Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Soy Sauce Pork Cubes Recipe

So when I first decided that I wanted to learn to cook about 2 years ago, the Internet was really my only source of inspiration. More specifically, certain food blogs that I came across. It was the first time I really came across a food blog and I was amazed. Tested and tried recipes, from people's own home kitchen, shared with the rest of the world in a quick and easy manner. I'm sold.

Of course for the longest time, there were only 3 blogs that I really kept revising to draw ideas and inspiration from, that would slowly increase my passion of being in the kitchen and learning to make good, delicious food. They were: Hunger Hunger (run by my friend's mum also from KK), Almost Bourdain (now moved to Gourmand Recipes) and Rasa Malaysia.

I've cooked SO many of their recipes since the start, that I can't thank them enough for their wealth of knowledge as I was taking baby steps in the kitchen during those times. Before that, most of my cooking was almost entirely inedible, seriously. Till this day, I'm still learning and find cooking for my friends and family to be such an amazing and rewarding experience.

After my first 3 food blog encounters, I slowly progressed to The Little Teochew and The Pioneer Woman after stumbling upon them by chance. Two more amazing food blogs that shares incredible recipes that I had the privilege and joy of recreating in my own kitchen. And fast track till this day, I'm slowly discovering more and more amazing people in the food blogging community. Every person that I've included in my blog roll (to the right of this page) continues to inspire me so much with their passion for food.

Anyhoo, back to this recipe. This Soy Sauce Pork Cubes recipe is one that I've made many times. Another amazing find from Hunger Hunger. I fell instantly in love with it since the first day. Soy sauce + Pork. How typically Chinese can you get, right? But by golly, we were FLOORED. Absolutely knocked off our socks. This was SUCH a tasty dish that we couldn't get enough of!

The reason why it tasted so good was 1) it was braised for a very long time. 2) the fats from the pork had given the sauce lots of flavour 3) the sauce was thick and glossy from the use of rock sugar 4) it tastes friggin' incredible with rice

This dish is so gratifying and I highly recommend it to anyone, do give it a try and I promise you won't regret it! =)

Note: The dish is slightly saltier than normal dishes but expected as it goes GREAT with rice. Add an extra piece of rock sugar if you wish to balance it out, but I don't find necessary. Also, my friend, Ann, was the one who taught me to cut up my spring onions and store them in the freezer (see top left of first picture below). Great way because they're normally too big and tend to go bad before I'm doing using the whole bunch. The flavour and aroma is still retained and now I have spring onions readily available whenever I need them. Good tip, thanks Ann.


Soy Sauce Pork Cubes
(Adapted from this recipe by Hunger Hunger)


800g pork belly, skin on
3 shallots (small red onions), sliced thinly
3 tbsp Shaoxin wine or rice wine *
5 tbsp dark soy sauce **
2 tbsp light soy sauce **
2 large pieces rock sugar
1/4 cup water or stock
1/2 cup spring onions, sliced

* Use rice wine instead of Shaoxin wine if you want a stronger soy sauce flavour
** Use Lee Kum Kee's Selected soy sauces


1. Wash and cut the belly pork into 'cubes' of about 1 1/2 "/3 cm thick. You can blanch the pork with hot boiling water if like to remove hairs and dirt. This step also prevents the sauce from becoming cloudy. (I skipped this step).

2. Heat up a heavy pan or a glass casserole dish like Corning's. Add 1 T oil, sear pork over high heat until white all over. If you are cooking more than 1 kg, it is good to cook this in two batches so that the high heat is maintained and the meat gets seared without letting out liquid. Dish pork aside and fry the shallots until fragrant in the same pan.

3. Return pork to pan, add the soy sauces, the wine, the rock sugar and 1/4 cup stock or water until pork is immersed in liquid. Cover. Reduce heat so that it gives a medium-low simmer. Water will come out of the pork as it cooks. Stir once in a while.

