Khong Bak Mui Choy

Wine & Dine Cookbook - - ASIAN KITCHEN -

Serves 6 to 8 MEDIUM

Says chef Oon, “I love the skill and art of Hakka food. It may seem very 'coun­try' but this dish in­cor­po­rates so­phis­ti­cated culi­nary tech­niques.”

300g salty mui choy

300g sweet mui choy

800g square piece of belly pork

with skin on** 3 tbsp veg­etable oil

8 cloves gar­lic, chopped finely

½ tsp salt

4 tsp sugar

3 tbsp thick dark soy sauce

1½ cups pork stock

2 tbsp Chi­nese white wine (pi jiu) or yel­low wine (hua tiao jiu)

1. Pre­pare the mui choy. Wash the salt off mui choy, drain and re­peat with fresh tap wa­ter sev­eral times, then soak for ½ hr. It is best to use mostly stalk rather than leaves. So dis­card

½ of the leaves, squeeze dry the re­main­ing leaves and set aside. Soak the hard stems in more fresh wa­ter for an ex­tra ½ hr for the sweet mui choy and 1 hr for the salty mui choy to re­move the ex­cess salt. Drain and squeeze dry.

2. Cut away and dis­card the hard, solid root of the mui choy. Slice the stems and leaves of all the mui choy into

2cm lengths. You'll want about 300g stems and 200g leaves. Store away any ex­cess. (The mui choy can be pre­pared a few days in ad­vance. Wrap them in cling film, store in the fridge un­til re­quired.)

3. Place pork in a saucepan and add enough wa­ter to fully im­merse it. Bring to a rolling boil for 10 mins, then turn off heat, and cover the pan. Let the pork cool com­pletely for about 6 to 8 hrs. Re­move the pork and set aside two cups of the pork stock.

4. Cut the cooled pork into 2 rec­tan­gu­lar pieces, then into 1 to 1½ cm thick slices.

5. Heat the wok over high heat, add oil and sauté chopped gar­lic un­til fra­grant. Add pork, stir-fry for ½ min, then add in salt, sugar, dark soy sauce and 1½ cups of the stock. Bring to a boil, then add in the wine and sim­mer for 15 mins over medium heat.

6. Re­move pork slices and set aside.

Add the mui choy into the gravy and sim­mer for 10 to 15 mins till the gravy thick­ens.

7. Place the pork slices skin side down in a heat-proof bowl. Ar­range the veg­eta­bles in the mid­dle and pour stock over. Press down well.

8. Steam for 2½ hrs over high heat till the meat is break­away ten­der. Leave aside to cool a lit­tle. In­vert the bowl over a plate, and serve the pork and mui choy as part of a Hakka meal.

**This dish in­cor­po­rates the Chi­nese culi­nary technique of poach­ing a large piece of meat un­til semi-cooked. Ac­cord­ing to chef Oon, this ensures that once sliced into smaller pieces, the meat keeps its shape. This is called “twice-cooked meat”.

Khong Bak Mui Choy

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