To me, this is a very common restaurant dish that I ordered.. Mostly in China or Hong Kong and it is especially popular in Szechuan or Sichuan restaurants. Therefore, I have my fair share of exposure to this dish. What I liked is the garlicky flavoured of the pork belly. It is slightly spicy because of the mashed garlic and the tender meat.
As Per Chinese Baike:
“蒜泥白肉, 属于川菜菜系，曾风靡一时，为人们称道，此菜要求选料精，火候适宜，刀工好，佐料香，热片冷吃。食时用筷拌合，随着热气，一股酱油、辣椒油和大蒜组合的香味直扑鼻端，使人食欲大振。蒜味浓厚，肥而不腻。当今的蒜泥白肉品质与风味均要求肥瘦兼备，肉片匀薄大张，蒜味浓郁，咸辣鲜香，并略有回甜。传统用手工切肉片，以表现娴熟的刀工技巧，当然，有的大餐馆、饭店为减轻厨师的劳动强度，也采用切肉片机加工肉片。特别值得提到的是，四川人在白肉的烹饪基础上加以蒜泥调味，不仅使白肉更好吃了，而且营养价值也更高。因为蒜所含的蒜素与肉特别是瘦肉中所含的维生素B1一经结合，就会使维生素B1的原有水溶性一变而为脂溶性，使它能很容易地通过我们身体内的各种膜，并使它被吸收的效率上升几倍。可以说，四川的蒜泥白肉在全国各地的白肉中是青出于蓝胜于蓝了。” (Source: http://baike.baidu.com/view/78739.htm)
Last night when I was entertaining my house guests in a Taiwanese chain restaurant, my wife ordered this presentable dish. To my guests, it is the first time they tried the dish but they seemed to enjoy the dish. This reminded me that I have yet to blog this recipe ..
I know this is a simple dish and the challenge that one have is to slice the meat neatly.Today, I bought a piece of meat and decided to prepare the dish. I tried my best to slice the meat and I did have difficulty to slice the meat as the meat tends to break.
I tried to present in the way the restaurant has served, I found that it is impossible for that piece of meat. Look at the piece of meat in the restaurant, it is so smooth and with equal thickness with about 1 mm.
It is so thin that I have difficulty to differentiate the lean part and the fatty part . Can you find the lean meat? I definitely cannot get such type of high fat content meat in the wet market of Singapore.
Well, of course restaurant use a machine to slice these meats. These may have been deep froze and a machine is used to slice the meat.
Of course home preparation could not come out such neat slicing skills. Slicing is slightly tedious and as an alternative, you can always buy those sliced pork belly in the supermarket for steamboat . If you are doing it for home consumption and presentation is not your concern, this is a very good alternative. However, if you are preparing for guests, depending on your plating, please take note that these sliced pork bellies will curl up and will not look like those served in the restaurant.
i have read many recipes and watched many videos and I can conclude is that home version will definitely look different from the restaurant version. It should be slightly thicker as in the picture below. Therefore, do not have too high expectation on your home made version.
Besides the slicing, I am very happy with the adventure especially the sauce. In this recipe, I have called for the use of concentrated soya sauce (酱油膏）. The reason of using this concentrated soya sauce is because it is thick and will not become watery fast. The sauce prepared will also be thicker unlike normal soya sauce.
This type of soya sauce is thick but less salty than normal dark soya sauce. It is very aromatic and provide a good sauce for braising or stir frying. Unlike the caramelized dark soya sauce, it is not sweet and less dark. However, if you really can’t get this, the next best alternative will be the caramelized dark soya sauce. Normal dark soya sauce will be too salty for the dish.
This brand is a Taiwanese brand and I remember I bought this bottle at Sheng Shiong supermarket but supply is always interrupted, meaning, it is rather difficult to get hold of this. i believed some vegetarian stalls in the wet markets may have carry this brand too. My wife have ever bought this from some on line vegetarian stores.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: 3-4 adult servings
- 300 grams of pork belly
- 1/3 cups of garlics
- 1/3 cups of cooked water
- 1/4 cups of concentrated dark soya sauce paste
- 2 small slices of ginger
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of chilli oil
- 2-3 sprigs of coriander, chopped
- 1 cucumber (optional)
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Cut the cucumber into small chunk or desired shape.
- Put the garlics and ginger in blender, add the cooked water, blend until as fine as possible. Sift the blended ginger and garlic. add the concentrated soya sauce paste, followed by sugar and chilli oil, stir until well combined. Set aside. If you do not have blender, you can always use manual chopping or a mortar to prepare the ginger garlic paste.
- If you pork belly come with skin, skinned off to expedite the cooking process.
- Bring a pot of water to boil, if preferred, you can add 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to help to get rid the porky flavour and to “whiten” the meat. However, this is optional. Once the water boils, add in the pork belly, reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer until cooked. Once cooked, let it cooled completely before the slicing using a sharp knife. Once it cooled, sliced into thickness of about 1 mm.
- For serving, put the cucumber stripes it the serving plate. Top with the pork belly slices and drizzle the garlic sauce on top of the meat. Add some chopped coriander and sesame seeds before serving. The dish is best served chilled as an appetizer.
I have tried my best for this recipe and remember that you can always buy the Shabu shabu pork belly to make your life easier. Chances are in my next attempt, I will use that too..
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