This dish brings me back to my high school days, when I would go to an eatery near our school and have this for lunch whenever it was offered. I just love the sweet, salty, spicy flavor that marries well with the savory pork.
I made this dish dry, but you can add other ingredients that would make it a bit saucy. Maybe I'll try it next time.
What you need:
- 1.75 lbs pork, cut into bite-size chunks
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorn
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 small yellow onion
- 4 tablespoons cooked shrimp paste (sweet variety)
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 finger chili, sliced into small pieces (optional)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
What to do:
Boil about 6 to 8 cups of water in a large pot over high heat. Add the pork, vinegar, bay leaves and peppercorns and cook for about 30 minutes, or until pork is tender. Remember to lower the heat when the water is already boiling. Remove the pork from the liquid and set aside.
In a wok, heat canola oil over medium-high. Saute the garlic, onion and finger chili. Add the shrimp paste and pork. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often to distribute the shrimp paste. Serve with hot steamed rice.
Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:
1. Some people add coconut milk to make it a bit saucy.
2. Don't like the heat? Skip the finger chili.
3. Make sure NOT to touch your eyes after handling the chili. Remember, the smaller the pepper, the hotter it is!
4. You can also use the spicy variety of shrimp paste.
5. If using raw shrimp paste, make sure to cook it first by sauteing it in garlic and vinegar.