Babi Pongteh (Braised Pork with Salted Bean Paste)

babi-pongtehI hope you will indulge me with a few recipes the next few days. These are Peranakan dishes shared to me by the Singaporean chef in the ongoing Singapore Food Festival. You can read more about my food adventures at Multi-Cultural Gastronomic Experience in Singapore and Opening Day at the Singapore Food Festival. Just to give you a background, Peranakan culture reflects Singapore’s Multi-cultural landscape. Peranakan is a cultural juxtaposition between the Chinese and Malay or Indian and Malay resulting in a colorful and multi-faceted culture from history to costumes and jewelry. Just like us, Filipinos, our food is multi-cultural as well , heavily influenced by the Spanish, Chinese, Malay, Indian, American and many more. This Babi Pongteh recipe reminds me of our local Humba . In Humba, we use salted black beans but in the Babi Pongteh, it is Salted Bean Paste. I got to taste the salted bean paste and it is not as salty as the salted black beans for Humba. Try buying the salted bean paste at your local Chinese grocery stores. Here is the recipe developed by Shirley Tay.

Serves 10

Pork Belly (cut into pieces approx. 5cm) 2kg
Shallots 500g
Garlic 300g
Salted Bean Paste 200g
Dark Soya Sauce for colour
Sugar 100g
Oil 150ml
Water 1½ litres
Chicken Cube 1 no.

1. Blend the shallots, garlic and salted bean paste together.
2. Heat up the oil in a pot.
3. When oil is hot, add in the blended mixture of shallots, garlic and salted bean paste and fry until fragrant and slightly golden brown.
5. Then, add in the pork belly and dark soya sauce and continue frying until the pork is evenly coated.
6. Add in enough water just to cover the pork belly and stir in seasoning. Simmer for 1 hour or until the pork is tender.
7. The dish is ready to serve hot with steamed rice.

Note: This is the original recipe of Shirley Tay, a Nyonya chef at the Swissotel Merchant Court.

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