Recipe Tag: pork
Popiah are one of my favourite things to eat in Singapore – I’ll never forget my first one from a stall at Newton Circus. Mine are not traditional of course, with the addition of pineapple salsa, but it works so well with the pork. This is great for a group dinner where people wrap their own, as the pancakes will happily sit covered for a long time. You can make the skins a day or two ahead, cover well and store in the fridge.
Simple and superb (the mix can be made a day ahead), these are great to fry or even better to grill. I prefer them with pork, but chicken would also work well here. I like to serve with a simple hoisin and lime sauce, but they are also good with a nuoc cham or peanut sauce. I tend to use frozen stems for the skewers – the freezing softens the fibres and they are less likely to burn on the grill.
The essential ingredients for CKT are pretty simple but the success lies in the mixture of the sauce, the chilli paste, the freshness of the flat rice noodles and other key ingredients and, most importantly, the control of heat of the wok during frying. The secret in good char koay teow lies in the timing, and the way the heat of the wok and style of frying is controlled. A very hot wok will produce a plate of fragrant and smoky noodles, but have the heat too high and not properly controlled and you’ll have burnt ingredients and broken, clumpy noodles. We use lard as it is smooth, resistant to higher heat and definitely more aromatic when frying! The amount of chilli and sauce can be added according to liking although too much sauce will result in soggy noodles. If you prefer a saltier taste, then add in more salt in the sauce but keep the liquid ingredients constant.
We import our own sauces as we know the origin and hence the integrity of the sauce. We find that the sauces made in Malaysia are definitely superior in taste with no mechanical aftertaste.
This quantity makes four serves but it’s best to fry one portion at a time to preserve the heat of the wok. So, once you have made the chilli paste and the sauce, divide all the ingredients into four portions before cooking.
TEE CHIEW PHIE
This is somewhere between a pork stroganoff and a pork, apple and crème fraîche stew. I haven’t used pork fillet because it cooks too fast and, as I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, I am a sauce obsessive and like my meat to fall to bits, so instead I’ve used the criminally underused pork neck steaks. Classically you would probably use French Dijon mustard, but I think the fieriness of English mustard works better here.
While I love the texture that cellophane noodles provide I’m often infuriated by the mess they make when trying to separate them out – I’ve found the solution is to buy packets where they are bundled into small portions of around 50g, which are perfect to use here. I used frozen squid bodies, but you could use fresh. Incidentally this mix is delicious used as a filling for dumplings.
I like to use free-range or free-farmed pork sausages to make my sausage rolls, rather than sausage meat of dubious provenance.
This is not the most attractive dish as the milk curdles into rich dark nuggets, but it is flavoursome and homely. It’s usually cooked with a loin, but I prefer to use a shoulder cut. If it comes with skin I usually remove it and make some crackling. Depending on the coarseness of the grain, the polenta can use more liquid than most instructions specify. I use a rough ratio of 1 part polenta to 5-6 parts water, but if you keep some boiling water on hand you can adjust the consistency if necessary. I’ve used a vegetable stock for the polenta but you can use chicken stock or milk if you prefer.
I consider the gatherings where friends or relatives sit down to share a meal as integral to the consideration of family.
An all-in-one tray bake, based on the idea of the classic Portuguese dish of pork and clams. Choose a large roasting tray as you want an even layer if possible. You will need to start this recipe the day before to tenderise the pork and flavour it well with chorizo spices.