Friday, April 1, 2016

Braised Pork Belly with eggs and tau kwa (Overnight Thermal Cooker Recipe)

I've been cooking a fair bit of late.. just before bed time. I cook and have the food cook overnight in my Thermos Thermal Cooker and re-heat it in the morning to take them to work. This way, the hubby can also have his meal just before his work. 

This recipe was inspired by Chris of Budget Pantry's recipe. I tweaked it to suit us. The beauty of this recipe is the melt-in-the-mouth fatty pork belly. Coupled with rice, it's a delight to have! I'd rate this a difficulty level 2 out of 5. It can be an overnight recipe or one that's ready in 3 hours. 

Braised Pork Belly Recipe
This recipe yields enough to feed 4 pax

500 - 800g pork belly, depending on how much you want to eat
(The hubby loved it so much I had to double the amt of meat from 500g to 1kg!)

4 hard boiled eggs or 16 hard boiled quail's eggs (I prefer quail's eggs)
1 pack tau kwa
2 litre water (add more if required)
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
12 tbsp hua diao jiu

2 - 3 bulbs of garlic (we love garlic so I use a lot of it)
6 star anise
3 cinnamon stick
8 - 10 cloves

1) Boil the pork belly in a pot of water for 5 - 10 mins to remove scum. Set aside. 
2) In a bowl, mix liquids together.
3) Bring liquid to a boil with the pork belly.
4) Add spices and garlic.
5) Add tau kwa and boiled quail's eggs. 

I really love the texture of this tofu.. (not exactly a tau kwa)
Image taken from

It's soft yet firm enough to withstand the braising. LOVE LOVE IT!

6) Bring the mixture to a boil. A general rule of thumb for thermal cookers, it works best when filled/almost full. That way, the liquids can continue cooking whatever's inside the thermal cooker. 
If there is insufficient water, add a little more. 
7) Allow mixture to boil for 15 minutes on medium-high heat.
8) Place lid semi-closed on the pot and allow mixture to boil for 1-2 more mins to warm up the lid too. 
9) Remove from heat and allow thermal cooker to continue the cooking overnight. If you do not have a thermal cooker, you can cook the dish over the stove for 2 - 2.5 h on medium-low heat. 
10) Allow meat to cook overnight. I usually cook it by 10pm at night and it's good to go at 6am the following morning.
11) Bring mixture to a boil again in the morning. (It usually takes under a minute or so to come to a boil) 
12) Serve with plain rice! 

I usually transfer a portion to my Thermos food jars to take to work.. The food is still hot when I have it at 10am. The same theory works.. fill the jars with as much food/liquid as you can. 

Enjoy this delicious recipe! 

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