Thursday, May 27, 2010

Khai Pa Lo- Soy Sauce Braised Pork

When I was a little girl my mom would make this dish and I would love the egg mashed up in rice with the gravy/sauce poured over it. I didn't have pork belly available this time but my mom didn't always use pork belly, she would use other cuts of pork also. The belly is nice because the fat, there, I said it, pork fat truly does rule. Especially since you braise this, it gets nice and tender and still moist. Some leaner cuts will dry out, you can cook them longer to make them tender though. I saw on Nasi Lemak Lover, when she made this she added tofu. What a wonderful addition, my mom didn't ever use tofu so I didn't add any. Not that I make this the exact way my mom does, because I don't.  I add peppercorns, Szechuan peppercorns and cinnamon. My mom also didn't use cinnamon, she's just isn't a fan. I am not sure my mom used ginger in her Khai Pa Low either- but it is a wonderful addition. I like the addition of peppercorns, especially Szechuan even though it's not an actual peppercorn. They are fragrant, spicy fragrant- like ginger, cloves etc and have a numbing effect on the tongue- though the numbing is not noticeable in this dish, I use it when making Five Spice Powder also.


Give Peas A Chance Khai Pa Lo

2 peeled garlic cloves
1 stick cinnamon (this one is about 2 inches)
2-3 star anise
6 cloves
1 teaspoon total of whole peppercorns, I had black, white, pink and green- use whatever you have
1/2 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3-4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 pound of pork belly or pork ribs, cubed (you don't have to cube this, you can leave it whole, mom always cubed it)
4 tablespoons DARK soy sauce
3 tablespoons light or regular soy sauce
3 tablespoons oyster flavored sauce
fine ground WHITE pepper to taste (you can use black but white is perfect in this dish, and... mom used white in this dish.)
4 1/2 cups water
1-2 teaspoons corn starch- optional, I'll tell you why later
8 medium/soft boiled eggs, peeled.
Heat the oil in a dutch oven/pot and add the ginger, cloves, and other whole spices.
 
Cook until fragrant, the peppercorns will pop a little.
Remove the cloves and  peppercorns before adding the sugar. (It's easier than fishing them out later, I spaced it.)
Push the spices to the sides of the dutch oven and sprinkle in the sugar.
 Cook until caramelized.
Sear the pork on all sides, in the caramelized sugar.
Add soy sauces, oyster sauce and pepper. 
Pour the water in and nestle in the eggs. My mom put hard boiled eggs in, and that is perfectly fine. Works and tastes awesome I just wanted to avoid the dreaded grey outline of over cooked eggs, but really, who cares.
Simmer/gently boil for an hour/hour and a half until reduced and the gravy is a bit thick. I sometimes use corn starch in a bit of cold water to thicken this at the end of cooking time if it isn't thick enough, but hardly necessary.
Remove whole spices before serving, especially for children.
I served the Khai Pa Lo on this particular night with gingered jasmine rice, I first reached for a short grain rice but the fragrant jasmine is preferred.



Give Peas A Chance Khai Pa Lo

2 peeled garlic cloves
1 stick cinnamon (this one is about 2 inches)
2-3 star anise
6 cloves
1 teaspoon total of whole peppercorns, I had black, white, pink and green- use whatever you have
1/2 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3-4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 pound of pork belly or pork ribs, cubed (you don't have to cube this, you can leave it whole, mom always cubed it)
4 tablespoons DARK soy sauce
3 tablespoons light or regular soy sauce
3 tablespoons oyster flavored sauce
fine ground WHITE pepper to taste (you can use black but white is perfect in this dish, and... mom used white in this dish.)
4 1/2 cups water
1-2 teaspoons corn starch- optional, I'll tell you why later
8 medium/soft boiled eggs, peeled.
  1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven/pot and add the ginger, cloves, and other whole spices. 
  2. Cook until fragrant, the peppercorns will pop a little.
  3. Remove the cloves and  peppercorns before adding the sugar. (It's easier than fishing them out later.)
  4. Push the spices to the sides of the dutch oven and sprinkle in the sugar.
  5. Cook until caramelized.
  6. Sear the pork on all sides, in the caramelized sugar.
  7. Add soy sauces, oyster sauce and pepper. 
  8. Pour the water in and nestle in the eggs. My mom put hard boiled eggs in, and that is perfectly fine. Works and tastes awesome I just wanted to avoid the dreaded grey outline of over cooked eggs, but really, who cares. 
  9. Simmer/gently boil for an hour/hour and a half until reduced and the gravy is a bit thick. I sometimes use corn starch in a bit of cold water to thicken this at the end of cooking time if it isn't thick enough, but hardly necessary. 
  10. Remove whole spices before serving, especially for children.
  11. I served the Khai Pa Lo on this particular night with gingered jasmine rice, I first reached for a short grain rice but the fragrant jasmine is preferred.

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