My mum’s Hakka; and Mui Choi Kau Yok‘s a Hakka dish. It’s a treat at our home. She doesn’t cook it often coz she said it’s a little “unhealthy” but I love mui choi and pork belly cooked this way. I’ve decided to learn to cook it and I got the recipe from her. She’s really happy that I wanted to learn to cook some Hakka dishes. Well, I’m happy to learn, actually so that I can cook it anytime I want. Mama doesn’t mind sharing the recipe..
- 3 pack mui choi (or preserved dried mustard green) – abt 1.2kg
- 800g pork belly with skin, cleaned (I made half with skin on and half without skin)
- 60-70ml vegetable or sunflower oil (I use rapeseed oil)
- 3 bulbs garlic, peeled, leave whole but lightly smashed (I didn’t smash, just sliced bigger garlic into 2)
- 5 tbsp light soysauce + extra 1 tbsp for later
- 1 tsp sugarcane sugar (or granulated sugar) + extra 1 tsp for later
- 1 tsp dark sweet soysauce + extra 1 tsp for later
- 1.5l water or more
- salt, to taste
- Wash mui choi in water thoroughly, change water abt 3-5 times till all sand or grit are removed and water doesn’t go yellowish anymore. Squeeze dry and cut into 3mm little slices. Then soak sliced mui choi in water overnite.
- The next day, change mui choi-soaking water several times and squeeze mui choi dry and put aside.
- Cut pork belly thickly (I made 400g each with and without skin; cut abt 5x1cm thick with skin and abt 1cm thick without skin – pls see pix) and put aside.
- Put oil in a large deep pot or wok (I used a dia. 28 pot; a larger pot would be better) on medium heat.
- Add garlics and stirfry till slightly golden and fragrant, abt 1 min.
- Then add pork belly and continously stirfry till slightly cooked and fragrant, abt 5 min.
- Add mui choi and stir to mix with garlic and pork belly.
- After a min, add light soysauce, add water (till it’s at least 2cm above mixture), sugar and dark sweet soysauce. Stir to mix well.
- Braise/Simmer on low heat for at least r 1.5-2 hrs; stirring and checking texture of mui choi occasionally. Add some more water (if necessary).
- All in all, it’ll take abt 2 hrs or slightly more than 2 hrs cooking time. Mui choi should be slightly soft but still retain some light crunch, taste further for saltiness and sweetness. It should be very slightly sweet, so add more sugar and salt if necessary. (I added another 1 tsp sugar and dark soysauce each, 1 tbsp light soysauce and a little dash of salt.) Skim off as much excess oil away as possible.
- It can be served immediately with steamed rice. It would taste yummier a day later. It keeps well in the freezer, just let it defrost fully in fridge and warm up thoroughly before serving.
- My pot’s 28cm in diameter. With the amount of ingredients I had, it’s advisable to use a pot that’s 30cm or larger. I had to keep on adding water every 30 mins.
- Original recipe was supposed to be half salty preserved mui choi and half sweet preserved mui choi. I could only find salty preserved mui choi in the Netherlands and so, my mum advised that I use it but to soak mui choi overnite after washing off the grit and as much salt as I could. Taste a little pc of mui choi before adding more soy sauce or salt or sugar to the ready-cooked dish.
- After braising for slightly over 2 hrs, the fat from pork belly’s almost melted off and the garlics have melted into the dish. I agreed with my mum, the garlic made the whole dish taste so good. Don’t stinch on the garlic! 🙂
I’ve made enough for at least 12 people, I think.
Anyways, some were for dinner the next day, some went into 2 containers for the freezer and some went into 3 containers for some friends.. 🙂
Love you, mama..
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