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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What's For Dinner, Ma? (#4)

Pork and Yam is a traditional Hakka dish which is not easy to prepare. It requires several cooking processes. Chunky pieces of pork belly are first boiled, then deep-fried and steamed for 3 to 4 hours. The meat is sandwiched  between slices of fried yam and then steamed in a sauce made with a long list of ingredients (rose wine, fermented bean curd, star anise, sesame oil......) until the meat is tender enough to melt in your mouth.

When I visited my parents last week, I thought I'd surprise them with the Yam & Pork dish I had made from home. At 88, my mom hasn't been cooking for a long time. She used to make this family favourite whenever she had friends and family over.
Mom eyeballed the gooey mush on her plate suspiciously, protesting that it looked nothing like the recipe she taught me.
I had kinda tweaked the recipe a little to make it healthier, replacing the artery clogging belly pork with lean pork and cutting the meat and yam into bite-size pieces and stewing them in a crock pot instead of steaming for 3-4 hours. Mom was certain that Grandma would roll over in her grave if she knew what I had done to her recipe. Reluctantly, she tasted a small piece of the meat and commented that it didn't taste anything like the original recipe either. Er...did I mention that I had substituted the rose wine with brandy and kinda went a little crazy with it, to give the dish....well.... more spirit?!
Grandma must be spinning in her grave.
My version
What it should look like
image credit -  a feast, eveyday

From last week's menu.......

SPAGHETTI IN A BREAD - You can't go wrong with this one!

Instead of bread dough, I used store-bought puff pastry sheets and it turned out just as great!
Make cuts on the sides of the dough. Next, wrap the filling in a lattice pattern
Looks like I need to work on the braiding technique!

Later, I learned from the following video that cutting slanted strips would've been much easier!

recipe @ http://rhodesbread.com/blog/blog/braided-spaghetti-bread

SWEET AND SOUR PORK CHOPS (MALAYSIAN STYLE) - Undisputedly the most popular Chinese dish of Cantonese origin.
The Malaysian version is a little different than your American Chinese take-out - a little less sweet and flavoured by the addition of worcestershire sauce.
recipe @ http://thenewartofbaking.blogspot.com/2011/02/malaysian-style-sweet-and-sour-ribs-aka.html


  1. I'm still laughing at all your substitutions -- totally something i would do! :0 Yep, get our ancestors rolling in their graves! ;)
    The spaghetti in a bread is something i pinned on Pinterest. Nice to see you tried it! It looks yummy. :)
    Sadly, I am not a fan of the combination sweet and sour. Not sure why.
    Thanks for sharing your cooking adventures. I'm trying too... :)
    Hubby says I need t think outside the box. (or it's rice and soup every night!)

  2. ...hope your grandmother is spinning because of your tweaks and not the brandy. If you want my opinion, a recipe that is followed from the 'older generation' to the newer healthier way is all right in my book!!! Your spaghetti pastry looks heavenly!!!! I bet it was one delicious, and crowd pleaser of a dinner entree.

  3. OH,grandmothers are the same everywhere!After all,I think the taste would be diferent anyway as time changes and tastes too! The spaghetti looke delicious and I think I will go right now in the kitchen to grab ...something!
    I think is a little bit dangerous to visit you when you post so deliciuos meals!(ha, ha)
    Aloha and hug you!

  4. Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is fantastic, as well as the content!

  5. I've totally tweaked so many family recipes. My grandmother is probably spinning as well! Your version does look quite good.

  6. im sure your grandma will definitely be happy with your own ideas of her recipe. that tells how talented you are like her. ;-D

    just me,

  7. Can I join you guys for dinner?
    They all look delicious!;))
    How r u my friend? Hope you and your family are doing good.
    Have a wondeerful weekend.xo

  8. I love the tutorial on braiding the bread. We're trying to eat more and more veggies (lunch and dinner), so bread is something special at our house.