Pork belly with Yam
Pork belly with yam is a Hakka dish probably best known as the pork and yam combo sandwich dish. The yam compliments the fatty pork really well and is an absolute delight to eat. This marriage of pork and yam is extremely tender, melt in the mouth pork belly with a soft potato, density like yam. Goes well with rice! Just thinking about it makes me salivate. It’s not hard work at all eating this dish, it’s so soft even the grannies loves it and I mean the grannies with no teeth.
The preparation and cooking process is rather long. That is why a lot of people would rather dine out for this dish than to make it at home. I personally love this dish and think all the hours spend is worth it. I always make a big batch and freeze it. So whenever I feel like some melt in the mouth pork belly I just visit my freezer to satisfy my cravings.
A medium slab of Pork belly
Oil for deep frying
80 ml water
3 red fermented bean curd
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons fermented bean paste
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cloves garlic
2 star anise
1 teaspoon 5 spice powder
• On a medium setting, heat a pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. Shallow fry the chopped shallots, garlic for 3 minutes until soft and translucent. Add fermented bean curd, fermented bean paste, water, stir well and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add sugar, anise and 5 spice powder, mix well and set aside. This is the basis of the sauce.
• Bring a pot of water to boil and blanch the pork belly for 8 minutes. With a spoon, scrape away any excess brown residues from the skin and discard. Submerge the pork belly into cold water for 8 minutes. Drain and dry the pork using kitchen towel.
• Using a fork, prick all over the skin and flesh of the pork belly before marinating in light soy sauce for 1 hour.
• Cut the yam into ½ inch in thickness. In a pan, shallow fry each sides of the slices until they turn golden brown and set aside.
• Shallow fry the whole pork belly, skin side down until the skin turns golden brown. Shallow fry the meat until they turn a slight charred brown. Set aside to cool before cutting into ½ inch in thickness.
• Using a loaf tin, arrange the yam and pork slices into an alternating arrangement. (Yam and pork sandwich) Place the pork skin side down first, followed by yam and so on. Pour the sauce mixture over the yam and pork arrangement. Steam for 3 hours over a medium heat.
• Allow the arrangement to rest for 10 minutes before inverting the loaf tin onto a deep dish. Garnish with spring onions or coriander. Serve with rice.