Sunday, November 13, 2011

Braised Pig’s Trotters with Fermented Bean Curd

This is the time of the year when we yearn for hearty meals and for families to prepare roasted meat and soups. We are now in November and the cooler months approaching special winter dishes such as braised goat is back on the menu of restaurants.
Goat, mutton, eggs, chicken, etc. belong to the yang category. According to Chinese beliefs yang foods are believed to increase the body heat, nourish and replenish us during the cold season.

Goat meat is not very popular and I am happy when the cold weather is here and I can finally eat some. Last week my husband and I went to a local restaurant to have a braised goat stew.
The goat cooked with ginger, bamboo shoots and dried Chinese mushrooms was served in a clay pot and placed on a gas ring. We tossed Chinese lettuce leaves in the red fermented bean curd {nàahm yú / 南乳} sauce simmering in front of us and a few minutes later dipped the shrivelled leaves in fermented (white) bean curd {fuh-yú 腐乳} .The cheesy flavour of this condiment pairs well with the tangy goat meat.  

Fermented (white) bean curd / fuh-yú / 腐乳
Red fermented bean curd can be purchased at the wet market (sold by weight) or at the supermarket (in glass jars). It is good combined with meat adding a delicate sweetness.

Fermented (red) bean curd / nàahm yú / 南乳

If you want to know how fermented bean curd tastes like and you are fond of pig’s trotters, here is an easy & good recipe for you to try. This recipe has been adapted from Cookery Class for Filipino Helper (Stew) by J.D. Denega.

Braised Pig's Trotters wih Red Fermented Bean Curd and Peanuts 

  • About 100g peanuts, washed and soaked in water for 2 hours (peel skin)
  • ~1 kg pig’s trotters, cut into several pieces
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cube of red fermented bean curd, mashed
  • 2 sprigs of lemongrass cut into 4-5 cm pieces, smashed
  • 1 thick slice of ginger
  • 1 tbsp rock sugar
  • 1 tbsp Shao-Xing wine
  • 5 cups of water
  1. Wash pig’s trotters, pat dry. Burn any excess hair off the feet. Rub skin and wash thoroughly. Blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes and drain.
  2. Heat wok and add oil. Put in ginger and lemongrass and stir-fry until fragrant.
  3. Add pig’s trotter and stir-fry.
  4. Pour in wine, fermented bean curd, peanuts and rock sugar. Add water and bring to the boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for ½ hour. Turn off the heat. Let stand for 2-3 hours (for flavour development).
  6. Cook again for 1 ½ hour or until both peanuts and pig’s trotters are soft.

Pig's trotters with lemon grass and peanuts

Next time I might try this recipe with goat shank instead of pig's trotters as I recently found out where to buy goat meat. Yes! Although I passed the Haiphong temporary wet market in Tsim Sha Tsui many times before I always thought that there were only flowers, fruits and vegetable vendors. However, last week, I walked in for the fist time. I was surprised to find that the place was almost deserted (there are lots of empty stalls) and then amazed to discover halal butchers selling beef, mutton and goats. I never knew that I could find this in there. Did you know that?

Goat carcasses strung up by their feet

Goat's heads displayed on wooden tables.

Happy cool weather comfort foods!

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