4. After 45 minutes, test the pork. If you like it softer, cook another 15 to 30 minutes. Otherwise, uncover and add extra rice wine if like. Add more water if sauce starts to dry up. Stir well to mix and increase heat to high to reduce the sauce until it's very thick. This may take another 10 minutes or more if there's lots of liquid.

5. Stir in the spring onions and serve hot with plain boiled rice. Add a plate of stir-fried veggies.

(Picture from when I cooked it sometime last semester)


Anonymous said...

These pork belly cubes make me salivate just by looking at them. Your cooking are getting better each day, Winston. Thanks for the mention.

msihua said...

The Boy does a similar recipe with this, except that he cooks it in a claypot over the stove and adds coconut milk. Makes it even more amazing!!!

Winston said...

@ellie: thanks for the encouragement, ellie! ive had lotsa fun making ur recipes. ive bookmarked more than i can keep up with haha!

@msihua: wow, your man sounds so creative in the kitchen! ive never heard of soy sauce + coconut milk. did he just use a few tbsp to give a bit of hint in the sauce or like half a cup to make it make component of sauce too? would love to try it! hope the recipe's somewhere in ur blog =D

PFx said...

Simply an intense way to cook a great piece of luscious meat!
Soy braised pork, steam rice, and a spoon... that's like porn, bro! (Kids, this one's OK at home)

Winston said...

yup! indons have their babi kecap manis which is a slight variation from this too, yeah? both i would GLADLY devour with a mountain of rice anytime, any day haha... and LOL at your porn comment haha...

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

My mum has a similar recipe. You can't go wrong with pork like this!

Winston said...

no you can't! i've actually always strongly believed that no one does pork better than the CHINESE haha... whether it's braised/roast, hot/cold... you name it! lol... but yeah, i hope you make your mum's recipe sometime because it sounds really yummy =]

Anonymous said...

The pictures and the recipe both look amazing! I return the compliment: you sure know how to blog! :)
I suck at cooking pork. Never got my way around it, but that's because we have tons of charcuterie here in France ^^' (and charcuterie is as you may know a very quick and tasty meat fix... yeah, I know, I'm laaaaazy!)
Thanks for the input anyway :)

Winston said...

hey mari-anne, thanks for that! i looove charcuterie! oh man, if i ever visit france or europe one day, i gotta look you up to ask you which places you'd recommend! i'd love to attempt more french cooking at home... hope you're having fun at the other side of the world =D

penny aka jeroxie said...

You have chosen well! I love Almost Bourdian and Rasa as well. And it seems that you have done very well yourself.

Winston said...

aww penny thanks so much! really encouraged by that... theyve really inspired me so much! hey i didnt realise youve been dealing with my friend greg from ogilvy for a while now... what a small world! we're actually at mt hotham at the moment and he mentioned to me abt u haha... awesome stuff! =)

Lisa H. said...

Well done Winston... you have done well in the kitchen department :P

Food Glorious Food! said...

Amazing disk from a student! Glad to be following you for more great ideas! Have a great weekend!

Winston said...

@lisa h.: thanks lisa!! still learning but im just having fun trying new things in the kitchen each day hehe...

@fgf: haha wouldnt say amazing but thx! for us students, the kitchen eventually becomes an inevitable place to be, esp if youre overseas. thanks for your kind comment! =)

Adrian (Food Rehab) said...

This and a big bowl of rice and... I'm home! And yes, I;ll take you up on adding extra sugar- I have a weakness for sweeter dishes. :O

Winston said...

ouuu yeah... actually, maybe i SHOULD add an extra piece of rock sugar at the start when heating the oil, and use that to caramelise the pork instead of just searing them! dont worry, we all have our weaknesses too hehe ;p

Shu Han said...

love this! i think the combination of soy sauce and shaoxing wine is the simplest and best way to braise most meats, and pork belly just makes it extra delicious!! great tip on frozen spring onions.

Winston said...

haha yes!! its recipes like these that make me go "goo goo ga ga" for pork belly... aihhh... yes, freezing the spring onions is good! normally start to wilt too quickly and i get to use the whole thing with zero waste, WIN! =D

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