400grpork bellysliced bacon, cut into 3cm (1.5") cubes
300grpork shoulder or tenderloincut into 3cm (1.5") cubes
300grfirm bean curdcut into 2cm (1") cubes
Neutral taste cooking oil for deep frying
10-2025gr dry shiitake mushrooms
1/3cuppalm sugar(125gr )
3star anise fruits
3piecesof cassia tree bark5cm (2") each
1teaspoonChinese five-spice powderphalo powder
2tablespoonsdark sweet sauce
1tablespoonlight soy sauce
Garlic coriander paste
3medium coriander rootsabout 10gr, scraped, washed and finely chopped
5large cloves garlicabout 20gr, finely chopped
2teaspoonsblack peppercornsabout 5gr
Soak the shiitake mushrooms in 1 cup of boiling water for about 15 minutes.
When rehydrated, strain. Save both the water and the mushrooms, and set aside.
Remove and discard the hard stalks.
Gently place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to prevent the eggs from cracking. Bring to boil, and let it boil for one minute on medium heat. Then turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let rest for 15 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a cold water bath, and let them cool down. Peel and dry. Set aside.
Cut the bean curd into 2cm (1") cubes
Deep fry the bean curd on medium-low heat until the cubes are golden.
Remove the bean curd from the oil. Soak the cubes in 1 cup of boiling water for about 15 minutes, then strain and set aside.
Thoroughly clean the skin side of the pork belly, and cut into 3cm (1.5") cubes. Cut the pork tenderloin into cubes of the same size.
In a hot wok, without oil, roast the pork belly pieces. The heat will render out the fat.
When the pork starts to brown, and there is liquid fat in the wok, then add the pork tenderloin cubes. Sear together until the meat is browned from all sides.
In a mortar and pestle, pound the coriander roots, the garlic and the peppercorns with a teaspoon of salt as an abrasive.
The paste does not need to be very fine. Set aside.
In a wok on a low heat, melt the palm sugar. Slowly caramelize it to a deep amber color, being careful not to burn it! You may add a tablespoon of water here and there, to control the rate of caramelization.
Now the sugar is nice and brown.
Add the garlic-coriander paste, the cinnamon sticks, star anise and the Chinese five-spice powder. Mix well.
Add the pork and eggs to the sugar sauce. Mix well.
Transfer the pork and eggs to a pot, and cover with a lid.
Add the rehydrated mushrooms and their water.
Add fried bean curd.
Fill the pot with 4 cups of water.
Add the sweet black soy sauce, the fish sauce, the light soy sauce and the oyster sauce.
Cover, and simmer on low heat for about 1 hour until the pork is soft and the eggs are a nice deep brown color. Skim any oil that floats to the top.
Serve hot, garnished with fresh coriander leaves.
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