Monday, May 13, 2013

Erratic weather.. and an even-more erratic wifi connection!

That's how life has been these past few weeks! Weird and erratic!

Since coming back from a short holiday in taiwan.. that's all we've been experiencing.. which is so not conducive for baking nor blogging! The aftermath of a certain event over here isn't exactly a mood-lifter either.. ^^|| And all the msg-laden foods that we stuffed ourselves during our holiday, took a toll on our bodies too..

But finally today, the wifi connection seems a little more stable.. and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it'll remain so till I finish this. ^^ Weather's still horridly hot and suffocating though!

Anyway, this is something I made more than a month back but never posted because I was hoping to perfect and compare it with the marinated pork belly in shrimp paste (still!!!) sitting in the freezer!

Since my first taste of moo tod kapi (crispy pork with shrimp paste) in a thai restaurant, I've always wanted to re-create this dish at home. I really dig the flavor of kaffir lime leaves in this dish!

Despite googling high and low for a recipe of moo tod kapi, I just couldn't find one ^^|| So I figured I'd just do my own interpretation of this dish.. without shrimp paste (since I didn't have any at home then!).. but with lots of kaffir lime leaves! ^^

Almost-crispy pork belly with kaffir lime leaves
500g pork belly, skin removed (I'm sure other parts could be used)
1 tsp sea salt (if using shrimp paste, omit salt)
2-3 cloves of garlic, grated (can omit if using shrimp paste)
a big handful of kaffir lime leaves
a handful of curry leaves
2-3 bird's eye chilles, seeds removed
2 cloves of garlic, lightly smashed
sea salt, to season if necessary

1. Marinade pork belly with salt (or shrimp paste) and grated garlic for at least 1 hour or overnight.

2. Heat a bit of oil in a non-stick pan/wok. Place pork belly on the sides and sear till golden brown. Flip to the other side and do the same. Remove pork belly and cut into smaller slices. Looking back, I'm not sure why I did this (??!) and not cut it into smaller slices and just done step 3??? ^^||

3. Remove or wipe off remaining grease/oil from the pan/wok. Put pork belly slices, kaffir lime leaves, curry leaves, chilies and lightly smashed garlic pips in and saute till meat is golden and crispy. If necessary, season with a bit more salt. Do remove the fat/oil/grease when meat starts drowning in it ^^||. 

4. Serve immediately. Tastes even better when cooled or the day after ^^

It's amazing the amount of fat that oozed out from the pork belly! So be warned!

If you can deep fry, please do so to get a crispy texture (slice to smaller pieces after it's cooked).. since I can't, this is it.. an almost-crispy pork dish. ^^

Anyway, this is a wonderfully piquant dish with soft hints of kaffir lime leaves, garlic and curry leaves ^^. And if you can bring yourself to save some for the next day, the flavors get even better! ^^

Piggies were not exactly enthusiastic at first bite.. but by the 2nd/3rd piece, they were smitten!!  It's the kaffir lime leaves, I tell you! ^^

So, shrimp paste or not.. it's still exceptionally DELICIOUS ^^!

And here's a few pictures of the places and food I really liked in taiwan.. sans msg ^^

night harbour view of keelung ~ from our hotel window

picturesque jiufen

huge caramelized peanut slabs ~ turned into shaved peanut candy topped with 2 scoops of ice cream wrapped in popiah skin ~ deliciousssnesss!!! i love this and had two servings.. and i'm not even a fan of peanuts! ^^ i like jiufen ^^

Oops.. that's all the decent food pix I have, haha! Didn't take many food pictures because I just couldn't wait to eat.. and by which time I remembered to, I was already half way through and it looked like a hurricane had struck the dishes.. sorry ^^.

Taiwan's really nice.. cool weather, beautiful scenery, exciting, lots of food/snacks, safe ^^.. but the heavy handed use of msg is not. ^^||


Chef and Sommelier said...

Hi Hui! That sounds like an interesting trip! Good to know that you had enjoyed it and great to read your post again!

hui said...

Thks chef ^^ wifi's bonkers again.. and it's driving me up the wall!!!

Mel said...

Hi hui
No wonder lately you have been so went to Taiwan for holiday! Oh wow, I never been there but it was on my list for the longest time. Taiwan is a place with great scenery and most of all lots of good yummy snack food. Well I dont blame you if you are unable to take photos of the food (Im not the kind that "camera eat first") and Im not the person who likez to take photos too. I am sure you have awonderful holiday. Buy anything bakery stuff back home?

hui said...

Hmmm.. not sure why I didn't think of checking out baking supplies while there?? Maybe subconsciously I knew I shouldn't, haha! ^^

While taiwanese snacks/food is yummy, just be prepared for the msg that goes into making it so tasty! I've never complained as much about msg during a trip ever! But it's a good experience anyways, mel.. now I know ^^