This is a recipe passed down to my mother from my grandmother. I reached out to my mother for the receipt of Pork Stew. It is a very traditional Chinese dish, specifically within Hokkein families. Hokkein is a dialect spoken by Southeastern parts of China, and in Singapore, it is one of the most common dialects spoken.
Dried Chinese Mushroom – 6 medium pieces
oak in hot water for ½ hour. Thinly sliced)
Tau Pok – 1 packet
Minced garlic – 2 tablespoon
Chopped onion – 3 tablespoon
Chinese wine (Hua Tiao Qiu) – 1 bottle
Chicken stock – 800ml
Rock sugar – 5 small cubes
Dark soy sauce – 4 tablespoon
Light soy sauce – 1 tablespoon
White Pepper Powder
Add a bit of oil, stir fry the garlic lightly, followed by onion
until both is translucent (don’t brown it)
Add mince pork and make sure all of the pieces break up nicely, when the pork is cooked, add the mushroom
Add dark and light soy sauce, stir fry a little longer until fragant
Add the rice wine, rock sugar, add chicken stock until it covers above the pork. Around 1 inch. Let is simmer for ½ hour or longer.
Add the tau
pork and cooked hard boil egg (optional)
Simmer another ½ hour. If the water evaporates, add more chicken stock.
This was my absolute favorite dish growing up and the first dish I asked my mother for the recipe when I left for college and had to start cooking for myself. It is a comfort dish that reminds me of home. On a personal level, it is a recipe that everyone in my family knows how to make and something that I had eaten growing up, thus it feels incredibly nostalgic. On a cultural level, this dish comes from China but has a Singaporean take on it. Pork stew is often made using large pieces of Pork Belly. However, this recipe using minced pork instead. In Singapore, most of the Chinese population were immigrants that were working to send money back to their families. Thus, they did not have a lot of money. The pork belly was a much more expensive cut of meat and minced pork was much more readily available. This pork stew, while having the taste of the dishes in China, the cut of meat is different and that is what makes it uniquely Singaporean. On a cultural and historical level, it reminds me of what makes Singapore, Singapore. And it reminds me of the hardship that was faced by my grandparents as they worked hard to make Singapore go from a fishing village to one of the busiest and most cosmopolitan cities in the world.