Sunday, 2 September 2012

Recipe - Babi Pongteh (Braised Pork With Salted Soya Bean Paste)

Babi pongteh is a popular Nonya dish, a common fare on the dining table of a Peranakan family. Nonya cooking is the result of blending Chinese ingredients and wok cooking techniques with spices used by the Malay/Indonesian community. The food is tangy, aromatic, spicy and herbal.

Just as the Japanese like to use miso paste, the Peranakans use tau cheo (salted soya bean paste or fermented soya beans) frequently in their recipes. Shallots (or onions) and garlic are combined with the salted soya bean paste to form a seasoning paste that gives this braised pork flavour.

Pig trotters (knuckles) or pork belly are commonly used for this recipe. I use frozen pork shoulder butt which comes conveniently cut.
Ingredients (serve 5)
500 grams of pork shoulder butt
5 large onions, finely chopped (shallots give more flavour)
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp of salted soya bean paste
2 tsp of brown sugar (better than white sugar, but palm sugar is best)
2 tbs of dark soy
Cuts of pork
1 can of bamboo shoots (nett 280 grams), cut into bite size
2 carrots, cut into bite size
5 shitake mushrooms (I omit)
2 tbs of oil

In a wok or pot, heat the oil on medium till hot
Toss in the onions and fry till fragrant, about 3 minutes
Toss in the garlic and salted soya bean paste
Stir fry for a couple of minutes till fragrant and paste mixture is brown.
Toss in the pork and stir fry till pork is cook on the outside
Toss in the bamboo shoots and carrots.
Add the dark soy and sugar
Add 1 cup of water or enough to cover the pork mixture.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium low and simmer for about 45 minutes.
In between simmering, give the mixture a stir and check the taste.
Add more water or sugar if required.
Serve with sambal belacan if you have

A nice 37 minute video on how to cook babi pongteh, sambal udang, sambal belacan and nonya chap chye

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