Friday, April 29, 2016

Foodie Fridays - Red Fermented Beancurd Garlicky Crispy Pork Belly

Pork belly has been part of our meals since I was young because my dad loves them and being a khek or hakka there are some delish hakka dishes that uses this ingredient.  I remember I was the only one that will savour this with my dad while my other siblings shunned it.

After I married DinoPapa I found out that pork belly is also one of his favourite food *slurp slurp* and so I have been cooking this sinful and unhealthy food constantly for years.  From the tradition Hakka Style Crispy Pork Belly, to favourite Crispy Tender Soft Roast Pork Belly, then the simple Braised Pork Belly and adding it into One Pot Cabbage Rice.  There are other dishes that I used pork belly, too many to list down over here, you just have to click the tag 

Recently I did another pork belly dish that is easy to make and to me its the next best thing to the roast pork belly.  I love the Hakka Style Crispy Pork Belly but didn't want any deep fried dish so I tweet it a bit, I call it Red Fermented Beancurd Garlicky Crispy Pork Belly, kinda long name for a dish but what the heck, I like the name.

You must be wondering why I choose red fermented beancurd as the main ingredient for the marinade.  Well, my love for this small piece of food started when I was young where  I spent many of my school holidays with my paternal grandparents.  My grandfather's lunch was having a bowl of plain white porridge with some dishes and he MUST have the red fermented beancurd every day.  So every morning my grandmother will buy a piece of red fermented beancurd fresh from the market, put it on a saucer and serve it together with other lunch dishes.  I started to share that small piece of delicacy at the age of 7 and since then whenever I have porridge; plain or loaded with ingredients, I will have a small piece on a saucer by the side.  Therefore it is no surprise that I do not hesitate to use them in my cooking too, the salty-sweetness of a small piece of it gives the dish a whole new flavour.

You can easily get a packet of pork belly from the supermarket, they usually comes in 2 short strips in a pack of about 220g to 250g per packet.  The portion is just nice for us; 2 adults and 1 child (Yes, the boy fights with us for the pork belly).  As usual, I marinated the pork belly with the marinade over night, the next day I brought it out 30mins before I cook it to allow the pork belly comes to room temperature before pan frying it.

I forgot that the pork belly has loads of fatty oil, I added a little too much oil on my non stick pan and had the shock of my life when oil starts to splatter all over the stove and onto me!  What a noob mistake I just made!  Anyway, I quickly cover the pan with a lid to prevent the hot oil from doing any harm further.

Side Note : I like to marinate my ingredients over night so that they can soak up the marinade.  Of course if the marinade are salty or sweet or of strong taste I would only marinate for 4-6 hours lest it becomes too salty or too sweet, that will be a waste of ingredients.

So I got too pan-frying happy and charred my pork belly but no matter, simply scrap off the charred residue and it still looks as good.  I love the reddish color on the pork belly, you can see from the sliced up piece that the marinade has soaked into the meat.  Can't wait to sink my teeth in them.  I also purposely pan fried the top of the skin for a while to make them crispy.  It's a bit dangerous and painful coz I used the tong to hold the skin facing down onto the hot pan, oil was splattering on my hand like crazy!

I can't help by steal a piece or two while I was cutting the pork belly into bite size, its crispy with a hint of fermented beancurd and garlic taste.  Heavenly to me!  Next time when I ran out of idea for dinner I shall prepare this and have it with steaming white rice as one dish meal!

* 1 packet of pork belly 220g to 250g
* 1 piece of red fermented beancurd
* 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
* 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine
* 1 tablespoon of corn flour
* 1 teaspoon of salt
* 1 teaspoon of sugar

1. In a bowl mash the red fermented beancurd with a fork, add in the garlic, salt, sugar and Shaoxing wine, mixed them up.  Add the corn flour and mix the marinade up.
2. Add the pork belly and coat it thoroughly with the marinade.  You can also do it with a ziplock bag, pour the marinade in the bag, add the pork belly, shake it to make sure they are coated with the marinade.
3. Leave the pork belly in the fridge over night to marinate.  Remove from the fridge 30mins before cooking to bring them to room temperature.
4. Heat up a frying pan, add some cooking oil.  When the oil is hot add the pork belly and pan fry both sides till cook.
5. Remove from frying pan, drain and cut the pork belly into pieces before serving.

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If you like red fermented beancurd, you may also like these recipes.

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