If you do a google search for this peranakan dish recipe, you will see different versions of it. I learned mine from my mother and have asked her how some recipes I came across called for lemongrass or kunyit (tumeric). She dismissed my questions, citing that it was a much simpler recipe that she learned from my mama - how I greeted my paternal grandma, who was a true blue nonya. I love my mum's cooking so of course, I had to follow hers! It is the reason why I love this dish very much.
If you are not familiar with this dish, let me tell you that it is a VERY appetizing dish because of the assam juice. Just by looking at the photo sends me salivating! The result should be a very tender meat dish. My family enjoys it and it usually is gone before I can go for second helping. It really whets the appetite and is even better when you drizzle the gravy on your rice!
The green chillis added to this dish, is not at all spicy. It somehow, adds a different dimension to the flavor of this dish. For me, it is definitely the highlight! (Because the kids won't eat the chillis so I get to eat more!) But of course, if you are concerned that your children might be sensitive to the green chilli taste, please omit it, though you may be missing out on a special flavor. :)
Preparation time : 10 mins : Cooking time : 1 hour : Servings : 4-5
- 500 gram twee bak or pork shoulder, sliced.
- 1 soup bowl tamarind or assam juice from 3 tbsp tamarind pulp (see below for how-to)
- 2 tbsp fermented soy bean paste (tau cheo)
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 4 to 6 green chilli, de-seeded
- 1 tbsp brown sugar (or regular sugar if you don't have this)
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- prepare the tamarind juice by soaking the pulp in 1 soup bowl of hot water for a while. Then strained into another bowl by pushing the softened pulp through a sieve. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in frying pan on medium heat. Add garlic and bean paste. Stir fry till fragrant.
- Add the pork and mix it well with the paste. Fry for a few minutes.
- Add the tamarind juice and green chillis. Lower heat and let it simmer for about an hour. By then the gravy would have slightly reduced and thickened.
- Add the brown sugar. Do a taste test for the level of tang you like.
- Serve with white rice.