Hakka Char Yok is belly pork marinated with spices and fried till crispy and then gently braised with preserved red bean curd (nam yu red sauce), wood ears, and pickled mustard. I like to use the pickled mustard from Ipoh-Malaysia, which has a distinctive flavor and is less salty. This post is a tribute to my late mother, who has influenced my cooking with her penchant to perfection--Bon Appétit!
1 lb. side belly pork (skin removed)
1 oz dried wood ears (soaked in water)
400 gms pickled mustard (ham choy)
1 Tbsp. Chinese wine or brandy
1 piece star anise
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cornflour
2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
1¾ cups warm water
6 pieces nam yu
2 shallots, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small piece ginger, minced
½ cup flour (coating)
1. Washed and cut pork in 2" pieces, dried with paper towels. In a bowl, mix well the following: Chinese five-spice powder; 2 pieces of nam yu; flour; cornflour; wine; and egg. Add in the pork and marinate meat overnight.
4. In another pot, add about one tablespoon oil, toss in the wood ears and pickled mustard and stir fry for about 5-10 minutes until the vegetables has absorbed most of the oil. Remove and set aside.
6. Add in the fried meat, mix and simmer on low for another 30 minutes till the meat has absorbed some of the gravy. Serve hot with rice.