Babi Pongteh is known as braised pork with fermented soya bean. This is a signature Nyonya dish that every Baba Nyonya family cook.
How would I describe this? I don't know. To me, this is a flavorful melt-in-your-mouth pork belly, and when you see this, you will definitely ask for a bowl of steamed rice, and then, drizzle the sauce over the rice. You know what I'm trying to say?
And then, all our self-realization is gone, cuz you're gonna ask for another bowl of rice without even feeling guilty. Hahahahahaa!!!
My 1st submission was Ikan Gerang Asam earlier, and I'm happy that my friends likes it. And it's been featured in AFC (Asian Food Channel) facebook, which I really don't know what is actually happening. But nevermind. It's happiness!!! Haha...
I'm recreating Babi Pongteh using the recipe Alan posted here. The recipe that Alan is sharing is extracted from Cooking for the President – Reflections & Recipes by Wee Eng Hwa, the daughter of Dr.Wee Kim Wee, the late former Singapore's President. It is said that the book compiled all the recipes which Mrs.Wee cooked for Dr.Wee Kim Wee. I didn't knew the book was so great until I'm done with my Babi Pongteh and tasted it on my own. Seriously, I feel like buying the book. I love every single instruction and details in the book. I have to thank Alan for recommending me this, but.... it's selling S$115 at Kinokuniya. The book is too atas (pricey / high class) for me to invest for now. Haha.. Maybe next time? But I really like the book loh!!!
Okay... Come back to the dish.
This dish is really rich in flavor and it could easily make you eat 2 bowls of rice easily. It also tastes good the next day when all the flavours have melded together.
Ingredients (Recipe Source : TravellingFoodies by Alan)
- 800gm Pork Belly 五花肉 (You could use pork knuckle too)
- 2 tbsp Cooking Oil
- 30 gm Shallots, finely chopped
- 50 gm Garlic, finely chopped
- 35 gm Fermented Soya Bean Paste (Tau Cheo 豆酱)
- 1½ tbsp Light soya Sauce
- 1½ tsp Thick Dark Soya Sauce + 1 tbsp for marinating
- 35gm Palm Sugar (Gula Melaka)
- ½ tsp Salt
- 8 medium sized Chinese dried mushrooms
- 2 medium sized Local Potatoes
Alan's recipe calls for 1.5kg Pork belly. I halved the recipe, simply because I'm not feeding a family of 10. With this 800gm Pork Belly, I could feed 4 adult and still have a portion of left-over to keep for next day.
But, one thing that I really need to highlight....
It's a pot of flavorful braised pork belly... I know.
It makes u eat two bowls of rice... I also know.
It's not the healthiest food in the world... Everybody knows!
But you could cook this probably in occassion? Make this a special dish! :)
I'm not sure what is the right fermented soy bean that I should use. Alan's fermented soy bean is different from mine. But for this Orchid Brand fermented soya bean made in Malaysia, I love it alot. The saltiness is just right and good quality beans. So, I thought I would just stick to what I'm comfortable with :)
- Soak Mushroom in water till it turned soft. I soak my mushroom overnight. Remove stem, with both palms, press away the excessive water and set aside. Keep the mushroom water. We need it later.
- Using a sharp knife, cut pork into big chunk. Blanch pork pieces with hot boiling water. Discard hot water and marinade with 1 tbsp thick dark soy sauce. Set aside.
- Shallot, finely chopped, Garlic, finely chopped. Wash, peel potatoes, cut into big chunk. Set aside.
- In a wok, Stir fry shallots in hot oil over low heat till translucent. Add garlic and continue to stir fry till light golden color.
- Add fermented soya bean paste and fry till aromatic and slight dry. Reduce to very low heat.
- Add light and dark soya sauce and give it a quick fry. Don't burnt it. Add marinated pork and increase heat slightly to low (from very low). Stir-fry the pork for about 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a pot. Deglaze wok with 1 cup water.
- Add the water to the pork, along with palm sugar, salt, mushrooms, mushroom water and potatoes.
- Top up with enough water to just cover. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat, adding more water when necessary, till pork is tender but still has some bite. This should take at least 2 hours. I cook mine for 2.5 hours.
- If your sauce is too watery, you might have added too much water. Increase heat to boil rapidly if necessary, to reduce the sauce abit and get it slight thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning to suit your tastebud.
Marinade blanched pork belly with thick dark soya sauce and set aside for 30mins.
After 2.5 hours of slow cooking...
I don't think anybody could resist this. A piece of flavorful melt-in-your-mouth pork belly. And with a bowl of steamed rice? Need to say more?
This is of course..... Heavenly! :D
Definitely, I'm going to archive this “heart and soul” bit of Peranakan recipe as a special dish. The recipe that I will definitely repeat cooking. My family simply loves it! :)
I am submitting this to Malaysian Food Fest, Melaka Month
Hosted by Cindy of Yummy Little Cooks