Friday, 11 October 2013

Stewed Pork Belly with Fried Tofu


This is another good one from Ivy of Simply Beautiful and Healthy Living. I printed Ivy's recipe since the day she posted this recipe. After many postponements, I finally I get to cook this yummy dish and share it on this month's Little Thumb's Up.



This dish reminds me of Kay Hong because of the use of soya bean paste (taucheow) and dark caramel sauce (reminiscent of kayciap). But it is different because no shallots are used and it has cinnamon stick and star anise as aromatics. Besides, Kay Hong is pork belly cooked with chicken and hard boiled eggs and tofu is not an ingredient.



I eagerly waited for Saturday to come as I only get to cook on weekends. All my ingredients were in place or so I thought. As I was preparing the seasonings, I grabbed hold of the bottle of caramel sauce. My auntie gave it to me sometime last year and I had never opened the bottle. A quick glance at the expiry date showed 13 September 2013. Eeekksss!!!! I should have checked earlier. But I did remember reading somewhere that products are still good some 6 months after expiry. Shall I take the risk? I poured some of the sauce into a bowl and gingerly tasted a bit. Nice and sweet. No funny taste. It should be alright :)


Pan fried tofu. It is also nice eaten like this with chilli sauce.

I started off by pan frying 4 pieces of hard tofu which have been cut into cubes. My grandma used to deep fry tofu like this and we ate it with her homemade chilli sauce. Once the tofu was done, I sauteed the chopped garlic with the bean paste, cinnamon stick and star anise. The aroma was simply beautiful! It is the sort of smell that would get you very hungry and eager to eat lunch pronto!



Then it was the pork belly in together with the fried tofu and seasonings. All was easy after that as I left the dish to simmer until the pork was tender. As you can see, I have cut the pork much bigger than Ivy's. I should have cut them smaller so that they cook much faster. But you know me, I am not known to do things dainty. Even my cookies come in big chunks :)



I was very tempted to add hard boiled eggs (I bet they go well in this dish) but I wanted the tofu to remain the star of the show. If hard boiled eggs had been in there, you know they would be the focus point, at least in this house. And when the dish was served, I attacked the tofu first. And oh my, they were so good! As they were braised along with the pork, the tofu absorbed all the goodness of the delicious gravy. 



I am quite sure this dish would taste just as good with chicken for those who are unable to consume pork. This dish would go very well with plain rice porridge and of course white rice. I am not much of a gravy person and my dish was on the drier side. I suggest if you like loads of gravy with your rice, be sure to add a bit more water and adjust the bean paste and seasonings accordingly.



I have deviated slightly from Ivy's method of cooking. Firstly, I was too lazy to blanch the pork, secondly I sauteed the whole lot of the bean paste and lastly, I added the caramel sauce only at the end. This recipe is a keeper and a firm family favorite.  And to Ivy,  a very big thank you for this beautiful dish!










Stewed Pork Belly with Fried Tofu
Recipe source : Adapted from Ivy of Simply Beautiful and Healthy Living

Ingredients :
- 1 strip of pork belly (about 450g, cut into 1" strips)
- 4 pieces hard tofu, cut into 4 cubes each.
- 2 tablespoons fermented soya bean paste (taucheow)
- 1 bulb garlic, finely chopped
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- water, enough for stewing (I added just enough to cover the ingredients, add more if you like more gravy and be sure to adjust your seasonings)
- 2 tbsp caramel sauce

Seasonings (to taste)
- 2 tbsp light soya sauce
- 1 tsp sugar


Method :
1. Pan fry the tofu cubes until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a wok and saute garlic, fermented soya bean paste, star anise and cinnamon stick until fragrant.
3. Add pork belly and stir fry until pork changes color.
4. Add the pan fried tofu, water and seasonings. Bring to a boil and simmer until pork belly is tender and gravy is thickened.
5. Add caramel sauce, stir to mix evenly and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
6. Serve with rice or plain porridge.




Photobucket

This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY and hosted by Mich of Piece of Cake.

42 comments:

  1. Hi Phong Hong, thanks for mentioning! Yours really look very yummy and tempting. Glad you like it. Have a wonderful weekend ahead and do take care :)

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    1. Thanks, Ivy! It was so delicious, I wish that I could eat more rice :)

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  2. Hi Phong Hong
    I already knew from the first pic that this dish is real good even I have not finish reading the content of your post. It must be very flavourful too.

