A very Blessed Lunar New Year to all! These two Peranakan dishes, Babi Ponteh and Chap Chye were cooked in advance for the family Chinese New Year lunch. I have cooked them in the late afternoon, covered and chilled in a chiller, I'm doing this way so that I can be free of cooking some of the dishes on the day itself. Moreover, these dishes just taste better overnight.
When cooking Peranakan dishes, I usually refer to this book, Cooking for the President by Wee Eng Hwa. I'm very pleased with both dishes I have cooked especially the Babi Ponteh. I have added sea cucumber, an expensive ingredient which I'm cooking for the first time. Recipe below is an adaption from the book with some modifications.
serves 4-6 persons
750g Pork Belly, chunks
30g shallots, pound finely
40g garlic,pound finely
30g light brown taucheo, crushed
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1/2 tbsp thick dark soya sauce
30g gula melaka
4 Chinese dried mushrooms, soaked in hot water, quartered
2 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
150g sea cucumbers, approx. Cut to bite size
1 cup water
- Blanch pork in boiling water and marinate with 2 tsp of dark soy sauce for about 30 minutes.
- In a wok, fry shallots in hot vegetable oil till translucent. Add garlic and stir fry till everything is lightly golden.
- Add taucheo and fry till semi dry, intensely aromatic, and color changes, about 3 minutes.
- Reduce heat to very low. Add pork and fry till fragrant. Add the light and dark soy sauces.
- Stir fry for about 10 minutes and transfer to a pot. Deglaze wok with 1/2 cup water. Add gula melaka, mushrooms and mushroom water.
- Top up enough water to just cover. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer till pork is tender.
- Add sea cucumber and cooked for another 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Gravy should be thick.
- Served with sambal belachan.
He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. Deuteronomy 7:13