Mother claimed that she made this for us when we were young. She made use of restaurant-bought roast pork and salted fish, stir-fried and braised with soy sauce and whole chilies. Pork and salted fish, might be all Chinese’ favorite food item. I was utmost surprised when I met a Chinese doctor who doesn’t like salted fish. He said it is the most unhygienic food ever made. Then I decided I didn’t like him all that much either. Since what he said is the truth, it is wiser to soak salted fish in cold water prior to using.
On the other main ingredient in this dish, I am now convinced that store-bought roast pork is a great freezer item. Buy the best quality roast pork belly from the best restaurant or grocer, cut them up into manageable chunks. Slide them into individual plastic bags and freeze them to your heart content. When you feel like whipping up Chinese dishes such as this one, or sour soup with mustard cabbage, or any other dishes, just take out a piece of roast pork and let thawed before using.
Ginger, shallot, garlic, chilies and Thai bird’s eye chilies. Feel free to use less chilies.
Cut up some thick-meat salted fish after soaking the bigger piece in cold water for a couple of minutes. Cut roast pork same size as the salted fish.
Deep-fry salted fish in hot oil till crunchy and golden. Toss in ginger into the oil as well.
Season with salt.
Toss in fried salted fish and roast pork.
Squirt some soy sauce into the wok.
And some kecap manis.
The color should be caramel-brownish.
Remove from wok into a claypot (or small stockpot).
Add water into the pot.
Slowly simmer for another hour. Adding more water if necessary. Serve with warm steamed rice.
Braised roast pork and salted fish
350 g roast pork, cut into 1 cm thickness
150 g salted fish, cut into small pieces and deep-fried
3 shallots, sliced
4 garlic cloves, lightly bruised
20 g ginger, sliced
20 g red chilies
20 g Thai bird's eye chili
1/2 tbsp salt
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp kecap manis / Chinese dark soy sauce
1 cup water
1/4 cup cooking oil, more for deep-frying salted fish
Heat cooking oil in a wok over medium heat. Add chilies, shallot, garlic and ginger. Cook for a couple of minutes till fragrant. Add salt.
Toss in salted fish and roast pork. Stir-fry for another minute.
Season with soy sauce and kecap manis. Mix well.
Remove the dish from wok into a clay pot or small stock pot.
Add water and braise over low heat for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve warm with rice.