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    1. Mel, it is aromatic, flavorful and very, very appetizing!

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  3. Hi Phong Hong,
    It looks delicious! This is the kinda dish that would call for 2 plates of rice!

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    1. Joyce, I would have had 2 plates of rice if I did not control myself!

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  4. Phong Hong, This dish looks very very delicious! My hubby definitely love to have extra rice if I cook this for him :D

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    1. Ann, this is the sort of homey comfort stew that everyone at home would enjoy a lot!

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  5. Ooooo...I love this! But with a little bit less tofu... I'm all for meat...and fat!!! Muahahahahaha!!!!

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    1. Arthur, me too! But I love tofu just as much :)

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  6. hi phong hong sister,
    may i know the caramel sauce ,,is it same as:" tiam si u" where we eat together
    with soon kueh,,,
    thank u so much fo sharing---mella---sg

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    1. Hi Mella! I am not familiar with "tiam si u". It is a Chinese brand and it says Caramel Sauce. It is very dark, gooey and sweet. I hope that helps!

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  7. Sedap!!! I love the addition of the chili especially!

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    1. Victoria, I think sambal belacan would have been a good accompaniment but I was too lazy to pound the sambal!

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  8. I've never thought of combining fried tofu with pork belly .... must try!

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    1. Cheah, do try it. Highly recommended!

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  9. Delicious. I love egg, you should add into it and I will DeFiNaTeLy come knocking at your door.

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    1. Amy, I will definitely add eggs the next time I cook this dish and I'll be on the look out for you hee..hee...

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  10. Hi Phong Hong, May i have these yummy tofu for my dinner ? :)

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  11. Hi PH, I can imagine the tofu being really nice and soaking up the wonderful braising sauce. And pork belly, so sinful but I want five pieces please!

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    1. Yen, sure you can have five pieces! Do try this dish as I am in love with it :)

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  12. Wow! that looks so good! I am still procrastinating on tofu dishes lol! Am always like that when one of the ingredients is not my favorite!

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    1. Aiya, Jeannie! You don't like tofu? Tsk..tsk...tsk...

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  13. Phong Hong, I love the creativity and the combination of this beautiful and super yummy dish. The tofu and the pork belly goes very nicely...the color is gorgeous and the flavors...again, I can smell the wonderful aroma all the way here, right thru the monitor screen. (which reminds me, not only did I have a bad week but a couple days ago my monitor gave up and crashed...blank screen. I got a much nicer and up-to-date larger one now, works beautifully, so I'm seeing your photos even brighter now.) BTW- I happen to have pork belly in the freezer, I bought if for a different recipe; but love Ivy's...and now yours even more. Will want to make this soon! xo

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    1. Hi Elisabeth! You have a very active imagination just like me. I was practically tasting your chocolate pancakes the other day hah! hah! If you like Chinese food, I am sure you would enjoy this pork belly and tofu dish. Well, sometime bad things happen and you get good things in return.I bet you are enjoying your big screen monitor, and great food will look even bigger and better!

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  14. Hi Phong Hong, just looking at the meat and tofu, I know that it's an awesome dish. Today is last day of my vegetarian diet. This is a must try.

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    1. Kimmy, you must try this! Very aromatic and delicious. must tambah rice!

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  15. you're not a dainty person? so am i ! i also believe this is a very dish, see how nice the tofu and the pork belly coated with the sauce..

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    1. Lena, can shake hands :) I enjoyed the tofu a lot more than the pork belly!

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  16. Hi Phong Hong,

    I remember many dishes that Ivy cooked. This one is one of them... and you cooked it very well too :D

    Zoe

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    1. Thanks, Zoe! I am glad I tried this dish. It was awesome!

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  17. Wow this is another mouth watering dish! I especially love the tofu.

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    1. Mich, the tofu was the star in this dish. I wished I had put more!

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  18. Throw both tofu and pork for me, they look absolutely delicious!

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    1. Sonia, nanti spill all over hee..hee...I bring for you in a nice bowl :)

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  19. Looks delicious, I can never resist the dark sauce! :)

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  20. Yes, Phong Hong! We can start the pork bell fan club any time! Lots of keen members around!!!

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    1. Alvin, we'll nominate Arthur as the club president :)

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  21. Hi Phong Hong, this dish look inviting and mouth watering but I'll eat the tofu only minus the pork belly. See, I'm a picky eater so cannot join the pork belly fan club. LOL

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    1. Amelia, you don't like pork belly? Aiyo.....

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