Thursday, 13 February 2014

Babi Kecap - Braised Pork Knuckle in Sweet Soy Sauce

Hello, friends!! How is everyone doing? I hope all is well and eating deliciously. 

I have had a crazy busy few weeks, from all the baking leading to Chinese New Year, followed by various family visits and more baking in between... so my apologies for the lack of posts and I am very behind with e-mail queries, blog reading list and I look forward to catching up soon. For now, I am just so happy to have a time alone. 

Without sounding like an anti-social, I am also pleased to not have plans to go out for both Valentine's day (I'm single, anyway...) and lantern festival tomorrow. I'm just gonna stay home, and have a Modern Family or Law & Order marathon, still to be decided.

Those of you who are following me on Instagram (@michael_toa), know that I eat embarrassingly loads (just an expression obviously... I'm actually pretty proud of my ability to eat loads) from the pictures I posted. Living in a Chinese household, the past couple of weeks is feast celebration.  Between the baking and social visits, foods everywhere and no gym... which is not good, because I'm going on holiday in few weeks time. My friend Cian and I will be travelling across Java (Jakarta, Bandung and Yogyakarta), Bali and Lombok very soon and I am very excited.  If you have any foodie recommendations, do let me know! :) 

Anyway,  one photo I haven't posted is my mother's babi kecap... and I want to share it with all of you now. It's seriously good and so easy to make.  Often mom would cook this using pork belly, but for the special occasion, and because the family loves it too, this time (as pictured below) is pig's feet/knuckle... yum.

Not a lot of spices here to be honest... none actually... just a simple homey dish we grew up eating.  Start with gently frying finely chopped shallots in a little vegetable oil in a big pot that comes with a lid.  Then add the cleaned and cut up knuckle or use pork belly and continue frying until they brown up a bit.  Pour in enough water/chicken stock/combination of the two to cover the whole thing... add the rest of the ingredients: fried tofu, hard-boiled eggs, lots of garlic (whole and unpeeled)... the garlic will become sweet and soft and in my family, everybody fights for it... and last but not least the sweetened soy sauce. Let it comes to boil and simmer with the lid on until the pork is very tender. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

You can eat the pork straightaway with rice, but what I would suggest if you have the patience, the braised pork, like many other stews tastes better the next day or even few days after the cooking... after it's been cooled and reheated again.  And because I like to get rid of some of the grease; in the fridge, the fat rises to the top and solidifies, making it easy to scoop out.

Last thing I want to tell you is, my wonderful blogger friend, Peter from Delicious Delicious Delicious blog is back hosting his famous re-inventing the Lamington event.  You can read more about it here if you want to get involve.  I have an idea of the kind of lamington I want to bake.  I now have to test it and hope that it'll work, so watch this space!


  1. This pork sounds really good.. and of course, as you say, really easy.. I love one pot meals like this! And of course, I hope you enjoy your evening at home - I think those are some of the best nights anyway!!

  2. This is a childhood favourite, Michael. Looks so delicious!

  3. I love this dish, especially the egg...yum!
    Have a great week Michael :D

  4. Lovin it pork knuckle, especially when it's suckable tender, not just fall off the bone....
    My fave spices was anise star and szechuan peppercorn, i used to tide it up in cheeseclost along with bulbs of garlic and bay leavesm,
    btw, what is your favourite brand of kecap manis Michael???

    1. At home we use 'cap bango' :)
      Thanks for the tip. I have to try that. Sounds delicious already!