I've finally succeeded in cooking Hong Bak! It's my 2nd attempt ;p This dish is a typical Hokkien dish loved by my hubby & family of inlaws. Everyone will surely have a 2nd bowl of rice whenever there's this dish.
My 1st attempt was not successful as 1) it didn't look dark enough 2) taste wise also not salty nor fragrant enough.
My MIL doesn't use any special ingredients yet it tastes so good. It only contains the usual stuff like light & dark soya sauce, dash of Shiao Hsing Wine & a dash of Sesame Oil (I think). I never really observed her when she cooked this dish.. always missed the marinating part (I suspect she wanted to keep it her secret too ~ hehehe!)
This 2nd attempt was well prepared. Not only did I do my research over several recipes on Hong Bak, I also marinaded the pork belly pieces overnight.
Honestly, the secret to successful Hong Bak really is the chemistry of all the basic seasoning & trial and error! I will share with you my concoction of seasoning which I think was also luck :p
600g Pork Belly with Skin ~ cut to bite size
4 pieces of Tau Kwa (firm / prefried Tau Hu)
4 cloves of whole roasted garlic
5 Tbsp Light Soya Sauce
3 - 5 Tbsp Dark Soya Sauce
1 Tsp Brown Sugar ~ can add more while cooking if it's too salty
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
2 Tbsp Vegetarian Oyster Sauce
1. Wash & cut pork belly into bite sizes. Repeat the same with the Tau Kwa.
2. Marinade the pork belly with the seasoning overnight.
3. Remove from fridge & left at room tempreture for 15-20mins.
4. Heat pot with a little bit of oil. Stir-fry the 4 cloves of roast garlic (with skin ~ just remove 1 or 2 layers & rinse before cooking them) until fragrant abit. Add the pork belly pieces & keep stirring.
5. Then add the remaining marinade sauce into the pot & bring to slow boil. This is to braise the meat. Do not add alot of water! If you're worried the pork might stick to the pot, add 2 or 3 Tbsp of water is enough.
6. Keep it at slow fire with the pot covered & keep stirring occasionally. Taste the sauce. If it's not salty enough.. add light soya sauce. If it's too salty, add a bit of sugar. If it's too dry, add 2 - 3 Tbsp of water at a time.
7. It will take approximately 40 minutes to cook properly and also absorb the sauce into the pork pieces. Add the Tau Kwa towards the end.
Serve with white rice.