I may need to stop saying “Winter is here” at the start of every blog post, but I can’t help it! To help you chase away the wintery blues this season, The Boy and I thought we would share a heart warming meal which you can have right next to the heater or fireplace.
This is a dish that makes me think of home. Odd that a hot and humid weather climate country should have a dish such as this, heck we come from the land of spices, curries, chillies and hot soups!
Here’s one to warm your bones and stop your shivering, an all-time Malaysian Nyonya favourite, Babi Pongteh 🙂 This however is a slightly inauthentic version due to the lack of ingredients in this country.
Growing up, this was one of the dishes which I always bugged my Po Po (grandma) to cook for me. That lady knew how to cook! She would make me anything I asked of her. Curry Chicken, Lobak, Durian with Glutinous Rice. You name it, she would cook it. Gosh, I miss her so!
Luckily these days, I have The Boy who would do the same for me. Truly, the way to my heart is through my stomach 😛
Babi Pongteh (Nyonya Style Slow Braised Pork)
- 1kg of Pork Belly and Pork Shoulder (cut into chunks)
- 500g of Potatoes (cut into chunks)
- 10 dried Chinese (or Shiitake) mushrooms, rehydrated
- 1/2 cup Fermented Soy Bean Paste (Tau Cheong/Cheo)
- 3-4 tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 1 whole Garlic, diced
- 5 Shallots, peeled and diced
- 1 Red Chilli, snapped in half
- Palm Sugar (or cane sugar), Ground White Pepper, Thick Dark Soy Sauce
- Water, as needed
- Finely sliced spring onions
- Heat oil in a wok and sauté garlic, shallots and soy bean paste until fragrant. Slowly add in a few pieces of the pork to brown.
- Once the pork starts to turn a lovely golden brown colour, add red chilli and dried Chinese mushrooms.
- Add just enough water to immerse half of the pork. Bring to boil and turn the heat down to simmer until the pork is tender.
- Add the potatoes into the simmering pot after 30 minutes and simmer on low heat until the pork is tender and the potatoes cooked.
- Season with palm sugar, ground white pepper and thick dark soy sauce to taste.
- Garnish with spring onions and serve hot with steamed white rice.
(adapted from Modern Nyonya by Sylvia Tan)
So what are you waiting for? Get a bottle of fermented soy beans and as much pork belly you can muster and start braisin’!