Mooi Choy Khau Yoke is a Hakka dish.
As a child my mother regularly cooked this dish. But our version was a bit different. We cut the belly pork into small chunks and stewed it with the preserved vegetable. The taste is similar, but of course the Hakka version is tastier, as it contains more meat.
I remember distinctly one occasion about this dish.
I remembered my friend invited me to her cousin’s house in Alor Star and to put up there for a day or two. So I went and met her cousin and we became friends.
I remembered her mother cooking this dish, but Teowchew style – which is like how we cooked it. The mother cooked a big pot and they had it for many days. I am not sure how long it lasted but when I went home after 2 days, there were still a lot left. We had it for every meal – just this dish and some rice or rice porridge.
I was not sure whether the mother cooked a large batch to last so many days, or perhaps some members of the family eat out just to avoid eating the same thing!! That is frugality at its best!
Coming back to this dish: – I used a slow cooker or crock pot to cook this. This saves me time as I do not have to be around to top up the water if I steamed it. It is a good dish to prepare if you are busy. you can prepare them and put it in the crock pot and go and do what you have to do. After several hours, you get this soft tasty melt-in -your mouth meat for dinner.
This dish is really tasty and goes well with rice or rice porridge.
500g pork belly strip (or pork shoulder)
250g mooi choy (there are a few types so be sure to ask your grocer for the sweet ones)
2 slices ginger
1 stalk spring onion
2 tablespoons Chinese Shao Xing wine
3 cloves (fat) chopped garlic
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tbsp Chinese rose wine (optional)
1 tsp sesame oil
pinch of white pepper
- Rinse the mooi choy and soak for 1/2 hour, Rinse and separate the leaves from the main stem and remove any fibrous part from the stem Then slice into ½ cm pieces.
- Taste the vegetable, if it still has a very strong taste, rinse and soak for another 10 mins. Repeat if necessary. Then drain and squeeze out as much water as you can. Set aside.
- Bring 1/2 a pan of water to a boil, add ginger, spring onions and wine. Put in the pork belly and make sure all sides of the outer part of the meat is cooked and firm. This will take about 15 minutes. Remove.
- Pat pork dry with paper towels and rub with a bit of dark soy sauce.
- Heat 1cm of oil in a pan and gently place the pork belly skin side down. Fry for 5 minutes or until the skin is light brown.
- Remove and rinse pork belly in running water and leave it to cool down.
- Slice pork to 1cm slices and arrange in a 6 inch Chinese soup bowl.
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan and fry chopped garlic until fragrant. Add mooi choy and stir fry until dry then add sauce ingredients.
- Simmer for 5 minutes and pour on top of pork belly slices.
- Cover bowl with aluminium foil and steam pork belly for 3 hours .
- To serve: turn the bowl over a deep plate. Thicken the gravy as below
I used a slow cooker.
- Place the pork slices – arranged in a stack, in the slow cooker and pour the mooi choy over. Cook for 3 hours on high or 5 – 6 hours on low.
- When done, remove the vegetable and arrange the pork in a bowl. Place the mooi choy around it.
- Thicken the remaining gravy with some corn starch mixture and pour over the pork
Note: Using a slow cooker is easier than steaming as you need not be around to top up the steamer with hot water.
However, presentation wise, it does not look so good as it is quite difficult to arrange the soft pork nicely compared to just tipping the bowl of steamed pork over a plate.
The taste is the same.
My other half seems to like it a lot – Having 2nd helping.