Homemade Hakka traditional yam with pork belly

This dish is not something you find in any restaurant however it is very important to the Hakkas. My mum fondly remembers having this dish only during important dates like Chinese New Year, mid autumn festival or birthday celebration since it is considered an expensive dish with so much meat in the past. I have no recollection of eating this when I was younger but my mum claims that we hated it and she had to share it with the neighbours instead.

Fast forward to today, our entire family simply love this dish and would get mum to cook it for us when we get the craving so often. My mum simplified the steps in making this dish so it is so much easier to make now.

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Firstly, the main ingredients for this dish; 1 whole yam ( the tip is to get yam from Thailand as that species is more soft and fluffy ) , 1 KG of roast pork sliced into 3 x 4 x 0.5(thickness) cm. 1/2 piece of red fermented bean curd. ( there are 2 kinds of fermented bean curd, one is yellow in colour and the other is red. The red one has red yeast rice added to it for a different taste ) You can get this ingredient typically from any Chinese provision store and might be sold in jars instead packets like the one I bought from the wet market.

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Cut the yam into semi-circle shape. You can cut the yam into half horizontally and lay the flat surface down and cut into semi circles. You might end up with extra yam as we only need double quantities of the yam for the quantity we have for the roast pork. In our case, we had 18 pieces of roast pork so we needed 36 pieces of yam.

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Next fry the yam pieces lightly in oil, we only want to fry the surface of the yam pieces so that it will not mash-up or crumble when we steam it later. We can remove the yam once the surface of the yam is slightly brown as we do not need the yam to be fully cooked.

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You can place the yam and roast pork in this manner. It is basically 2 yam pieces to 1 roast pork like a yam sandwich. In the past, the roast pork was made from scratch, but these days my mum will just buy the ready-made ones from the market.

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Put the entire plate to steam for 1 hour so that all the yam will be fully cooked.

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To make the sauce, mix the 1/2 piece fermented bean curd with 1 teaspoon sugar and 5 tablespoon of water.

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Mix the wet ingredients till they are well mixed and set it aside while you prepare the wok/ pan.

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For convenience, we use this kind of ready-made fried shallot with oil. This gives an extremely good favour and aroma to the dish.

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Fry 3 garlic minced with 2 tablespoon of  fried shallots with oil

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Pour in the sauce you mixed earlier and bring it to a boil and make sure all the sugar and fermented bean curd is well blended.

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Once the sauce has come to boil, you can pour the sauce over the meat and yam once it is ready from steaming.

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This dish goes extremely well with fluffy white rice when the yam absorb the favours from the roast pork and the sauce. Cook this for a traditional Hakka and they will be pleasantly surprised. Enjoy cooking!

Ingredients Recap:

  1. 1 yam
  2. 18 pieces of roast pork
  3. 1/2 piece of red fermented bean curd
  4. 1 teaspoon of sugar
  5. 5 tablespoon of water
  6. 2 tablespoon of fried shallot with oil
  7. 3 garlic minced
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