Braised Pork Belly and Yam Slices
On the way back from a Hong Kong trip last August, I was served with a braised pork belly and yam dish on the plane. I remember it as a dish from my childhood, but it's not something that my mom used to cook at home though. While raking my brain trying to remember where I've eaten it before, I was also thinking of where/ how to get the recipe.
Coincidentally, I found the recipe from the piles of cookbooks that I hauled back from Hong Kong. I was eager to try it out but I was held back by an ingredient in the recipe --- 面豉. I've not heard of it before and I tried to ask around but nobody seems to know what that is (including my mom). The only information was from my MIL who told me that it's a kind of black bean paste but it's different from 豆豉, and she doesn't know where to buy it. Finally, I managed to get it from a wet market in Toa Payoh, after 4 months of searching!
During the long new year holidays, I managed to give it a try. First, the strip of pork belly was fried in a wok until the surface turned golden brown. Then, it's cut into slices and dipped in chinese tea for half an hour. In the mean time, cut the yam into thin slices and fried both sides until it turned slightly brown in color. The pork and yam slices were stir-fried with seasonings that consist of chicken stock, reddish cheese, 面豉, shaoxing wine and minced garlic. The pork and yam slices were arranged on a plate, and then, pour the gravy over it. After that, it's steamed for 2 hours, and it's ready to be served.
The steps may look simple but it took me almost half a day to prepare it. But it's well worth the effort. The pork slices were very tender and juicy, as a result of long steaming time. It taste really yummy with a bowl of white rice!