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Monday, October 19, 2009

Braised Pork Belly with Tomatoes in Soy Sauce

Braised Pork Belly with Tomatoes in Soy Sauce

Pork is so tasty here in Malaysia compared to the US. I don’t know what it is but there is just more flavor to the pork meat here. It is unabashedly porky and isn’t dry like what I have found in the US, where I always have to brine the pork for it to taste like anything at all. Maybe it is also because the pork we get here at the market is really fresh and mostly locally raised. Whatever the reason, it’s just delicious.

The interesting thing about buying pork in Malaysia is that if you go to the wet market, you will find all the pork vendors in a separate part of the market away from the rest of the other meat vendors. Pork is non-halal for Muslims so whenever you want to buy pork, you need to buy it from a special section. The same happens if you go to a grocery store—they have a special section for all the non-halal items including some imported desserts and foods that may contain lard, gelatin and other pork parts.

The other day, I was at the grocery store in the non-halal section and found some pork belly on sale at a 25% discount. Though it was a thin slice, it had beautiful layers of meat and fat and was just calling my name. I decided that I had to buy it and figure out something to cook later on.

The next day, when deciding on what to make with it, I looked to see what I had and saw that I had some onions and some tomatoes. I decided that I would make a braise with tomatoes and onions and use dark soy to give it a rich salty-sweet flavor. Combined with the tomatoes, this made a really nice braise. So simple and yet delicious.

Braised Pork Belly with Tomatoes in Soy Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium yellow onion, halved and sliced
1/2 lb (300g) pork belly, cut into bite-sized chunks
3 medium or 5 small roma tomatoes, large dice
8-10 button mushrooms, halved (optional)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
2-3 Tbsp soy sauce
dash of white papper
Garnishing: chopped cilantro and halved cherry tomatoes

Method:
1. Heat up oil in a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Stir in garlic and onions and saute till onions are just softened.
2. Add pork chunks and let it brown (move onions and garlic to sides). Stir every so often to ensure pork pieces get evenly browned. Season with a little salt.

Browning Pork Belly with Onion

3. Add tomatoes and the rest of the seasonings. Stir to combine well. Once ingredients come to a boil, lower heat and let simmer for 30-45 minutes or until pork is tender. If using mushrooms, add it now.

Braising Pork Belly with Tomato and Soy Sauce

4. Taste and adjust seasonings. The dish should taste salty and slightly tart-sweet from the tomatoes.
5. Plate up and garnish with cherry tomatoes and cilantro.

There you have it, a quick weekday meal.

Pork Belly Braised with Tomatoes in Soy Sauce

Enjoy!

Cheers, Annie

Hungry for more porky dishes? Click below:

Ultimate Rib Showdown

Pork and Daikon Soup with Red Dates and Carrots

Tau Yu Bak (Pork Braised in Soy Sauce)

Homemade Breakfast Sausage

Braised Char Siew (or Non-bake Char Siew)

15 Comments:

Single Guy Ben said...

Wow, that does sound quick! I like the ideas of adding tomatoes, almost like a fusion Italian Chinese dish. ... I wonder if the pork in your parts taste different because of what the pigs are fed there. Whatever they're eating, I bet it's probably a fatty diet. ;-)

Bob said...

I really like braised pork belly, a lot of flavor punch. Pork sourcing over here is tough, too much focus on being lean.

Borneoboy said...

Hi. I think the pork here taste better because they are mostly raised in small farms and haven't been loaded with too much chemicals or bred to grow superfast or lean. There's nothing like a braised pork leg in soy sauce, with all that stringy fat and skin which fall off the meat and bones. Serve with some steamed buns. Yum !

Carolyn Jung said...

It's probably the fat content. Mass-produced pigs in America are raised to be lean now. You know, the "other white meat.'' Unfortunately, that means a huge loss in flavor. Ahh, give me the fatty, tasty ones you find in Malaysia instead. ;)

Sonia said...

This make me drooling, and best to eat with a bowl of white rice, yummy yummy. Good job..

Karine said...

I have never had a braised pork in soy sauce but it sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

Jenster said...

That looks delicious. Did you have it with some rice to soak up the sauce?

ICook4Fun said...

This dish look a bit like our Hokkien 'Tau Eu Bak' except for the tomatoes part. I too think the Pork back in Malaysia taste better than the one here in the US.

Cate O'Malley said...

Oh man, does that ever look amazing! Perfect tummy-warming food for the chilly temps of Fall - yum!

Mrs. L said...

Yum, and I just happen to have some pork belly needing to be used (alas, it's not from Malaysia...)

Kong-Kay said...

So that was what you had for the past few days. No wonder you opted for something different last night.

Fresh Local and Best said...

This braised pork belly looks wonderfully decadent! I'm impressed!

Liz said...

Yum yum! I am so hungry now after seeing this. :)

Nate-n-Annie said...

@all - thanks for your comments!

@Single Guy Ben - their diet is one aspect, but I also think it's the breed. They don't breed for lean meat like they do in the US.

@Bob - true that.

@Borneoboy - you're makin' me hungry!

@Carolyn - good thing there are some farmers in the US who are raising heritage pigs the right way.

@Karine - you're welcome!

@Jenster - of course! :-)

@ICook4Fun - Tau Yu Bak is delicious as well! Love the garlic. Have you seen our recipe?

@Cate - thank you!

@Mrs L - go ahead and use it anyway ;-)

@Kong-Kay - actually, I was eating kau yuk the past few days. But that's another blog post...

@Fresh - thanks!

@Liz - only one thing to do: make this dish ;-)

3 hungry tummies said...

looks yummy!!