It is not my intention to issue kway chap recipe today. Initially, my objective was very simple, sharing with readers how to clean the pig big intestine (猪大肠头）. I have decided to learn how to clean the pig big intestine as my wife loves the intestine.
I am struggling what type of pig intestine recipe I should share with readers. It can be deep fried big intestine, big intestine stir fry with pineapples or the one that my wife loves: braised big intestine. If I am braising big intestine alone, it will be a waste of gas or electricity bill as the cooking can take a long time. In addition, as my girl don’t like big intestine, what is she going to eat? I then rushed to the market thinking of getting hold of a piece of pork belly to braise together.
While I was purchasing the pork belly, i saw some hoon tng (粉肠 aka Fen Chang aka powder intestine) being sold. I asked the boss and the price was very reasonable. I got 2 long intestines for only S$4. Since both me and my wife like this special intestine, I bought as well.
On the way back, I went to another store selling firm tofu or taukwa and tofu puff aka taupok and i know my kids will definitely love this. It is rather funny in my house that when I braised meat, I did not braise eggs. I decided to add eggs too.
After everything was cooked, I was thinking how should I present my dish for picture taking. Just rice with a plate of braised goodies? On second thought, is it not this is like what is sold in the kway chap stores and why don’t I just share this kway chap recipe that is well liked by Singaporean.
But to prepare the kway chap, where to get the kway aka flat rice noodle sheets? I do not even know where to buy this type noodles sheets in Singapore specially made for this dish. Then I recalled I have ever prepared kway tiao (Recipe: Homemade Chinese Rice Noodles–Hor Fun or He Fen or Guo Tiao (沙河粉，河粉或粿条）) a few times and that is basically the same recipe as the kway used by the stores except in different shapes. I proceeded to make some kway tiao and some kway for the soup. But I have cut the wrong shape, it should be triangular shape instead of square shape..
That is the story and in fact I am very happy that I managed to prepare almost the whole set today. It is dramatic but the sense of achievement is definitely there. I have been delaying issuing kway chap recipe because I have no confidence that I can clean the pig intestine properly.
Yes, I am very concerned about the smell of the pig intestine. I do not order any dishes that have pig intestine in the stores. I have no confidence as most of the one that my wife ordered has an unacceptable smell as far as i am concerned. I only learned to eat pig intestine very recently and it was prepared by a Teochew old lady who is very closed to us. She knows my wife love the dish and I did not prepare at home, she will braise a few big intestine and gave it to my wife. Hers is very much better that the one sold at the stores. I can still eat what she prepared.
You must be wondering how is my attempt today? Is there any smell? I was worried the whole day that if I am not successful to clean the intestine, the whole pot of meat will have to go to waste (may be my wife will eat some0. I kept smelling the intestine during the entire cooking process . I smelled after washing, blanching, braising and serving. I can tell you that the smell is getting less and less and when it is served, I can proudly say that the braising done a good job and I can’t find the “smell” that irked me.. I am surprised that I managed to get it right in the very first time. Possibly I really washed it very thoroughly and the “kiasu” approach because of the phobia of that special “aroma”.
For those who are not familiar with this dish, this dish is common in Singapore and also Kuching though the presentation is slightly different. To put it bluntly, it is a braising of many pig organs and broad rice sheets was being served with a bowl of diluted braising meat broth. As per Wikipedia, it was written that : “Kuay chap / kway chap (Chinese: 粿汁; pinyin: guǒ zhī), a Teochew dish of flat, broad rice sheets in a soup made with dark soy sauce, served with pig offal, braised duck meat, various kinds of bean curd, preserved salted vegetables, and braised hard-boiled eggs.” (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singaporean_cuisine)
When you frequent a store, you can tell the boss how many persons are eating and you have the choice to order specific pig organs or all mixed. The choice of meat are generally, pork belly, pig ear, pig big intestine, pig small intestines, pig powder intestines and some even have pig face meat and pig maw. The side ingredients are rather standard: Firm bean curd, tofu puffs, sour vegetables and braised eggs. In Kuching, all the meat are put in the same bowl as the broad rice sheets together with the gravy. In Singapore, these meats are put in a separate plate whereas in Shantou, I remember it is in the same bowl but the gravy is white instead of brown soya sauce colour.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: 4-6 adult servings
Pig big intestine cleaning
- 1 pig big intestine
- 3 tablespoons of tapioca starch
- 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar
- 50 grams of ginger, slice
- Few sprigs of spring onion
- 1 cup of Chinese cooking wine
Braising Side Ingredients*
- 1 Pig big intestine as per above preparation
- 1 Fen Chang (powder intestine)
- 1 piece of pork belly
- Some tofu puffs
- Some hard boiled eggs
- Some firm tofu aka taukwa
*No details quantities will be provided except the spices as one can braise anything that you wish. You can also include small intestine and pig maw.
