Chinese New Year Dish: Sea Cucumber Spicy Braised Pork

2014-12-25
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Merry Christmas everyone! I realised I will need to plan for recipes to cater to festive seasons much earlier. I wanted to post Christmas themed recipes but had to give it a miss as I am not in time to prepare them…too busy with activities during the holiday… Lessons learned, I will plan for such recipes 2 months in advance next time! So here I am sharing with you a recipe to cater to Chinese New Year! This dish is cooked based on 2 main ingredients: Pork and Sea Cucumbers.

Sea cucumber is marine dweller echinoderm. It has long body and big worm looking with leathery skin. It’s widely consumed by Asian especially people of East Asian countries. It is considered as delicacy in Chinese cuisine with high medicinal properties; from treating arthritis to cancer. Sea cucumber also known as gamat (Malay) or tripang (Indonesia).

Sea cucumber has interesting texture. It is gelatinous, slippery and crunchy. It’s no flavor and quite bland. It’s available in dried form or pre-soaked in Chinese health store or supermarket. This pricey sea protein is usually take some works to fix. They need special care before the cooking process, especially if the dried form is used. The dried sea cucumber should be soak in water for at least 2 days with frequent water changes. The soaking time will depend on the size and quality of the sea cucumber. Then the softened sea cucumber should be clean especially the inside of the body. Use a knife to scrap any unwanted crust or other materials.

Traditionally, sea cucumber is prepared in braised dishes. This flavorless little tuber easily adopt seasonings and flavors from other ingredients. If you love something bizzare, then this dish could be for you, braised sea cucumber with pork and mushrooms, a common dish during Chinese New Year celebration.

Due to good feedback given to Jennifer’s recipe here… I have adapted her recipe and converted the recipe using Thermomix method. I give it a big thumb up… You should try it!

Sea Cucumber Braised Pork1

 

ingredients

  • 600g pork belly (1-inch wide strips)
  • 300g sea cucumber
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 20 g ginger (sliced)
  • 4 dried chillies (soaked)
  • 2 stalk spring onion (2-inch wide strips)
  •  2 tbsp Shaoxing Chinese Cooking Wine
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 40g rock sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 4-5 hard-boiled eggs ( I steamed my eggs at the varoma tray which is placed above the Thermomix machine while cooking the pork)
  • 3 cups of water

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themomix

  • Soak the sea cucumber in water for 48 hours. Wash and rinse under cold running water. Drain. Then cut it into bite-size pieces.
  • Boil the sea cucumber pieces in boiling water for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Then drain.
  • Marinated the pork with 1 tbsp soy sauce for 1 night.
  • Add garlic into TM boxl and chop garlic at speed 5 for 5 seconds.
  • Stir fry garlic, ginger, dried chillies and spring onions for 3 minutes and speed 0.5 using temperature: Varoma.
  • Add in pork belly and stir-fry evenly for 10 minutes over temperature 100c and 0.5 speed.
  • Pour in Shaoxing Chinese cooking wine and light soy sauce, continue to stir-fry (speed 0.5) for another 5 minutes at 100c. .
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  • Pour in water, dark soy sauce, rock sugar and star anise, cook at temp 100c, speed: 0,5 and 1 hour.
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  • Pour the dish out into a bowl, place egg on top of them. Serve hot with rice.

Sea Cucumber Braised Pork1

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