Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Soy Sauce Pork Cubes


P1230624b
Soy sauce pork cubes: look at that shiny semi-transparent fat!

I like to throw all caution away sometimes, with my food that is. So for dinner tonight Wey could hardly believe his nose and then his eyes when I cooked soy sauce belly pork. I truly believe that sometimes you have to eat some fat to maintain that glow and bounce on your cheeks especially if you aren't 35 anymore and if you are going to do so, might as well make it devilishly sinful.

Instead of the highly flavored (wine, star anise, ginger, spring onions) 'red-cooked' pork which, as I've told you again and again, my Shanghainese MIL is best at, I was hankering for a simple soy sauce pork simmered in its own juice and fat, no water added. And what goes better with it than plain white rice although unfortunately I forgot to tell Ming and he cooked the usual semi-polished rice, which Wey dislikes. But still, we had a simple plate of home-grown kangkong, grilled mackeral/saba and a light jieu cai soup with the pork and it was belly-rubbing satisfying. Only thing is, I keep feeling this stretch on my tummy and thighs. But my face feels oily and icky, which must mean the oil's gone there too, which, at my age, is most welcome. Ah, never mind, back to rabbit food and lean meat tomorrow.

This recipe as I've said doesn't call for addition of water because the generous amount of wine is enough to cook the meat. Without much water, the pork will be shiny and not as 'stewy' looking and the moistness will come from the fat it's cooked in. Keep the pork skin on, because it will give a nice bite. Don't cook the pork until it is all soft and falling apart because it tastes best with a slight chew to it.

The secret to a good dish of soy sauce pork is to simmer the pork in its own juice. If you add too much water, the pork is boiled and tastes so but if you let the pork cook in very little water, the pork will have a taste between fried and simmered, which, when you get it right, tastes like food from heaven.

P1230630a
A cube of soy sauce belly pork goes a long way with a bowl of rice.
1 kg belly pork, skin on (same cut for bacon)
1 T Shaoxin wine or rice wine*
3 shallots (small red onions), smashed or sliced coarsely
5 T dark soy sauce**
2 T light soy sauce**
1/2 T rock sugar (about size of your thumb)
1/4 cup spring onions, in 3 cm lengths
*Use rice wine instead of Shaoxin wine if you want a stronger soy sauce flavor
**Use Lee Kum Kee's Selected soy sauces.

1. Wash and cut the belly pork into 'cubes' of about 1 1/2 "/3 cm thick. You can blanch the pork with hot boiling water if like to remove hairs and dirt. This step also prevents the sauce from becoming cloudy.

2. Heat up a heavy pot or a glass casserole dish like Corning's. Add 1 T oil, fry the shallots for 30 seconds and add in the pork. Sear pork over high heat until white all over. If you are cooking more than 1 kg, it is good to cook this in two batches so that the high heat is maintained and the meat gets seared without letting out liquid.

3. When meat is all white (and ideally, browned here and there), add the soy sauces, the wine, the rock sugar and 1/4 cup stock or water. Cover. Reduce heat so that it gives a medium-low simmer. Water will come out of the pork as it cooks. Stir once in a while.

4. After 45  minutes, test the pork. If you like it softer, cook another 15 to 30 minutes. Otherwise, uncover and add extra rice wine if like. Stir well to mix and increase heat to high to reduce the sauce until it's very thick. This may take another 10 minutes or more if there's lots of liquid.

5. Stir in the spring onions and serve hot with plain  boiled rice. Add a plate of stir-fried veggies.

If using pressure cooker, cook 15 minutes from the time the cooker hisses. After that, let the pressure dissipate fully and remove the lid. If there's too much liquid or the liquid is watery, turn the heat on high and cook without covering until the sauce is thick.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Terri,

If I don't have rock sugar, can I just use ordinary table sugar? If yes, how much sugar should I put in?

Thank you!

Jasmine Lee

Lily Anette said...

The best food are always the most sinful ones! So lip smacking good looking.

Frequent Reader said...

