I don't know if you have this feeling or not; during the New Year or any festival holidays, I sometimes crave for food that I had in the past, or throughout my childhood. Food that my mum would often make, but I never fully appreciated.
As I get older, the dish that I miss the most is ' Stewed arrow head with pork in red fermented bean curd '.
以前家裏每年過冬、團年或開年飯；除了各式豐富的菜餚外，桌上總有一大盆燜芽菇 ( 慈菇 ) 豬腩肉。媽媽用心煮，爸爸用心講解，告訴我們慈菇的合時、好處和營養價值等等 ... 多年來我始終沒被游說得到，對這道菜的反應並不熱烈。
When I was at home, every year before or after the Lunar New Year, most of the time, amongst the whole table of scrumptious lovely food, my mum would always serve this stewed arrowhead with belly pork. My mum was totally passionate about cooking for her family, and my dad would tell us how good the arrow head was especially when they were in season, their nutritious value and so on ... somehow I was still not keen or impressed by the bland if not slightly bitter, softly crunchy texture of the arrow head.
After we got married, every year we would have New Year dinner at my mother-in-law's house. Because of the tradition from her village, she's even more enthusiastic about cooking this dish. Very often she would triumphantly place a big bowl of it in front of us; may be she guessed that my husband missed having it as I wouldn't have cooked it at home. Many years later, I've gradually grown to like the dish a lot.
In the last few years, whenever I've been planning our annual festive meals, I would try to remember how my mum used to cook this dish, and have started to learn to make it; so that I could re-collect the taste and memories from home. Those that I didn't care to savour when I could .
Now, the middle of the first month in the Lunar calender, it's so bitterly cold still.
I thought of making a pot of steaming hot stew. I had everything I needed in the fridge, and sprung into action without hesitation. An hour and half later, a big pan of heavenly smelling ' Stewed arrow head with pork in red fermented bean curd ' was ready.
( 3-4 人份 )
- 豬頸肉 500g ( 我用較瘦部份的豬肉，想更美味的話可用豬腩肉。)
- 慈菇 500g
- 南乳 2 磚
- 蒜頭 4 粒
- 葱頭 2 粒
- 薑 6 片
- 油 1 湯匙
- 酒 3 湯匙
- 鹽 2 茶匙
- 生抽 1 湯匙
Stewed Arrow Head with Pork in Red Fermented Bean Curd
( Serve 3-4 )
- 500g Pork collar ( I used leaner cut of pork, if you prefer the meat with more flavour, you can use belly pork. )
- 500g Fresh arrow head
- 1 bag of deep fried tofu
- 2 squares of Red fermented bean curd
- Chinese celery
- 4 clove garlic
- 2 red shallots
- 6 slices of ginger
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3 tbsp wine
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 strip of brown cane sugar piece
- 慈菇刮皮去頭尾切三角或切片，豬肉切大塊 ( 約 1 吋半 x 2 吋 )。
- 鍋燒紅下油，轉小火加薑片、蒜頭、葱頭爆香。下慈菇、豬肉和豆泡；南乳和酒一起兜炒片刻。跟著下鹽和豉油續炒一回，注沸水至蓋過肉面，下片糖一起大火煮滾後，上蓋用小火燜 1 小時至肉和慈菇軟稔。
- Scrape or peel the skin off the arrow head, then wash and cut it into slices or quarters. Dice the pork into roughly 1 1/2" x 2" pieces.
- Put the pork, arrow head and the deep-fried tofu into a big pan of boiling water. Bring it back to the boil and simmer it for a couple of minutes, then drain it.
- Heat a pan, add oil and then lower the heat before adding the ginger, garlic and shallots to stir-fry a little. Put in the arrow head, pork and deep-fried tofu, then the red bean curd and wine, stir to mix everything well together. Add salt and soy sauce, and fry till everything well combined, filled up with boiling water to just above the meat. Bring to the boil, cover and cook on a low heat for about 1 hour until the arrow head is soft and the meat is tender.
- Put the washed and trimmed Chinese celery in the stew and cooked for a few minutes until softened. Seasoned the stew with more salt and sugar if needed. Thicken the sauce a little by stirring in a corn flour and water mix, and add dark soy sauce to adjust the colour if preferred.
If you make a big pan of this, ladle out enough to serve,and leave the rest to cool completely before keeping it in the fridge. Upon re-heating , the taste is even better after a day or two.