Babi Pongteh (Nyonya Braised Pork and Potatoes)

800 gr Pork shoulder (Twee Bak) or Pork belly, cut into squares
15 nos. shallots
5 cloves of garlic
2 cinnamon sticks, or approximately 8 cm.
2 tablespoons of Fermented / Salted Soya Bean (Tau Cheo ??)
4 nos. potatoes, cut into quarters (optional)
30 gr gula melaka or other hard, smoky sugar
2 tablespoons dark soya sauce
Salt to taste
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 cups of water
Spring onions (for garnish)

Blanch pork with boiling water for about 5 minutes, and drain. Marinate with 1 tablespoon of dark soya sauce, and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.

Blend shallots and garlic till you get a smooth paste.

In a wok, fry the shallots and garlic blend for about 3 minutes. Take care to control the fire and sauté continuously so that it won’t burn. Once it turns a slight golden yellow, add the fermented soya bean, and fry till fragrant.

Put the marinated pork pieces in, and stir fry for about a minute or so, or until the pork loses its translucent look. Add dark soya sauce, sugar and salt, stirring till well blended. Add about 1 cup of water and continue to stir fry till the mixture thickens.

Add the remaining 3 cups of water and bring to boil over high heat. Once it boils, reduce the heat. I added in the raw potatoes halfway through the cooking process, so as to not overcook them.

Simmer for about 1.5 – 2 hours, or until meat is tender. Trust me, it will be difficult to wait till dinner time when the house is filled with the wonderful aroma of the stew simmering. Oh… and cook more rice than the usual measure.

Babi Pongteh usually calls for more than just one bowl of rice.

Babi Pongteh tastes even better the next day – when all the flavours have had a chance to fuse ‘into’ the pork!

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