Food For Thought


Welcome back to a slightly delayed part three of our curry trilogy that culminates with the ‘Slow-cooked pork with ginger and sweet soy sauce’. With space in our previous publication being at a premium, we have held onto this recipe for an extra month, but please don’t think that this was a reflection on the quality of this dish, in-fact some may argue that we’ve worked on a ‘save the best till last’ basis. I should add that the recipe should serve six people.

This curry originates from Bali, and is in-fact a signature dish at the Bumbu Bali restaurant and cooking school. Please don’t let this description put you off, this dish is not difficult, time consuming yes, but not difficult!

Initially you’ll need to make a batch of crisp fried shallots. For this you’ll need…..

Vegetable oil and 350g of shallots, thinly sliced.

Heat 1cm oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the sliced shallots and fry, stirring now and then until crisp and golden. Lift onto plenty of kitchen paper and sprinkle with a little salt. When cool, keep in an airtight container, you won’t need these till the very end!!

Next, make 500ml of Asian chicken stock. For this you’ll need…..

A 500ml measure of chicken stock. I use a knorr stock pot.
1 bunch of spring onions, sliced.
40g garlic, left whole but lightly bruised.
75g peeled ginger, thinly sliced and lightly bruised.
1 star anise.
1tsp black peppercorns.
Simply put the warm chicken stock into a pan, add the ingredients, and simmer for one and a half hours. Strain then leave to cool.

The final part of the pre-preparation is to prepare a small amount of ‘Tamarind Water’.

Simply buy a small container of Tamarind paste and mix 1 tbsp with 3 tbsp of hot water, then set aside.

Now you can begin cooking the main body of the dish. For this you’ll need…..

2 tbsp vegetable oil
100g shallots, thinly sliced
50g garlic, crushed
25g peeled ginger, finely grated
1.25kg lean pork shoulder, cut into 3cm chunks
4 tbsp kecap manis

2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
3-4 medium-hot chillies, seeded and chopped
4 red bird’s eye chillies, left whole
The Crisp fried Shallots, Stock and Tamarind water from above.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and fry until they become soft and richly golden. Add the crushed garlic, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook for one minute.

Add the pork to the pan and fry for two minutes until lightly coloured. Add the kecap manis, dark soy sauce, tamarind water, pepper, chopped and whole chillies and the stock. Leave to simmer uncovered for about one and a half hours, stirring now and then towards the end of the cooking, until the pork is tender.

Lift the pork out of the sauce with a slotted spoon onto a plate. Boil the cooking liquid until it has reduced to a well-flavoured, slightly thickened, shiny, dark brown sauce. Season to taste with salt, return the pork to the pan and stir in.

Spoon the pork onto a warmed serving plate, scatter with the crisp fried shallots and serve.

So that concludes our curry trilogy! Hopefully some of you have gone as far as making at least one of these. It’d be great to hear your opinions on our Twitter and Facebook pages.