Hakka Braised Pork Belly 客家炸肉

by Angie Liew
Hakka Braised Pork Belly
 
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Hakka Braised Pork Belly

A Traditional Hakka Delicacy: Hakka Braised Pork Belly, or known as Hakka Zhar Yoke 客家炸肉

Hakka Braised Pork Belly is a traditional and classic Hakka dish. It is also a dish often served during Chinese New Year or any festive occasions. This braised pork belly dish is characterized as salty, fragrant and umami. The skill in this dish lies in the ability to cook the meat thoroughly without hardening it, and to naturally bring out the umami taste of the succulent pork belly. The braised sauce of this dish has a perfectly balanced sweet and savoury flavour. The end result is a very tender melt-in-the-mouth pork which is simply irresistible.

Hakka Braised Pork Belly

An Easy Hakka Dish To Master At Home

This Hakka Braised Pork Belly is a very easy dish to prepare at home. Other than the slightly long braising time to allow the pork belly to turn tender, this dish is quite straightforward and fuss-free. First marinade the pork to enhance the intense flavour, then deep fry till golden brown and lastly braise the pork belly to perfection. Furthermore, cooking with a claypot is so effortless. You just need to put everything in, do a few quick stirs, add some water, cover the lid and allow to simmer till done.

Hakka Braised Pork Belly

Star of This Dish: Red Fermented Beancurd (南乳 Nam Yu)

The key ingredient to prepare Hakka Braised Pork Belly is the red fermented beancurd (南乳) , or commonly known as Nam Yu. It is made with soybeans fermented in a mix of rice wine, salt, vinegar, red yeast rice and other seasonings. It has a vivid maroon colour, thanks to the use of red yeast rice and has a distinctively thickened aroma, very much like a fermented cheese.

It is this key ingredient that gives the marinated pork an attractively glossy reddish sheen and contributes to the intense flavor of this dish. The red fermented beancurd imparts a deep red hue and the distinct savory flavor to the tender soft pork belly. Red fermented beancurd is so so incredible in any stew especially with this pork belly dish.  They are usually sold alongside other bottled soy bean products in any Asian grocery shops.

Hakka Braised Pork Belly

Succulent, Delicious and Exploding with Flavour

This Hakka Braised Pork Belly is juicy and tender soft, almost melt in your mouth and full of flavour. They are steeped in an intensely flavourful sauce. The meat is particularly succulent when they are braised. This dish goes extremely well with steamed white rice or dry noodles. They are simply irresistible after the first mouthful and is highly addictive. Truly a dish perfect for meat lovers too.

So Enjoy!

 

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Hakka Braised Pork Belly 客家木耳炸肉

Recipe by Huang Kitchen, Angie Liew
Hakka Braised Pork Belly is a classic Hakka dish, commonly known as Hakka Zhar Yoke (炸肉 Hakka Fried Pork). Often served during Chinese New Year or any festive occasions, this dish is juicy and bursting with flavour. This braised pork belly dish is characterized as salty, fragrant and umami. The key ingredient of this dish is Red Fermented Beancurd which brings out the signature flavour of the dish. Don't miss out and try making this at home, it's so easy!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Marinade Overnight1 d
Course: Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 400 gram pork belly with skin, cut into bite size
  • 30 gram wood ear fungus/ black fungus, rehydrated
  • 1 tsp garlic, chopped
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cups water, enough water to cover the pork

Marinade:

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 red fermented bean curd, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp chinese five spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp cornflour

Seasonings:

  • 2 red fermented bean curd (mashed), commonly known as nam yee
  • 1/2 tsp chinese five spice powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp chinese cooking wine, Shaoxing wine

    Instructions

    Preparing Braised Pork Belly dish:

    • Ingredients for making Hakka braised pork belly
      Have ready all ingredients needed to make the dish.
    • Cut pork into bite size
      Wash and pat dry strips of pork belly. Then cut the pork belly into bite size pieces and set aside.
    • Chop garlic.
      Then chop some garlic and set aside.
    • Rehydrate wood ear fungus.
      Next, soak wood ear fungus in water until soft and pliable, about 15mins.
    • Cut wood ear into bite size.
      When softened and enlarged, cut/tear the fungus into 1-inch bite size pieces and set aside. Be sure to pinch out the hard knobby centers of the fungus as well.
    • Cut coriander leaves for garnishing.
      Lastly cut some chinese coriander leaves for garnishing later. And we are ready to marinate the pork belly.

    Marinating Pork Belly:

    • Prepare Ingredients to marinate pork.
      Have ready all ingredients to marinade the cut pork belly.
    • Add in the marinade and season the pork pieces by mixing thoroughly. Leave to marinade overnight or at least 3 to 4 hours. Then we are ready to deep fry the pork belly.

    Deep Frying Pork:

    • Oil is ready when chopstick insert has bubbles around it.
      Heat up oil for deep frying in wok or pan. Oil is ready when a chopstick inserted into oil will bubble up around it.
    • Fry pork till golden brown.
      Deep fry pork till light golden brown in colour.
    • Drain fried pork on paper towel
      Remove and drain on kitchen paper and set aside. And we are ready to braise the fried pork.

    Braising Pork Belly:

    • Prepare seasonings for the dish.
      Before braising the fried pork belly, have ready ingredients to season the fried pork belly.
    • Fry garlic and black fungus till fragrant. Then add seasonings.
      Then, in a claypot or stewing pot, leave 2 tbsp oil in pot. Saute chopped garlic till fragrant. Then add in wood ear fungus and seasonings.
    • Stir fry garlic, black fungus until fragrant. Then add seasonings.
      Stir fry briskly until aromatic.
    • Add fried pork belly.
      Then add in fried pork belly and stri fry to mix thoroughly.
    • Add water till cover the pork.
      Next, add enough water to cover the pork mixture.
    • Bring to a boil. Add star anise.
      Bring to a boil. Then add in star anise.
    • Simmer over low heat for 45 mins.
      Cover the claypot and simmer over LOW HEAT for about 45 minutes until the pork pieces are tender and tje flavour has been absorbed.
    • Stir occasionally to prevent pork from burning.
      Stir occasionally to make sure the pork mixture does not dry up and burn.
    • Serve hot with steamed white rice.
      Cooking is done when pork is tender soft and the sauce has thicken a little. Garnish with cut coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed white rice. SO ENJOY!

Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Notes

Cut the pork belly into 3/4 inch thick pieces, not to small as the pork belly will shrink when slow cooked.
It is ideal to marinade the pork belly overnight to allow better absorption of flavour into the meat.
Select the thicker wood ear fungus, which will hold its texture during the long cooking of the pork. If you use the thinner cloud ear fungus, add it halfway through cooking to preserve its texture.
You need to add just enough water to cover but not submerged the pork. It should just barely skim the pork’s surface. The liquid will reduce as we simmer, concentrating the flavour of the intense sauce.
Slow simmer for about 45 mins till fried pork belly is melting soft, wood ear fungus is tender and the sauce has thicken a little.
When slow simmering the fried pork belly, stir every 5 – 10 minutes to prevent burning.

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