Auntie Ruby's Hakka Deep Fried PorkSunday, July 03, 2011
I was told that Hakka folks (客家人)are a stubborn people.
"Hakka" literally means "guest people." They are migrants who travel in search of a better life or mostly, simply to survive. This migratory instinct also led many to migrate overseas.
This may explain their stubborn trait and resilience as a people.
Hakka deep fried pork ("Zhar Yoke") is one of my Mum's signature dishes which I eventually manage to replicate.
I said eventually, as I could not get it right, even though I followed her written recipe to the tee. In fact, the last time I made it, it tasted so different. Out of sheer frustration, I almost called my Mum down from heaven.
And I suppose that bit of Hakka stubborn trait kept me from giving up.
On the 8th time, as I was marinating it yet again, I showed my fermented beancurd to my Mama and she said, "It is Nam Yee, not Fu Yee."
I stopped dead in my tracks.
|Er...this is Nam Yee. A recent education for me.|
If I had a pigtail like what my Hakka coolie grandpa probably had, it would have felt like someone had yanked it.
"It is Nam Yee!" Ouch.
RED fermented beancurd. Not white. Nam. Not Fu.
Stupid of me, right? Do yank my pigtail again. Gently please.
So after the eighth try, on 27th of June 2011, I manage to reproduce this piece of Auntie Ruby's Hakka tradition.
And I have found a new respect for my Mum's written recipes: she was actually quite accurate.
I will post it here below with minimal revision.
As the skin can be difficult to crisp up, you can choose to remove it. I sometimes fry it with skin on and let diner decide whether they want to chew on it. If you are using it to make Hakka Braised Pork Belly (a popular Hakka dish), then you should leave the skin on as the braising process will soften the skin.
Auntie Ruby's Hakka Deep Fried Pork Recipe
1 kilo Pork Belly (3 layered)
For the Marinate:
2 pieces of red fermented beancurd (Nam Yee)
½ teaspoon 5-spiece powder
½ teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon Sesame Oil
2 tablespoon chopped garlic
½ teaspoon dark (thick) soy source
½ teaspoon white pepper powder
2 teaspoon Chinese wine or brandy
Batter for frying
2 tablespoon Plain flour
1 tablespoon Rice flour
1 tablespoon Corn Flour
1. Remove the skin on the pork. Cut into 1½" to 2 inch pieces .
2. Mix all ingredients and marinate the pork pieces for at least 4 hours or overnight
3. Mix the 3 types of flour thoroughly.
4. Heat oil in wok for deep frying
5. Dip the pork pieces into the flour and coat lightly
6. Deep-fry the pieces till they are brown and crispy.
7. Drain the oil in colander and using paper towels on a plate
|Use this brand...it is good. The bottle looks cool.|
Some prefer it crispier and thus, darker. If you like an added twinge of sweetness, add in some sugar just before you dip it into the flour and the fry (this will also result in a darker outcome). Some like to fry some whole garlic with it and serve alongside.
Remember that the pork pieces will shrink and so don't cut it too small.
It is best eaten with rice or as an accompaniment to another dish. My Mum liked to serve it with her Prawn Mee. You can also stir-fry it with black fungus and that will go superbly with rice.
So, what is in a Nam...? I don't know, but that will not be your mistake to make.
I know, all my Hakka friends are sniggering away. And the modern ones will lol and rofl.
Be quiet you - at least I did not give up !