Followers

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

EZ DONG PO ROU [BRAISED PORK BELLY] - 东坡肉

Dong Po Rou [东坡肉] or braised pork belly is a very popular dish said to be originated from Hangzhou, China created by Su Dong, a famous scholar, poet and writer etc during the Song Dynasty period. I would not write further on how this dish comes to be so popular here.  If you are interested to get the details, just google and there are ample articles available with the details.
This braised pork belly dish seems tedious and difficult to prepare but it is surprisingly simple because most of the ingredients are easily available in any home kitchen.  This easy, simple version does not require long hours of stewing.  Yet, you can still end up with a succulent, tender 'melt in the mouth' meat texture.  After the extra stewing time, the pork belly is flavorsome and easily separated into small pieces with chopsticks.  A normal braised pork belly recipe requires about 45 - 60 minutes of simmering to tenderise the meat but this recipe requires 90 minutes of it.  No worries, you need not have to watch over the stove while it is simmering.
It is worthwhile to prepare this dish for Chinese New Year.  My husband's siblings gave thumbs up for it.😋😋😋
Recipe recreated from KL Liew Youtube video with modifications
Ingredients To Blanch Meat
1 to 1.2kg pork belly [choose the thick part of the pork belly]
3-4 slices ginger
1-2 stalks spring onions
2 tbsp cooking wine
  1. Pour water into a big wok [to blanch the whole piece of pork belly].  Add in pork belly, ginger, spring onions and wine.
  2. Bring to boil over medium low heat for 20-30 minutes.  Turn the meat occasionally to ensure  that the whole piece of meat is blanched [all sides turned white].
  3. Remove from heat, rinsed until running water.  Set aside to cool before cutting into 4 equal portions [Slice off the uneven edges if preferred].  Pat dry and set aside.
Ingredients For Braising
1/2 tbsp oil
60 gm rock sugar
80-100 gm ginger - sliced
2 stalks spring onion - cut into halve
2 bay leaves
2 pieces cinnamon stick
2-3 star anise
8-10 cloves
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
60 ml light soy sauce
3/4 tbsp dark soy sauce
100 ml cooking wine
  1. Using a heavy based pot or good ceramic pot, line the base with ginger and spring onions.
  2. Pour oil into a wok, brown the sides of the pork belly pieces [except the skin part].  Remove meat pieces and extra oil.
  3. Using the same wok, add in rock sugar.  Caramelise the rock sugar over medium low heat [be careful not to burn it].  Add in the meat slices and try to coat the pieces with the caramelised sugar. 
  4. Transfer the meat pieces to pot [1], skin side down.  Add in the remaining spices and seasoning.  Meanwhile, add some water to the wok with caramelised sugar.  Bring to boil until the sugar dissolves.  
  5. Pour over meat slices, covering about 80% of them [add more water if not enough].  Bring to boil for a minute, then reduce to low heat.  Cover with lid and leave to simmer for 45 minutes.
  6. After 45 minutes, turn over meat slices with skin side upwards.  Bring to boil again, then reduce to low heat.  Cover with lid and leave to simmer for another 45 minutes.
  7. Off heat, test with a chopstick to check if meat slices are tender.
  8. Remove to serving platter.  Strain braising sauce into a sauce pot.  Discard the residue.  Bring braising sauce to boil.  Drizzle over meat and serve hot.

Monday, February 1, 2021

CNY 2021 - MUNG BEAN BISCUITS [LEK TAU KO]

This is the 3rd recipe which I tried. Mung Bean Biscuits could be addictive and does not yield much for the portion as the cookies are compact. All the recipes are workable. Maybe this is the third time I am making them, it seems much easier. The kneading needs much hand and finger strength. The moulding should not be a problem. Just remember to press hard otherwise the dough will break away. But, my opinion is, it is worth all the trouble. These are really good biscuits to snack with a hot brew of Chinese tea.
Mung Bean Biscuits aka 'Lek Tau Ko' in Chinese Hokkien dialect
These biscuits melts in the mouth but the nibbed almonds are crunchy.  Lovely biscuits.  In future, I would try with split green beans to make these biscuits.  The biscuits will be pale, yellow golden colour.
Recipe adapted from No Frills Recipes with some modifications
Ingredients
[makes 80 pieces]
300 gm green beans - to be fried and mill grind to get mung bean flour*
30 gm rice flour 
60 gm plain flour 
120 gm icing sugar 
100 gm nibbed almonds 
130 gm shortening 
Add a bit of cooking oil if dough is too dry 
* if store bought mung bean flour is unavailable
  1. Rinse mung beans several times under running tap water, then drain in a colander.
  2. Heat a wok to stir-fry beans in dry pan over medium heat until the water dries up.  It takes about 4 minutes until the water has dried up.  Lower heat to medium-low and continue to cook for another 6-7 minutes until fragrant.  Stirring constantly.   Set aside to cool completely.
  3. When cooled, grind the fried beans in a dry mill grinder, in batches.  Sift the grinded mung beans to obtain the flour.  Repeat grinding and sifting the coarse  leftovers until it yields about 270 gm mung bean flour.  Discard the coarse leftovers.  [Can prepare this earlier before baking day]. Refer to this post for pictures of the process.
  4. Lightly heat up rice flour and mungbean flour.  Set aside.
  5. Sift plain flour and icing sugar into a big bowl.  Add in [4] and nibbed almonds.  Then mix well and evenly. 
  6. Add in the shortening mix until it resembles bread crumbs.  Add in adequate vegetable oil if dough is too dry.
  7. Lightly dust plastic moulds with some plain flour.  Take a bit of the dough, knead with your fingers and hand, press with fingers and palm of your hand until firm.  Press dough hard into mould.  Clear excess dough at the side of the mould.   Tap the mould lightly on table top to unmould the cookie.
  8. Arrange cookie dough on a lined baking tray near each other [biscuits hardly expand].
  9. Bake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees C for 20-25 minutes.  Before the 20th minute, do keep an eye on the biscuits that are baking as some oven could be hot and the cookies maybe burnt with prolong baking.
  10. Remove from oven to cool before storing in airtight containers.