Wednesday 27 March 2013

Tau Yew Bah 豆油肉

Always buy fresh ingredients. Chilled pork is okay but frozen pork tend to lose out on flavour and texture. Make sure pork is completely defrosted if frozen's the only choice you have (when I was living in Dubai, I could only get frozen pork from my Indian grocer in a separated department within the store).
 Whenever possible, scald meat in hot boiling water for 5 minutes. I always do unless it interferes with the cooking process, i.e. BBQ.
Let the water come to the boil before pouring in the meat, spices and marinade.
Add prepared tofu and hard-boiled eggs when the water comes to the boil again.
Removed the eggs and tofu gently after they have been infused with the braising liquid and taken on colour.
Continue braising the pork till the desired tenderness is achieved. Adjust final seasoning if necessary.
Slice the tofu, eggs and meat (if used whole) and pour the gravy over or serve separately.
Serve warm or hot with your favourite dipping or chilli sauce.

300g Pork Belly, scaled in boiling water (leave whole as shown here or cut into 2" pieces).
½-1 whole bulb Garlic (bashed lightly, with or without skin).
2 slices Old Ginger.
5 Shallots, sliced thinly and fried till crispy (can use store bought - 1½ tablespoon).
1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns (cracked).
½ teaspoon 5-Spice Powder, optional (use it if you have them, otherwise omit).
3 Star Anise.
½ inch Cinnamon Stick.
2 tablespoons Dark Soy Sauce.
½-1 tablespoons Sugar.
½ teaspoon Tapioca or Corn Starch.
1 teaspoon Sesame Oil.
Marinate pork with the above ingredients after scalding for half an hour at least.

2 cups Water.
Light Soy Sauce and White Pepper, to taste (final adjustment for seasoning).

Hard-boiled Eggs (1 per person).
Hard boil the eggs well in advance with plenty of tepid water and 1 teaspoon salt. Soak hard-boiled eggs in cold water. When cooled, peel off shell and set aside.

1. Heat up a pot or preferably a big clay pot 2 cups of water.

2. Bring it to a fast boil and add in the marinated pork, spices and sauce from the marination.

3. Bring the pork belly to the boil before adding the hard-boiled eggs and tofu.

4. Lower the heat to medium-low and braise the ingredients for 45 minutes.

5. Scoop out the eggs and tofu gently.

6. Continue to braise the pork belly on very low heat until tender (up to another 45-60 minutes, depends on heat and whether meat is left whole or sliced).

7. When the meat is tender, adjust final seasoning with white pepper powder and light soy to taste.

8. Dish out and serve hot with steamed white rice.

Some spices and seasoning needed for Tau Yew Bah - 5-spice powder, black peppercorns, star anise, light and dark soy sauces.
Firm Tofu known as Taukwa (they are not dried actually) and store bought Crispy Fried Shallots.
 Tau Yew Bah gravy is runny (in between Lor Bah and Kong Bah) but fragrant. If you prefer thicker gravy, take tender pork out and reduce the gravy till the desired viscosity is achieved.
Ladle some gravy over the ingredients, add a dollop of sambal and chow down!

Please check out my previous blog on Braised Pork Belly which you can easily substitute chicken for pork. It also uses tau pok (fried tofu puffs) instead of taukwa. I have also added dried shitake mushrooms and a few chillies to perk up the stew. This is the one I mentioned in my Oriental Sliders post as Lor Bah (can use chicken in Lor Bah recipe).

Stews and braised meat always taste better the next day so why not make a big pot?

Happy braising :)

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