Tuesday, 11 December 2018

My Partner's Specialty : Chien Bak!


Oh yes, the man cooks. But not for me. Not yet anyway. Every once in a while, he will tell me about his chien bak. How good it is. A recipe he learnt from his late mum.

So what is chien bak? In Hokkien, chien is fry and bak is meat usually referring to pork. At first I thought this chien bak was a recipe that he made up hee..hee...

And then while flipping through my Nonya Flavors cookbook, I found the recipe for chien bak. So there is such a thing after all.


I asked my partner for the recipe and he told me that the pork is simply marinated in light soya sauce and then pan fried and simmered till tender.

The recipe in Nonya Flavors has more ingredients - besides dark soya sauce (instead of light) the recipe calls for sugar, calamansi lime juice, salt and pepper.


I decided to go with just light and dark soya sauce and some black pepper (because I ran out of white). I marinated 4 pieces of pork collar for about an hour and pan fried the meat. When I flipped the meat to fry the other side, I added a little bit of water and let the meat simmer covered.

Every now and then, I flip the meat and made sure the pan did not dry out. Once the pork was tender I continued to simmer until the liquids reduced. Then I let the meat rest before cutting into bite sized pieces and tossed the meat in the thickened sauce.


I must say that this simple dish is rather tasty. With the benefit of hindsight, the addition of some sugar, perhaps a teaspoon would balance out the tasty saltiness of the soya sauce.


I think chien bak is going to be on my regular to-cook list. I served this to me partner (without telling him what it was) and he ate with no comments. I think he didn't recognize this is chien bak. Maybe does not taste the same as his. With him, no comment means it is OK. Perhaps I should make him cook for me. Hah!

23 comments:

  1. The best pan fry pork! I also learn this from my first confinement lady. Simple but tasty. Now this recipe reminded me of her and her pork chop!

    I must cook this one day. Long time didn't have it.

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    1. Imagine I never knew about this dish hee..hee...

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  2. The only way you'd know the difference is if he cooks his chien bak for you. Aiyah, why he cooks...but not for you...tsk, tsk, tsk! Anyway, I think yours will taste better coz if it's just marinated in light soya sauce, the taste would be quite one-dimensional. I've seen this dish at chap fan stalls but didn't know it's called chien bak...I call it soya sauce pork! @_@

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    Replies
    1. I must make him cook! Then compare which is better hee..hee...

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  3. Ooooo...that looks so good! Step aside, PH - you've met your match! LOL!!!

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  4. Looks so tasty! You always cook for him, why he cooks not for you, tsk tsk! I like meat fried in soya sauce so i am sure i will enjoy this chien bak a lot. Eat with rice or porridge also nice.

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    Replies
    1. I must make him cook for me one day hee...hee...

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  5. Oh dear, how could he not recognize it? The next time he cooks his chien bak for himself, you must cukai some to see how it taste like.

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps the taste is not the same. Yes, must taste his!

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  6. heheh, maybe you should get him to write down his family's recipe, so you can publish it here. a good family recipe should be preserved for posterity! :)

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  7. How's the texture of the pork? I can see the meat you used in this post was quite lean.

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  8. looks good, my mum cooked this too! very homely dish to go with rice!

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  9. Ha ha! Your partner is a smart chef too, so better not underestimate.
    Even my Thai mother cooked this well to make me think this is a popular Penang dish.

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    1. Really? hee..hee.... Your mum's must have been awesome!

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  10. My mom used to cook this but I didn't get the chance to learn from her. Now I can try your recipe and get to what I have not eaten for a long, long time. Hope it is the same taste. Thanks, Phong Hong!

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    Replies
    1. It's an easy dish and I am sure yours will taste very good, Nancy!

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  11. Hi Phong Hong, to a Hokkien family, Chien Bak is a common dish. My mom cooks this very often until my nephews tell her "Ah Mah, stop no more Chien Bak", hehehe! But it is good with rice or porridge.

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