Sunday, February 13, 2011

in the kitchen:: braised pork belly

im definitely not a pro in the kitchen. we've grown up in the company of excellent chefs in the family & very doting domestic helpers so there hasn't been a need to learn how to cook. the first time i tried cooking was in home-ed class and i burnt my oxtail stew.. yeah not one of my best high school moments. but yes, i BURNT a stew. but recently, one of my blog-readers, sherl suggested that i post my "kitchen escapades". i giggled a little because it sure makes my everyday cooking sound like some culinary adventure! and i love it! :) 


so! braised pork belly. or as we endearingly call it "grandma's soy sauce pork", is one of our home favorites! im not entirely sure if its really a hainanese dish but my grandma does a real good job with this dish. she cooks it for hours over a charcoal stove into deliciously savoury chunks of meal that fall off the fat! hmmm...


(1) chunka pork belly, about 500 g cut to chunks
(2) hard-boiled & shelled eggs
(1) stick of cinnamon*
(2) little star anis
(4) little chilli padi
(1) head of garlic
(2) teaspoon of sugar
a handful of pepper cloves (or cracked pepper)
a few cloves
water / cooking wine (i used sake)
copious amount of soy sauce

served with: 
white rice
steamed bok choi (or any greens)

*my brother specially added that too much cinnamon makes the pork "siap siap" (tannic).

the how-to:

1. prepare ingredients.

2. put the pork in fatty side down. if the cut is not too fatty, you can add a bit of oil. the pork will char a little on the base. keep it standing upright. 

3) when half of the fatty bit turn translucent (ie. cooked), throw in the garlic first. brown it.

4) then throw EVERYTHING else in. eye-ball the level of liquid (cooking wine & soy sauce, 50 - 50 is advisable). it should submerge half of the pork in sauce. bring it to boil then simmer for a very very long time with lid on. (depending on the settings on your stove. it might take anything from 1/2 hour to 4 hours!! just prod the meat to see if its soft yet.

just keepin' things real here.. these are the type of shots i get when im trying to control the temperature, not drop my camera into the pot and not trip over my dog. i had blurry soft focus pictures for a while! :) haha...

5) scoop freshly steamed rice, covered with greens and topped with delicious pork belly. topped with grandma's chilli! 

6) bribe your husband to take awesome pictures so your kitchen adventures seem a little more professional.

there you have it! :) another hurrah in the kitchen! *lor bak five*


  1. i like cupcakes better than pork.

    {just kidding} this is a test comment.

  2. and a test response.

    wow. i wish i paid more attention to web class in college..

  3. LOVE! In my 1/4 Peranakan side of the family, we make something very similar and call it Babi Kombak (or something like that)... you've got me all homesick now!

  4. @Sharon

    hmmmm babi kombak!! sounds yummy already!! try it! its super simple!!



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