This is one of those dishes that I categorized under the title "Classic Mom's dishes". I would ask my mom to make this dish whenever I get the opportunity, which is rare. I am a blessed with a mother who cooks really well and extremely blessed to have my mother sojourning at my place for a short term.
We finally made it to Chinatown to buy the necessary ingredients to make this dish:
Braised Pork Belly with Salted Dried Vegetable.
So what is this Preserved Vegetable? In Mandarin, it is called 梅菜。 As the name suggested, vegetables (usually some kind of mustard) are salted and dried under the sun. As in most regions with cold winter weather, vegetables are pickled/preserved so that there is vegetable on the dinner table during winter times.
Ingredients (10 servings)
One bunch of preserved vegetable (about 1 lb)
Pork Belly (about 1.5 lb)
Pork Butt/Pork Shoulder (about 1 lb)
One whole garlic bulb
Two thumb-size ginger
half tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons light soy sauce,
3tablespoons dark soy sauce
All of the work in making this dish are in the preparation
Preparation:1. Cut the meat into small chunks and boiled in water for 10 minutes to remove the grim.
2. Clean the preserved vegetable thoroughly and chopped into small pieces
3. Clean and remove excess dry skin from the garlic (leave it as a whole bulb)
4. Slice the ginger into thin slices
Cooking:1. Combine the cooked pork, preserved vegetable and all the seasoning ingredients into a pot.
2. Add just enough water to cover the top of the meat/vegetable.
3. Turn the heat on high.
4. Once it starts boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 1-1.5 hours. Or until the meat is fully tenderized.
5. Seasoned with more salt if needed.
Imagine you are sitting outside an old quaint cottage in the village with your partner when the sun is setting. You basked in the residual warmth of the sun and enjoy a bowl of rustic stew. That's the only way I can describe the feeling of eating this dish.
If that's not pleasurable enough, treat yourself to a glass of homemade mint tea.