Chinese Three–Layered Roast Pork (aka Siew Yok)
1 kg Pork belly, skin-on
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 cube fermented red bean curd
1 tbsp Chinese 5-spice powder
1 tbsp white pepper
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp plum blossom rice wine
1. Combine bean curd, 5-spice powder, pepper, salt, sugar and wine and rub onto meat side of pork
2. Leave in refrigerator overnight
3. Dry meat as much as possible with kitchen towels and a hair dryer if you’ve one on hand, hanging it for a while helps too
4. Rub salt onto the skin to wick away the remaining moisture
5. Slice parallel furrows an inch apart through skin and into the subcutaneous fat; this will help prevent the skin fracturing and ease chopping later
6. Place on a rack over a dripping tray in a fan-forced oven at 200C for 20 minutes
7. Remove from oven and dry any rendered fat oozing through the furrows
8. Brush vinegar onto skin and return to the oven for a further 25 minutes till it just starts to char
9. Chop – do not slice – into bite-sized morsels
Just check out those gorgeously distinct layers.
Refer to previous entry for basic shortcrust
Crème de Marron Filling
500g Chestnuts, shelled and with brown membranes removed
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1. Place chestnuts into a pot of water and bring to boil
2. Transfer to a slow cooker and leave on high for 5 hours until soft
3. Drain and puree into a rough paste
4. Bring sugar, vanilla and water to boil for about two minutes, forming syrup
5. Add chestnut puree to the syrup and stir in, remove from heat
6. Whip – preferably with an electric whisk – to achieve a smooth paste
This tart can be dressed up in many ways as the chestnut puree cools hard and strong, providing the perfect base for icing sugar stenciling.
Alternatively, pipe whipped cream onto little tartlets, use an electric whisk to beat heavy cream in bowl nestled in a bed of crushed ice and salt for a chemical free alternative to the spray-can sort.
Drizzle in some chocolate sauce halfway through the whipping for something really decadent.
Candied Gingko Nuts and Yam
This recipe is sort of a family secret so I can’t really reveal it; my Lunar New Year is really incomplete without it though.
It’s backbreaking work to extract the bitter stems from the nuts but the end result is completely worth it.