Braising liquid Ingredients
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 star anises
- 3 cloves
- 1/2 tablespoons of five spice powder
- 30 grams of ginger, sliced
- 10 cloves of garlics
- 1/2 cup of caramelized dark soya sauce
- 1/2 cup of dark soya sauce
- 1 small piece of rock sugar
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoons of castor sugar (for caramelizing)
- 2 litres of water (estimation)
Broad Rice Noodle Sheets aka Kway
- 200 grams of rice flour
- 400 grams of water
- 20 grams of potato starch or corn starch (optional)
- Pinches of salt
- 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
- Additional cooking oil for brushing the cooked kway
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Clean the pig intestine with water, drain and put it a basin. Add the starch and vinegar. Use the hand to rub for at least 2-3 minutes. Turn over the other side, and rub for at least another 2-3 minutes. If there are black specs in the intestine attached to the fat, cut it away. Rinse with clean water. Repeat the process for another time if you preferred. ( I have done it 3 times)
- Put some water in a pot, add the ginger slices, cooking wine and spring onion. Bring to boil. Add the big intestine and let it simmer for at least 1/2 hour or until a chopstick can pierce through easily. If you are not braising other meat, you can simmer it longer until softer. Since I am braising other meats, therefore, I have took out earlier as the main rationale of this step is to get rid of the smell.
- Put the other meats in the above liquid and let it cook until the external is set which takes about 5 minutes. The main purpose is to get rid of the impurities before the actual braising starts. Drain and keep all the gingers. Put the meat in the pressure cooker pot or normal pot. Add the star anises, cinnamon, cloves, additional ginger and rock sugar.
- In a pot, put one tablespoon of sugar, use medium heat to cook the sugar until it melts and the colour turn brownish. The main purpose is to caramelize the sugar for better colour and aroma. Add about 1 litre of water and cook until sugar dissolves. Add the 5 spice powder, salt to taste, dark soya sauce, caramelized dark soya sauce and stir until well mixed. Off the heat.
- Transfer these liquids to the pressure cooker pot or normal pot. Add additional water until the water covers the meat. You may or may not need to use up all the remaining 1 litre of water as the water required will depend on the size of your pot.
- Pressure cook the meat for 20 minutes. If you are braising over the stove, braise for at least one hour under medium heat until the meat is soft.
- Transfer the meat and braising liquid to a wok, add firm tofu, tofu puffs and hard boil eggs and bring to boil. Once it boils , reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for another 15 minutes or longer. Off the heat and let the meat submerged in the braising liquid for at least one hour before serving. This will enhance the flavouring of all the braising items. Set aside.
This step is optional. You may be able to get it from the noodles stall at wet market if you do not prefer to have home made version. Otherwise, you can use store bought Chee Cheong Fun (猪肠粉）and cut into triangular shape.
In a big mixing bowl, place all the dry ingredients together, add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and water, use a hand whisk to stir the rice solution until well mixed.
Put some rice solution in the baking tin (in this illustration, I used 1/2 cup of rice solution for a 9” round baking tin and it yielded hor fun of about 1 mm thickness). Swirl around such that it is as even as possible. Steam in a steamer at high heat for about 5-6 minutes or when the rice sheet is not sticky. Take out the baking tin, brush some cooking oil on top of the hor fun, use something sharp object such as fork to take out the big piece of hor fun. Perform the same until all the rice solutions are steamed. When cooled, cut into triangular shape.
- Drain all the meat and keep 1/2 of braising sauce for drizzling on top of the meat. For the remaining 1/2 of braising sauce, add 1/2 litre of water and bring boil. Add additional soya sauce and chicken stock powder if required. This will be the soup for the broad rice sheets.
- Put some broad rice sheets in a bowl, pour some soup prepared above on top. Put some chopped celery, shallot oil and deep fried shallots (Recipe: Crispy Deep Fried Shallots, Shallots Garlic Oil and Minced Garlic Shallots (油葱酥， 葱蒜香油，葱蒜蓉）). The broad rice sheet soup is ready to be served with the cut meat.
- Cut all the braising items into small pieces and place in a serving plate. Pour some braising sauce on top of the meat and the entire set of Kway chap is ready to be served.
If you have never tasted this before and if you are in Singapore, asked your friends to bring you to try this . This dish is a very popular hawker centre dish. If you do not take offal, do not worry, you still have many choices. Just a bowl of kway in the braising soup is also a satisfying meal.
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