Pork chop has always one of my simple guilty pleasures, a slab of loin with a layer of fat can deliver a rather satisfying meal perhaps second only to steak in its simplicity and taste, but at 1/5 the cost (if you count only the cost of meat).
The tricky part about pork though is that if you don’t get it “just right”, it’s easy to have an overcooked piece of dry meat that takes 1/2 hour just to chew, or worse, under cooked and be friends with your toilet for the next day or two. Beef is a lot more forgiving in that regards.
Sous vide to the rescue then! Ever since I bought myself a little sous vide stick (the cheapest version of Anova), I’ve been using it for pork chop exploit quite a few times, I want to share with you my recipe today.
- 250 gram pork chop, preferably with a layer of fat
- 2 tablespoon of fermented tofu for marinate
- asparagus + garlic (or any side dish you wish to have)
- 2 tablespoon butter/cooking oil
- marinate pork chop with fermented tofu (preferably overnight), seal in vacuum bag
- sous vide pork chop at 60 Celsius for 2 hours
- remove from water bath, heat up frying pan till smoking hot, pan sear for 1 minute each side, remove and let rest for 4-5 minutes
- fry asparagus with butter & garlic while pork is resting, serve as side
If you want someone else to be doing the job, I think ANTE probably has the best pork chop in town.
Stinky tofu (臭豆腐) is one of those delicacy that probably make certain Westerners think we are savages from the 3rd world, but truth is, these stuff are just as sophisticated as blue cheese, beer, and that Scandinavian fish that’s berried in the ground before consumption (OK maybe not that one)
stinky tofu stall at Pasar Malam Meru
In any case, most of these food shares a similar crucial step in their preparation – the magical process of fermentation. Through this method, bacteria releases certain type of byproducts that gives birth to the unique smell and taste which some of us learn to appreciate.
For those who lives at Klang or Shah Alam, perhaps one of the closest place to sample a good dish of stinky tofu would be at the Thursday night pasar malam at Meru, located just across the road from Klang Parade.
the stinkier the better, right?
The stinky tofu truck is almost always with a queue so you do have to be slightly patient to wait before your portion of piping hot deep fried stinky tofu is served. The taste of the tofu is really pungent and mixes well with those sourish pickled cabbage.
freshly fried, super stinky, yummy!
So if you’re a fan of stinky tofu, this is one to check out, besides, this very same pasar malam also has a pretty decent spread of other hawker delights – including salted chicken, popiah, lok lok, and char kuih teow.
Pasar Malam Meru
Jalan Kedah (Off Jalan Meru)
GPS: 3.065763, 101.450976
Hours: Thursdays 5 to 9pm
This recipe is a result of available ingredients in the fridge. I love pork belly, and quite enjoy the taste of fermented to tofu, which got me thinking, if pork belly works with salted fish, why not with fermented tofu? So I did just that, an experimental recipe of fried pork belly with fermented tofu.
Luckily, this turned out quite a success, the combination of succulent, savory pork belly and the salty yet slightly pungent fermented tofu worked well. The spiciness added by ginger and dried chili gave it a bit more character too, if you are thinking of something slightly out of the ordinary, do give this a try. 🙂
fried pork belly with fermented tofu
- 300 gram pork belly, thick slice, cut into 1-2 inches per piece
- garlic and ginger, thinly sliced
- 2 cubes of fermented tofu
- 1 teaspoon 5 spice
- 4-5 dried red chili (or according to taste)
- a small bunch of cilantro
- 1 tablespoon soya sauce
ingredients: pork belly, fermented tofu, 5 spice, garlic, ginger
- mix pork belly, 5 spice, soya sauce, and fermented tofu together in a bowl
- heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and cook garlic & ginger till fragrant
- add in the meat mixture and dried chili, stir fry till pork is brown
- add cilantro and stir for another minute
- serve while hot
add some dried red chili & cilantro for colors & heat
Remember to not put too much oil while cooking the garlic & ginger, the pork belly naturally will produce more fat while cooking, you don’t want the dish to end up too oily. For those who love it even more spicy, some chili padi will be lovely too!