OH wow... This is a staple in my house because my mom is so busy. We call it hong shao rou and its wonderful if you add in dried bean curd pieces and let it simmer for a few hours.... MMMM... a pot goes a looooong way... WONDERFUL~ *THUMBS UP* I'll pester my mom into cooking a batch too. Thanks.^^

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

omg..i think i can faint from looking at this dish!!! unpolished rice or not..i would gobble all of it down!

Precious Pea said...

TERRI!!! I WANT A BIT OF THE CHEWY SKIN WITH THE MELTING FAT AND THE TENDER MEAT! ARRGGHH!! But i bring my own white rice. Yum yum yum !

Anonymous said...

muffinman: after hubby read this post this morning, he told me he does not want to eat the tuna sandwich i made him and he's going out to buy pork belly!!! yummylicious....

Denise ^ ChiCkyEGG said...

probably I'm the only 1 out of million will make this complaint.
I get UPSET when my mum cooks this! the layer of fats just turn me off + away.

wow... ahahhaha, I m just Wey is smiling frm ear to ear when he sees tt ha!

Denise ^ ChiCkyEGG said...

m just = Think

WoMbOk™♂ said...

Hmmmmmm.........

This would go really really great with those steam mantous? too~

lily said...

oh, terry ....

i miss .......... you

and .........

your soy sauce pork cubes......

it is so nice, i'm drooling ....

Hong Ming said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
terri said...

oops: tt was me; shooed ming off the seat n took over the comp & didn't realise he's still the registered user.

terri

terri said...

jasmine: hello :) it depends how sweet u like ur pork. i'd say try putting 1/2 T first and increase at the end if u like it sweeter. rock sugar is usually used for, like frequent reader said, 'hong shao rou' bc it will make a sticky thick sauce.

lily: yes, n the healthy food usually sucks. life's so cruel...

frequent reader: yes yes, my MIL adds the semi-hard white tofu too, n sometimes the tofu bok. u r lucky to have amom who cooks diff frm the usual moms here bc tt'll give u plenty of variety of dishes. i am lucky tt my mil is shanghainese, n a great (the best) cook.

joe:it is a (young) man's dish isn't it, like a slab of no-nonsense porterhouse steak.

pp: U MADE ME LAUGH N IT FELT GOOD! NO NEED TO BRING WHITE RICE< I CAN COOK TT!but seriously, u haven't switched to brown rice yet ah?!

muffinman: oh oh. but tuna sandwich does sound pitiful...:))

denise: i knew u'd disapprove haha!

wombok: not for me, have to gobble it with rice.no time for mantaos lah.

lily: haha, i was thinking of leile n her appetite for fatty pork!any news frm Pico?

TeaLady said...

UUHHH! This looks delightfully sinful and absolutely fabulous. Good photo! Another one I will have to try.

Precious Pea said...

No wor..i love my fragrant rice. I know i know..not good for health. But brown rice i heard not nice to eat.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Oh. My. Gawd. I love that first pic. I've diligently copied down the recipe and will try it first opportunity I get!! (after dieting for 3 days)

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

lemongrass: we're on same time! yes, worth the dieting. n when u do come around to eating it, eat the fat also--has the texture of candied winter melon oooh! p.s. i always thought u r em, u know, until u mentioned "the animal that can't be named" (shall we call it tatcbn from now on, in your honor?)

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Tatcbn. Hehehe. I guess you don't know that I worship that animal. :-P Btw, is there any reason for differentiating between shiaoxing wine and rice wine in your recipe? Aren't they the same?

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

we can't survive with tatcbn too; it's just too versatile n yummy. saoxin wine has an alcohol content of above 16%, which is prolly higher than rice wine. also the flavor is diff, with saoxin being dry/not sweet n having a much stronger bouquet while rice wine is sweet n lightly scented.if u want to see which saoxin to buy, go to my 'drunken chicken' post. *slurp slurp*

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

I finally tried this recipe, Terri. :-) I think I went overboard with the sugar and the wine as I ended up with little bits of caramelised stuff in it. Hubby liked it, but I shall try to adhere to the actual quantities mentioned the next time. :-P

joycezzz said...

oh my... i didn't know can add wine in the soya sauce pork cubes... always cooked mine without wine...

definitely a hit try for me to try, as my bf love pork a lot!

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