..... this photo is so cute that I have to paste it here.. thanks Chee Ken!..
This is one of my favorite dish of my mother's cooking.
I am not sure where she learnt the recipe from but I can only think that it must be her ingenuity and creativity to create this wholesome dish for her big family of 11 hungry children. Times were hard during those days and she got to make use of cheap ingredients to maximise her household allowances from my father while at the same time to make sure that her children were properly nourished as well.
Though salted fish, especially those so-called "miu heong" ones are expensive, the bones and head of the salted fish were cheap. Pork was readily available from my father's stall and dry chillies and ginger then were also cheap (nowadays ginger is so expensive especially the "Bentong" ginger) So hence this must be how this dish was created and it is a favourite among our sibilings.
So for continuity of my mother's traditional dishes, here's my recipe:-
There is no exact measurements but the main ingredients are:-
1. salted fish bones/head (I got a packet which costs RM3.50)
2. pork belly around 3 strips (because I like to cook more to distribute to my siblings) with skin on and dice/sliced
3. taufoo pok
4. a handful of Dry chillies (up to your tolerance of spiciness)
5. slices of ginger
6. minced garlic
7. rock sugar to taste
Method of cooking
1. wash and marinate pork cubes with dark soya sauce (more for colour than taste) and a dash of cooking wine. Set aside
2. soak the salted fish bones for 25 minutes and drain.
3. blanch the taufoo pok with boiling water to get rid of the oiliness and cut into half.
4. heat wok (no need to add oil) and add pork belly and saute till golden brown on both sides. Dish up and set aside.
5. Add some oil to wok and pan fry the salted fish bones till fragrant.
6. Add the dry chilies, ginger and minced garlic and saute together
7. Add the pork belly back to the wok and combine well.
8. Add enough water to just submerge the meat and add the rock sugar.
9. Cover the wok and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer for around 30 minutes till pork is tender.
10. lastly add the taufoo pok and season to taste.
a full belly and a happy heart... May Chan!