Monday, April 22, 2013

Manic Monday- Khai Pa Lo

I first posted this recipe here, and the story behind this childhood favorite. My girls love this and it's perfect for after Easter for all of those hard boiled eggs ;)
Find more "ManIc MoNdaY" posts here.

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 cornstarch- 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. (You can also scoop the while spices up and put them into a spice ball at this point so it's easier to remove them after cooking.)
  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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