My guest cook from China, Lee Zeng Peng, speaks only Mandarin and I don’t speak his language, so the camera comes in handy to record details of the two recipes he is sharing with us.
First step was to find the meat he needed. I brought him to the newly opened Freddo in San Nicolas. Thank goodness, he found the pork! Btw, this local meat shop looks more like a bar, sparkling clean, with no meat visible unless you lean over and see what’s inside the black counter. The tagline reads: proudly Ilocos grown pork.
Next, we went to nearby Robinsons to get bok choy and scallions. He stopped by the seafood section to pick up some oysters.
Here’s the first recipe. He calls it some other name which literally means clean soup. To make things easier, we’ll name it pork and oyster noodle soup. This is going to be the first time I’m having this soup with a rather uncommon combination.
What you’ll need: a bowl of oysters; chopped garlic and potato flour for the oysters; pig’s ham (thigh) and leg; salt, sugar and corn starch for the ham slices (cut into 1 1/2″ x 3/4 pieces); one whole crushed ginger; tung koi (Chinese herb); scallions and fresh noodles.
How-to: Bring the leg chunks to boil in a potful of water. Add crushed ginger and tung koi (shown in photo 1, second row). While waiting for the bone soup to simmer, strain oysters and add some chopped ginger. In a separate bowl, mix the pork slices (about 1/3 k) with a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of sugar and about 2 tbsps. of corn starch. When the bones are tender, add in bok choy. Sprinkle oysters with a tbsp. of potato flour, mix and throw in coated oysters a little at a time. Do the same with the dredged pork. Add in caramelized chopped scallion heads. Serve soup in individual bowls and add noodles.
Voilà, the end result!
The oysters gave the aromatic soup some depth and character. It was light, yet so tasty, with a well-balanced mingling of contrasting flavors.
Cho ma, the second pork recipe is less intricate. It’s the proportions that will make the dish either a hit or a miss.
You will be needing: chopped garlic, about 3/4 k pork, soy sauce, an egg and salt and sugar to taste. (This dish has to be somewhat sweetish.) And lastly, potato flour for dredging.
How-to: Add the garlic, egg, half a teaspoon of salt, more sugar and 1 and 1/2 tbsps. of soy sauce to the pork and mix well. Sprinkle unto a plate 3 tbsps. of potato flour and coat pork one at a time. Heat oil on high heat and fry the dredged slices until golden brown. The result should be crispy on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. Cut into smaller slices before serving.
Cho ma is good as it it or with hot rice. The hubby likes his sandwiched in bread. Pan de sal to be precise. Kids will surely love this dish, promise.
Xie xie, Zeng!
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