Wednesday, June 18, 2008

LOH BAK (BRAISED PIG'S TONGUE & PORK BELLY)


The "Loh" in the meat (Bak) is as in braising. This is almost the same recipe as Tau Eeu Bak; the only difference is the substitution of galangal (blue ginger) to garlic, all else stays the same. The amount of galangal used is up to one's discretion - the galangal is what gives the dish its distinct smell and flavor.

The tongue is the most misunderstood body parts; the mere mention of it puts most people off easily. But given a chance, it tastes better than some of meaty parts of the pig. Being what it is or where it has been, cleaning the tongue is the hardest part of this cooking exercise.


MAIN INGREDIENTS

1 Pig's Tongue • 1 Strip Pork Belly • 1 Knob Galangal • Sugar Dark Soy Sauce



COMPLIMENTARY INGREDIENTS

Almost Hard Boiled Eggs • Hard Taufu (Beancurd)



METHOD


In a hot boiling water, drop in the pork belly and have it blanch to get rid of the scum.

Rinse and set aside.

Have the butcher cut off those boney part at the opposite end of its tip. Drop the tongue into hot boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes until the white membrane flakes off. Remove with a thong and use a sharp knife to scrap off all the white membrane completely. Further boil the tongue if necessary to be rid of some stubborn patches.

Repeat the above a few if you have to...

...a completely scrapped tongue.


Drizzle dark soy sauce over the pork belly and tongue... about ½ doz. tablespoonful. And rub them all over, allowing it to sit for at least for ½ hour, turning a few times.

Scrap off the skin from the galangal and cut into thin slices. Heat up 4 tbsp. of oil on medium heat. Drop in the galangal to bring out its fragrance.

Spoon in the sugar to caramelize. Stir the sugar and galangal around to prevent burning.

Once the sugar is caramelized, plunk in the 2 slabs of meat, searing them ever so slightly, before pouring in the remaining soy sauce marinate. Let it simmer for a while for the meat to caramelize.

Pour in about 3 cups of hot water, barely covering the meat. Bring the liquid to a boil and let it simmer covered for 45 minutes on low heat. Turn the meat every 15 minutes.

To make a simple chilli sauce, chop a couple of chillies with a clove of garlic; put them into a blender and blitz. Add ½ tsp. of salt and 1 tsp. of sugar, 1 tbsp. of white vinegar, plus 1 tbsp. water.

... blitz until it comes out like the photo right. Adjust the taste to your liking.

After the 45 minutes period the meat should be done... cut a piece of the pork belly to see if it's tender. Simmer a bit more it needs be. Drop in the hard tofu, turn a few times to coat it on all sides for 3 minutes. Finally drop in the eggs and turn off the heat. Let it soak in the liquid for another hour before serving.

Remove the meat and let it cool before slicing them.

The reason the eggs are almost hard boiled because it will cook further after sitting in the warm sauce.

Adjust the taste of the sauce if it needs it.

Serve with sliced cucumber.

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As the name implies, it's all about nothing! Kongkaying is like grasping in the air - more like hot air with occasional fartulence. Hopefully, something aromatic will come out of it! If not...

May the Farce be With You!

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