This is the signature dish of the Nyonya communities. It is cooked using very simple ingredients and is slightly sweet, with a hint of saltiness from the fermented salted beans. Some families add pieces of cabbage to this dish as well.

Serves
4–6

Preparation

20min

Cooking

2hr
30min

Skill level

Mid
By
Average: 3 (19 votes)
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Ingredients

  • 8 dried shiitake mushrooms 
  • 800 g pork belly 
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 onion, finely chopped 
  • 50 g garlic, finely chopped 
  • 35 g fermented soya bean paste 
  • 1½ tbsp light soy sauce 
  • ½ tsp thick dark soy sauce 
  • 35 g palm sugar 
  • ½ tsp salt 
  • 2 waxy potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks 
  • 1 long red chilli, split, to garnish

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Soaking time overnight

You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.

Add enough water to shiitake mushrooms to cover. Soak overnight. Strain and reserve soaking water.

Cut pork belly into pieces, about 5 cm square. Add pork to a large pot of boiling water to blanch, then strain. Discard water.

Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan over a low heat. Add onion and stir-fry until translucent. Add garlic and continue to stir-fry until a light golden colour. Add fermented soya bean paste and stir-fry until aromatic and slightly dry. Reduce heat to very low.

Add pork, and light and dark soy sauces to wok and stir-fry for 10 minutes. Add mushrooms, reserved soaking water, palm sugar, salt and potato. Top up with enough water to just cover. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer over a low heat, adding more water when necessary, for at least 2 hours or until pork is tender but still has some texture. Check seasoning and add more salt if desired. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with chilli and serve.