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in the kitchen:: braised pork belly

im definitely not a pro in the kitchen. we've grown up in the company of excellent chefs in the family & very doting domestic helpers so there hasn't been a need to learn how to cook. the first time i tried cooking was in home-ed class and i burnt my oxtail stew.. yeah not one of my best high school moments. but yes, i BURNT a stew. but recently, one of my blog-readers, sherl suggested that i post my "kitchen escapades". i giggled a little because it sure makes my everyday cooking sound like some culinary adventure! and i love it! :) 


so! braised pork belly. or as we endearingly call it "grandma's soy sauce pork", is one of our home favorites! im not entirely sure if its really a hainanese dish but my grandma does a real good job with this dish. she cooks it for hours over a charcoal stove into deliciously savoury chunks of meal that fall off the fat! hmmm...


(1) chunka pork belly, about 500 g cut to chunks
(2) hard-boiled & shelled eggs
(1) stick of cinnamon*
(2) little star anis
(4) little chilli padi
(1) head of garlic
(2) teaspoon of sugar
a handful of pepper cloves (or cracked pepper)
a few cloves
water / cooking wine (i used sake)
copious amount of soy sauce

served with: 
white rice
steamed bok choi (or any greens)

*my brother specially added that too much cinnamon makes the pork "siap siap" (tannic).

the how-to:

1. prepare ingredients.

2. put the pork in fatty side down. if the cut is not too fatty, you can add a bit of oil. the pork will char a little on the base. keep it standing upright. 

3) when half of the fatty bit turn translucent (ie. cooked), throw in the garlic first. brown it.

4) then throw EVERYTHING else in. eye-ball the level of liquid (cooking wine & soy sauce, 50 - 50 is advisable). it should submerge half of the pork in sauce. bring it to boil then simmer for a very very long time with lid on. (depending on the settings on your stove. it might take anything from 1/2 hour to 4 hours!! just prod the meat to see if its soft yet.

just keepin' things real here.. these are the type of shots i get when im trying to control the temperature, not drop my camera into the pot and not trip over my dog. i had blurry soft focus pictures for a while! :) haha...

5) scoop freshly steamed rice, covered with greens and topped with delicious pork belly. topped with grandma's chilli! 

6) bribe your husband to take awesome pictures so your kitchen adventures seem a little more professional.

there you have it! :) another hurrah in the kitchen! *lor bak five*



( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 12th, 2011 04:31 am (UTC)
atta girl!!

braised pork belly is my absolute fave! :)
Feb. 12th, 2011 09:51 am (UTC)
its comfort food!! :)
Feb. 12th, 2011 04:34 am (UTC)
looks delish and definitely looks pro!
And u chose to make ox tail stew for home ed?! Something so difficult?!
Feb. 12th, 2011 09:52 am (UTC)
i didn't choose to make ox tail soup, it was in the syllabus. needless to say, i was crap at home-ed... :)
Feb. 12th, 2011 02:56 pm (UTC)
Well done darling! It looks super yummy!
D's good in helping with the pictures. I had to cook AND take my own pictures except for one or two -_-
Feb. 12th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
there's not such thing as a free meal in this family! *grins*

he actually likes it when i involve him in the process!
Feb. 12th, 2011 02:58 pm (UTC)
Did we have to make oxtail stew for home ed??
Feb. 12th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC)
i don't know man! but i did and i burnt it in that dingy home-ed classroom with the many stoves. i remember bulldog (discipline mistress & also my home ed teacher) staring at me in disgust.

hahah good times...
Feb. 12th, 2011 04:29 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, those were the days...

I had Bulldog as my home ed teacher too, she made lessons which were supposed to be fun a nightmare. Was totally envious of the other half of the class who had the sweet and gentle Mrs Lee for home ed.
Feb. 13th, 2011 04:09 am (UTC)
She really did scar my memory!! I remember learning about the sewing machine n even though I'm crazy about sewing now, I hated it back then!!

*sigh* hope my students don't think that of me too!!!
Feb. 12th, 2011 03:10 pm (UTC)
Hahaha.. well done princess zhing. they look yummilicious!
and i love the fact after garlic, we just need to dump the rest. Lol. I must to try one day soon ;)

Feb. 12th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
haha. those are my grandma's suggestions!! but i've read a few other recipes!!

good luck! :) this time, you share your kitchen escapades with me ok?

Feb. 13th, 2011 03:28 am (UTC)
i envy you! u are like the perfect housewife, housewoman, host and wife! :P
Feb. 13th, 2011 04:19 am (UTC)
Awww thanks babe!! I'm just trying my best!!

Of course you don't see all my failed crafts n burnt meals! ;)
Feb. 13th, 2011 05:51 am (UTC)
looks yummy!
i guess a great sense of satisfaction comes from cooking something we enjoy so much and perceive it as something very difficult to cook and yet one day when we decide to try to cook it, follow the instructions very carefully and tah dah! we made it!

now we can have lots of the good thing, isn't it?

that's why i went to learn the tiramisu, seafood paella and apple tarts!
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 14th, 2011 02:15 am (UTC)
dan chao fan! :) i love also!!! i just got lazier and lazier when i got to japan!

they have chao fun, frozen with meats or shrimp or whatever here.. amazing tasting too! :)
Feb. 14th, 2011 04:19 am (UTC)
You make me crave for lor bak now, with garlic chilli sauce. *drools*
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


le macarons
little projects in style

about this girl...

she loves cotton candy, smell of rain and everything pretty. he loves gadgets, bubble tea and salsa dancing.

welcome to our little blog.

it began as her personal blog after she moved away far from home as a way to share bits and pieces of her cheesy, blitzy & sweeeet life in the swiss alps with family and friends.

since then, she has seen the world a little, worked the dream job, made it through living in cambodia and gotten married FIVE times!!

she has also made new friends & picked up a few extra readers along the way and is happy to have you here! xxx

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