Friday, May 7, 2010

MasterChef Gua-mah's Teochew Boiled Pork

Teochew food is known for its fish dishes and vegetarian dishes and particularly the use of very light flavouring and seasoning (salt, spices) is a feature or characteristic of Teochew cooking, which seeks to bring out the natural taste of the ingredients used. My maternal grandmother was the quintessential Teochew MasterChef in the family for the simple reason that she was of Chaoshan origin.
I always remember the simple dish of boiled kambong fish (sek her) cooked in brine and the prickle olive (num) eaten with rice porridge (潮州糜 or mue) was her daily stable food. Her simple way of life and her austerity were well known to her offspring. Needless to say, her most elaborate Kiam Cai Ak Terng, a soup boiled with duck, preserved salted vegetable, tomatoes and preserved sour plum was only served on feast days. As a child, I always thought that my Gua-mah's (maternal grandmother) Teochew food was a bit bland and little did I know that I have inherited her simple taste for food. One of my favourite taken from Gua-mah dishes is cold boiled pork. It is a popular side dish I like to cook for my family and friends, especially offer as an appetizer or drink companion. According to Gua-mah's recipe it is made with pork belly the same cut used for bacon but I prefer to use lean pork loin. It is simplily delicious with vinegar with garlic and chilli or sambal belachan in contrast to Western custom of serving a sweet sauce with pork.

Teochew Boiled Pork Recipe:

1 kg pork loin
2 tbsp Chinese rice wine.
5 pcs spring onion
5 cloves garlic
2 slices ginger
1 tbsp salt

Vinegar Chilli and Garlic Sauce.

1/2 cup cider vinegar
5 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 chillies finely chopped

Bring 5 cups of water to boil over medium high heat, add the pork and boil for 15 minutes, skimming off the impurities. Decrease the heat to medium and add seasoning ingredients. boil the pork and turn the pork several times to evenly cook the pork for another 45 minutes. Stick a chopstick into pork loin to check whether it is cooked. It is cooked when the liquid oozing out is clear after the chopstick is withdrawn. Turn off heat and let the pork to cool in the stock Transfer to a container and cling wrap and refrigerate overnight Reserve the stock for other use.


  1. Hi Uncle Phil
    U can use Maggi Chilli Sauce Mix with dark Soya sauce........Equally yummy but ofcourse nothing beats Sliced chilli Padi mix with Dark Soya sauce. next time U can use Shoulder Butt. More tender; it like Pork wagyu just that the Pig dun drink beer to attain that marbling texture.

    Notti PAW

  2. Hi Notti,
    It is nice to hear from you. How have you been? Thanks for the recomendation on the dipping sauce and the cut of meat to use. I have a recipe where pork cheek is used but I could'nt get them from the butcher here in Sydney. I do not know where the pig head went. I noticed that pig carcasses in the butcher shop are headless :)

  3. Hi Uncle Phil
    Am trying to make sure I won't be kill by work LOL......Think U know wat am talking about....
    Pig head either become Tiger snack or ship off to Asia country ^___*

  4. Hi Anonymous,
    Wow...It never strikes me that all the goodies (pork cheeks, tongue and brain) went to the zoos for the big cats and market as delicacies in Asia.