Hakka Steamed Pork Belly with Taro 

Added by: Norah   Added on: January 18, 2020

Norah's Cooking Diary

Hakka Steamed Pork Belly with Taro (客家芋頭扣肉)

## Season 4, Episode 3 ##

Hello everyone. Welcome to Norah’s Cooking Diary.

This is the 3rd video of Season 4. If you enjoy this video, please give it a thumbs up by pressing the like button. Please also share this recipe with your family and friends.

In this video I am going to share with you a Hakka Steamed Pork Belly with Taro (客家芋頭扣肉) recipe.

Soft and succulent pork belly coated with flavorful sauce paired with deep fried taro will melt your heart on every mouthful. The steamed pork belly with taro oozing with a mouthwatering aroma will make your tummy growling for attention.

Hakka Steamed Pork Belly with Taro is an extremely popular traditional Chinese Hakka dish in Malaysia and is usually prepared during Chinese New Year festival. With this recipe, you can now prepare this dish anytime of the year.

Happy cooking 😉

Several notes here to share with you:

  • You could use defrosted frozen Taro if fresh Taro is not available. Taro is also known as “Keladi” in Malay language and sometimes mistakenly known as Yam in Malaysia and in some countries.
  • You could substitute brown sugar with raw or white sugar.

  • It is recommended to use Chinese cooking wine. I use Shao Xing Chinese cooking wine in this recipe.

  • Poking holes on the pork skin before frying will create “cracklings” during frying and the pork skin will become blistered after steaming. This adds texture to the steamed pork belly.

Here is a quick rundown of the recipe:

Ingredients for Red Bean Curd Sauce

  • 400 Gm Fermented Red Bean Curd

  • 5 Bulbs Shallots (±180gm), sliced

  • 12 Cloves Garlic (±70gm)

  • ±40 Gm Ginger, sliced

  • 1 Roll Cinnamon Quill

  • 3 Star Anise

  • 3 Tbsp Oyster Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Wine

  • 5 Tbsp Brown Sugar

  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil

  • 130ml Cooking Oil

  • 250 ml Plain Water

Ingredients for Hakka Steamed Pork Belly with Taro

  • ±1.4 Kg Pork Belly

  • 6 Tbsp Fermented Red Bean Curd Sauce

  • ±800 Gm Taro

  • 1½ Tbsp Light Soya Sauce

  • 1½ Tsp Five Spice Powder

  • 400 ml Plain Water

  • 4 Cups Cooking Oil

Method of Preparation

  1. Mash the fermented red bean curd together with oyster sauce and brown sugar in a bowl until they are mixed thoroughly. Set the bowl aside.

    Process the shallots, garlic and ginger into a fine mince using the food processor. Stir fry them in hot oil in a small pot over MEDIUM heat for 5 mins until they turn golden in color. Add star anise and cinnamon quill into the pot and stir fry them together for another 1 min. Add the fermented red bean curd mixture to the pot and stir the mixture for 1 min to mix well. Add water to the pot and stir the mixture to mix thoroughly before adding the cooking wine. Stir the mixture to mix well and let it simmers until the mixture is thickened slightly. Stir occasionally to avoid the bottom from burning. Once the sauce is slightly thickened, reduce heat to LOW and add the sesame oil into the pot. Stir the sesame oil and the mixture together to mix well. Continue to simmer the mixture until the sauce reaches a thick and lumpy consistency and oil is separated. The sauce will become flavorful when kept overnight for cooking on the next day.

  2. Select pork belly slabs with a good layer. Each slab is approx. 9cm wide and 5cm thick. On the next day, cook the pork belly slabs in boiling water, fully submerged over HIGH heat for about 20 mins until their skins are softened. Remove the pork belly slabs with a slotted spoon and transfer them into a basin. Discard the remaining boiling water in the pot. Pat dry the pork belly's skin with a kitchen paper towel and remove the hairs from the pork skin with a tweezer. Poke as many holes as possible on the pork skins with a fork and transfer the pork belly slabs into a bowl. Rub five spice powder and light soya sauce mixture all over the pork belly to coat well and set the bowl aside.

  3. Cut the taro halves into slices approx. 1cm thick and deep fry them in batches over HIGH heat until they are golden in color. Remove the fried taro with tongs and transfer them into a strainer. Repeat this until all the taros are fried.

    Deep fry the pork belly slabs prepared earlier at the same time, skin side down in the HOT oil used to fry the taro slices previously. Cover the pot with its lid to avoid oil from splattering and fry the pork belly for 15 mins over HIGH heat. Remove the pot’s lid and carefully flip the pork slabs skin side up with a slotted spoon. Continue to fry the pork belly for 5 mins with the pot uncovered. Spoon the hot oil over the pork skin with a ladle to have an evenly fried skin. Remove the fried pork slabs with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a basin filled with cold water, skin side down. Soak the fried pork belly until the surface of their skin is softened. Flip the fried pork slabs to soak the other side of the meat and set the basin aside until the meat is softened.

  4. Stir the fermented red bean curd sauce previously prepared with plain water to mix well in a bowl. Puree the mixture (Optional) with a food processor to have a smoother sauce and then set the bowl aside.

    Slice the pork belly slabs to approx. 1.5cm thickness and transfer them into the bowl containing the pureed fermented red bean curd sauce mixture. Fold the pork belly in the sauce to coat well and leave them to soak for 10 mins.

    Arrange the sliced pork belly skin side down alternately with the fried taro slices prepared earlier in a deep dish until the dish is full. Spoon the sauce over the pork belly and taro with a ladle. Place any leftover of taro to cover the top layer (Optional). Steam the pork belly with taro in a preheated steamer for 2.5 hrs over MEDIUM heat.

  5. After 2.5 hrs, carefully remove the HOT steamer lid. Transfer the steamed pork belly with taro to the table. Cover the dish with a plate and carefully pour the sauce out into a bowl. Hot water can be added to the sauce to dilute slightly if preferred. To serve, cover the dish with a serving plate and carefully flip the dish upside down. Lift up and remove the smooth surface dish with tongs as it is hot and slippery to lift with a pair of gloves. Draining the sauce earlier prevents spillage when flipping the dish. Return the sauce previously drained over the steamed pork belly with taro. Garnish with sliced spring onions to beautify. Serve the steamed pork belly with taro immediately with a warm bed of rice.

  6. Happy cooking 😉🧡

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