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16 Oct 2012

Monday, 2 May 2011

Braised Pork Belly with Mui Choy


Mui Choy is a type of preserved mustard cabbage. It has 2 varieties which is the sweet (teem) mui choy or salty (harm) mui choy. The sweet variety come in darker colour where else the salty one is more greenish in colour. Mui Choy is every Hakka household staple which others have learnt to appreciate as well. Mui Choy is generally braised or stewed with pork with pork belly being the most popular part known as Mui Choy Munn Chu Yuk or Mui Choy Khau Yuk.

My mother being a Hakka has learnt some of these dishes from her mother and we all enjoyed them tremendously as these dishes are usually being turned low-fat and low-sodium by my mother. They still tasted good nevertheless.

So here is how, the 3rd generation in the family, cooks this dish which I think my grandma would roll her eyes in her grave :p all caused I've used the pressure cooker to hasten cooking time and to really soften the meat until they melt in the mouth.

I've used the sweet mui choy which need to be washed off all the grit especially on the inner folds of the leaves. I've soaked mine for around 1 hour and even though they're "sweet" but in actual fact, they're quite salty as well. I would say 3-4 hours with changes of water in between would have done a better job in removing the saltiness.

As for the pork belly, I managed to get the portion with quite some chunks of lean meat. I also cheated by removing quite a bit of the fats layers (I can hear my grandma screaming at me in Hakka!!) then sliced them to about 1/2 - 1 cm thickness.

I actually did braised them on the stove but after 45 mins or so, the meat does not give me the melt-in-mouth texture. So I poured them into the pressure cooker and cooked it for about 15 mins and voila... perfect! My recipe is still a little too salty hence have to be tweaked to reduce the saltiness. I gather that one ought to start with lesser seasoning and slowly build it up by tasting the dish as it cooks.

Braised Pork Belly with Mui Choy

So here is my recipe (adjusted) in guesstimation:

Braised Pork Belly with Mui Choy

1/2 strip pork belly (around 500 - 600g)
2 strips of sweet mui choy, soak and cut into 1 - 2 cm length
3 slices of ginger, cut into strips
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp oyster sauce*
1/2 tsp soy sauce*
1 tsp sugar*

* seasonings amount varies, depending on how salty is your mui choy. I supposed layering the seasonings slowly adding bit by bit and keep tasting until one find the right balance

1. Sliced pork belly into 1 cm thickness. I've asked my butcher to remove the skin. Roast pork (siew yuk) can be used too.

2. Wash mui choy thoroughly under running water especially the inner leaves to remove the grits. Soak in a bowl of water for 3-4 hours and change the water a couple of times in between. Then slice them into 1 - 2 cm in length, do remove and discard the woody parts towards the root.

3. Heat up some oil and fry ginger and garlic till fragrant in a wok (or can do it in the pressure cooker) before adding the meat. Just stir the meat around (I did not brown them). Stir in mui choy and mix well.

4. Pour in just enough water to cover and add in the seasonings. Remember to slowly layer the seasoning so that you can adjust the saltiness. Keep tasting.

5. When it comes to a slow boil, put on the lid (follow your pressure cooker instructions) and cook for about 15 minutes. When done, release the pressure and dish out the braised pork belly with mui choy and serve with rice.


I'm submitting this for Muhibbah Malaysian Monday blog event. This event is the brainchild of  Shaz (Test With A Skewer) and Suresh (3 Hungry Tummies). Read more here.


Sean said...

my dad's side is hakka too, but my childhood memories of mui choy dishes are, unfortunately, of very salty, soggy food. i should try more mui choy dishes to banish those bad memories! :D

daphne said...

Oh I am keen to try this. I'm cantonese but recall the beauty of this dish very well! No pressure cooker but I guess alot of patience might help.. LOL

timing said...

The hakka (mum's side) genes in me approve of this post, but are also greatly disturbed by your act of removing the fats!

Little Inbox said...

I use the salty mui choi instead. Never know about the sweet mui choi, haha...

KY said...

i would go and collect your removed fats! lol

babe_kl said...

Yes Sean, you should! Hahaha hey I have a dry dish, lemme check with mom how to make first.

Daphne, good luck!

Timing LOL

Little Inbox, hehe cos my mother told me the salty ones were not as nice. I might just try using it one day just to compare

KY, and make them into crispy lard???

zamre said...

Zamre Bin Ab. Wahab

shaz said...

Thanks for another great entry. I don't think short cuts are a bad thing especially if it means you get to eat well :) I can't remember if I've ever had the sweet mui choi before.

babe_kl said...

You're most welcome Shaz