it's a dish I wouldn't mind preparing often cos' it is easy, simple yet tasty. 

Verdict – simple yet awesome braised pork the Nyonya way.  The pork is just tender, not oily, well seasoned and blends so well with the onions which is sweet after frying. It can be served with rice and should be good too with blanched noodles.
Recipe Source – Nyonya Flavours 
500 gm pork belly [I used the tender parts with some fats]
2 tbsp oil
1 onion – sliced
125 ml water
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 calamansi lime – juice
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

  1. Marinade the pork slices for at least an hour or overnight in the fridge.
  2. Heat oil in wok, fry onion for a minute. Remove and set aside.
  3. Using the same wok, add in the marinated pork slices. Fry for several seconds and low heat to simmer for about 30 minutes until the meat is tender. Add water, a little at a time to cook the meat.
  4. Dish out to cool. Slice pork to serve topped with the fried onions.  Served with freshly cut cucumbers/zuchini is just lovely.
Note: You can slice the pork into 0.75 cm thickness before marinating.

I submitting this post to Cook Your Books Event #23 [May 2015] hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours
 photo 77951578-1914-4b72-8eda-9e40a91183ac_zps331eb4b4.jpg


Madeline said...

Hi Kimmy, yr nyonya braised pork look delicious. Looks like char Siew. May I know which type of pork to buy, shoulder or belly? Thanks for sharing.

Kimmy said...

Hi Madeline, I concur that this braised meat is delicious and so easy to cook. I used the tender pork meat with a little fat. The butcher calls this meat 'Leng Boey Bak' in Hokkien. Only 2 strips from a pig. I used this kind of meat for almost all the dishes apart from pork belly. It cooks fast, tender and not as fatty as pork belly. It can be used for braising, minced, quick stir fry and quick cook soups.

Phong Hong said...

Kimmy, it's a pity that you did not have a chance to learn your grsndma's secret recipe. My partner used to boast to me that his chien bak is very delicious. He said just put garlic and soya sauce but he has never cooked it for me hah..hah...

Kimmy said...

Hi Phong Hong, that time, we are still young, somehow take things for granted. We never expect that she left us so soon. Your partner is quite right, the chien bak has soy sauce and garlic and also pounded pepper. Hope he will cook his version for you soon.

kitchen flavours said...

Hi Kimmy,
Like you, I never did get to learn everything from my mother, though between us sisters, we managed to recall most of the recipes that we remember. Have been cooking Nyonya dishes lately too, to recapture back the old recipes of my mom's. This dish looks delicious! To what I remember, my mom used only garlic and soy sauce. Thanks for sharing with CYB!

Kimmy said...

Hi Joyce, my mom sometimes will add cekur roots. I tried this recipe out of curiosity and nor regrets trying it. It is good and I like it with the onions.

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