Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Simply porridge

For many not-so-well-off families in some cultures, porridge, with the accompanying dishes of salted fish, salted eggs and preserved olives, was considered an economical meal. However, porridge has also been made a feast somehow by complementing it with braised duck (Lor Ak) , stewed pork in soy sauce (Tau Eu Bak), steamed/fried fish topped with black bean sauce or preserved (Tau Cheo) yellow beans. Some other side dishes include salted radish omelette (Chai Po Neng) and ikan bilis fried with chillies, onions, peanuts. There are so many simple dishes that goes with porridge that no wonder it can even be made a buffet theme. Well, downing porridge is indeed very pleasurable as the plain-ness of porridge perfectly complements the intense earthy flavours of many food.

My porridge set begins at home.

Steamed meat "cake"

-0.5lb minced pork
-10-12 pieces pickled lettuce (comes in a bottle), chopped to smaller pieces
-1tbsp light soy sauce
-1tsp sesame oil
-1tsp shaoxing wine
-dashes of black pepper
-2 leaves of napa cabbage(option-as a base for the meat during steaming and adds a hint of sweetness as well)

1.Add finely chopped pickled lettuce into the minced pork, add light soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil to marinade
then further mince/chop the meat to mix the pickled lettuce in the meat
2.Mould the meat into one round "cake"
3.Place on plate/steamer,add 2-3tbsp water to the meat, start steam for 10-20 mins depending how thick the pork is
4.Halfway steaming, add the shaoxing wine over the meat, continue steaming
5.Serve immediately, with rice or porridge

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