Tag Archives: family traditional foods

Minced Pork Stew Ng Family Style


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

(wash ns 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

(around 375ml)

Chicken stock – 800ml

Rock sugar – 5 small cubes

Dark soy sauce – 4 tablespoon

Light soy sauce – 1 tablespoon

White Pepper Powder

Cooking Instructions

Add a bit of oil, stir fry the garlic lightly, followed by onion

Stir fry 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.

Saint Patrick’s Day Food

Context & Analysis

My roommate (the subject) and I were sitting in our dorm room talking about how our families celebrated different holidays. The subject’s family is relatively large and extremely tight-knit, as reflected in the subjects emphasis on “we always always do [it]”. Most of her extended family live within an hour radius, and they value family gatherings. Though this is the case, the subject only celebrates St. Patrick’s day with her immediate family members. I thought it was interesting that the subject’s family celebrates St. Patrick’s Day, considering no one in their family is of Irish descent. Additionally, I thought it was interesting how the family doesn’t celebrate St. Patrick’s day in a traditional sense (i.e. celebrating by drinking or gathering with extended family); instead, I believe the incorporation of images from the Dr. Seuss story, “Green Eggs and Ham”, reflects the nurturing and supportive environment of the family and the encouragement of uniqueness.


Main Piece

“On Saint Patrick’s Day—my family and I—we always make green eggs and ham, um, it’s not really specific to St. Patrick’s day, it’s a Dr. Seuss book, but, um, we have everything green for that breakfast. This year my dad even made the butter green so the bagels look really wonky [laughs], that was a little gross, but, um, we always always always do that, and if it’s not breakfast or we can’t be together for breakfast we’re together for, um, dinner or something, and we’ll like dye our Indian food green [laughs].”