After a series of restaurant reviews that I've posted lately, I thought it's about time I write about a dish that I've cooked recently. One of my fellow blogger whom I have been following have recently travelled to my hometown, Singapore. And thanks to the wonder of twitter, along with a few fellow Singaporean, we tweeted advice on places to go for authentic Singaporean hawker food, as you do. I did mentioned in my personal profile that we, as a nation, love to talk about food. This is part of our culture and I am glad to see that being in a foreign land didn't changed us a bit.
All these just reminded me of how much I missed the food of Singapore. This is a fantastic example of good humble home style food that I loved. Like beef rendang, this just gets better with time so it can definitely be made the day before and re-heat when you want to eat it. My nan used to cook this and she would used pork belly which has the most amazing flavours. However, I have used pork cheeks instead which is just as tasty. For this dish to be at it's best, you need to use meat that contain a good amount of fat so refrain from substituting this with a leaner cut.
Along with this, I have also made a Nyonya nasi kunyit which is just perfect to go with this dish, of course a simple bowl of steam rice is just as good.
10-12 pork cheeks (500g in total), cut into large cubes
3 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
1 tbsp tau cheo (yellow bean pasted)
2 tbsp tamarind paste
3 tbsp palm sugar, substitute with 2 tbsp dark brown sugar if not available
Sea salt, to taste
For the rempah/spice paste:
2 stalk lemongrass, cut into 2cm length
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
6 candlenuts or macadamia nuts
3cm piece of fresh galangal
2cm piece of fresh ginger
3 clove garlic
4 dried red chillies, reconstituted in warm water
2 fresh red chillies, deseeded
1 tbsp belachan/blachan (Shrimp Paste), toasted in a dry pan or in the oven
Prepare the rempah/spice paste. Blitz all the ingredients in a food processor to a smooth paste.
Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat until it smokes. Add the spice paste and stir-fry for 5-6 minutes, until fragrant.
|Babi Assam (Braised Pork Cheeks in a Tangy Tamarind Sauce) |
with Nasi Kunyit