Monday, February 02, 2009

From the Kitchen of Mama Wong - Part 6

Sea Cucumber with Pork and Mushrooms

Mmmm.. Sea cucumbers! This disgusting little sea slug is filled with goodness, and for the ladies - they've no calories! I've been in love with them since my first bite, and if you're afraid of eating badly prepared ones, give me a call.

Ingredients -
Sea Cucumber (1kg)
Dried Mushrooms (preferably the Japanese ones, about half a bag)
Ginger (about 2cm)
Garlic and Shallots (2 cloves each)
Pork Belly (三辰肉, sliced to cubes of about 2cm)
Fatt Choy (grab a bunch)

All set? Fire up.

Mario Would Be Proud
Before we start, my first experience with dried mushrooms is worth a mention. I've been hungry again and thought of making some instant noodles (couldn't cook that well then so anything goes). There was nothing to go with the noodles so I decided to cook me some mushrooms! I took a bunch out of the packet and threw them into hot water so I could hasten the process. Big mistake.

Back to reality, and you'd want to soak the mushrooms for at least 2 hours in tap water. Throw in a little sugar. Once that's done, give the mushrooms a little squeeze to get out the water and nip off a little of their base before setting them aside.

Set aside the water as well. You won't regret it.

Tip: You can set aside the base for soup! Just wrap em in a cooking bag and toss em in.

My Sister Thinks It's Hair

Fatt Choy is like algae. It is, actually. Soak these in water and wait for them to soften. They will be useful in the last step of the recipe.

I can't stress this enough - clean the sea cucumbers. You need to scrape the stomach walls off the inside. if not it'll be a disgusting bitter aftertaste for you.

Once that's done, slice up some ginger (only about 1/2 of the total though - you'll need the rest for the next step) and fire up the wok. Heat up some oil and fry the ginger till you get that nice ginger smell in your kitchen. Throw in the sea cucumber after and play around. Next add a sprinkle of 花雕酒 (Hua Diao Wine) and cook till the wine becomes essence.

Once that's done remove everything and run it under a cold tap. Set aside and heat up the wok again.

The Rest of the Bunch
Oil, garlic, shallots, ginger till fragrant, and then throw in the pork. Cook that a little and then add in the mushrooms to the mix. A dash of oyster sauce (about 1 tablespoon) and dark soy sauce (about 2 tablespoons) to add some color, and then into a good pot.

Remember the water you saved when soaking the mushroom? The one with the sugar? Pour it into the pot with the mushrooms and pork, and then bring to a boil before stewing it for about an hour and a half till the mushrooms turn mush. Throw in a small cube of rock sugar while you're at it.

Once that's achieved, add in the sea cucumber and continue stewing for 30 more minutes. 20 minutes after the sea cucumber goes in, throw in the fatt choy.

Be sure to give it a stir once in awhile so they don't stick to the bottom of the pot.


No comments: