Welcome to Little Thumbs Up, selected ingredient for this month is "MUSHROOMS"
Little Thumbs Up, is an event organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen from my little favourite D.I.Y. , where an ingredient is selected each month and everyone is welcome to join in by using the selected ingredient either in your bakes or in your cooking pot. I am the host for this month, and my selected ingredient is "MUSHROOMS". This event starts today, right until end of this month. Please do join us, cook or bake any recipes using Mushrooms as one of its ingredient, post it in your blog within this month, (only new and current posts), and link to Little Thumbs Up, in the thumbnail linky which is provided at the bottom of this post. To find out more details on Little Thumbs Up, please click here.
Last month's selected ingredient was "Corn", hosted by the lovely Esther from Copycake Kitchen. To view all the delicious Corn recipes that everyone has made and to get some corn inspiration, please visit Copycake Kitchen.
To start off the Mushroom theme for this month, I've chosen Shiitake Mushrooms, a very popular mushroom in Asian cuisine. I'm sharing today one of my family's favourite, Braised Pork Belly with Shiitake Mushrooms.
Mushroom Of The Day : Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake Mushrooms are an all-time favourite in Asian cuisine. They are tan to dark-brown and have broad umbrella shaped caps, wide open veils, tan gills and curved stems that should be removed before cooking. They have a meaty texure and are rich and woodsy when cooked. Great for stir-fry, braising and in soups. These mushrooms are a great source of B vitamin riboflavin, niacin and panthothenic acid, lentinan and copper. They have natural antiviral and immunity-boosting properties and are used nutritionally to fight viruses, lower cholesterol and regulate blood pressure. Can be used either fresh or dried. The shiitake flavour is intensified by drying. If using the dried mushroom, they must be re-constituted with warm water to plump them up.
These Shiitake mushrooms are chewy, meaty and very tender when braised, unlike some varieties which are rather flat, and lacking in flavour. When braised together with the pork belly, the mushrooms are really delicious, as the flavours of the mushroom have gone into the gravy and the flavours of the gravy which has mingled with the flavours from the fatty pork belly has gone right back into the mushrooms! I could not decide whether I love eating the mushrooms more or the pork belly sometimes, as I like them both! Equals, I guess!
One of the ingredient which I used for this dish is dried beancurd sticks. Break them up in half or quarters, soak in water for about 1-2 hours until soften. Once they have softened, cut into 2" lengths and these are ready for cooking. Keep them covered in water, then drain and used immediately.
Braised Pork Belly with Dried Shiitake Mushrooms and Dried Beancurd Sticks.
Firstly, prepare the mushrooms for braising. Soak the dried Shiitake mushrooms until soften, discard stems. Saute some chopped garlic in a pot until fragrant, add in the mushrooms, oyster sauce, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to low, keep covered and allow to simmer while you prepare the pork belly.
The pork belly is cut into medium-sized chunks and marinated with some light soy sauce for about 15-20 minutes. They are then pan-fried in some oil over medium heat until brown on all sides. Remove, drain off excess oil, and add to the simmering mushrooms. Let it come to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1-1/2 hours or until pork belly and mushrooms are tender. Add the drained softened beancurd sticks during the last 15 minutes of braising.
This is one of my family's favourite dish, but then, I do not cook it that often, for obvious reasons! Pork belly is sinful but oh, so delicious when braised together with meaty, flavourful dried shiitake mushrooms.
I would eat this with rice, together with a condiment of sliced bird's eye chillies mixed with some light soy sauce, delish!
You may even omit the dried beancurd sticks. Just keep it simple with the pork belly and mushrooms, it really is just as good. But, do not omit the mushrooms! I would usually add more mushrooms, so that I could have leftovers to enjoy the next day!
Try this out. The list of ingredients may be simple, but it really is a delicious home dish.
I'm linking this post to Little Thumbs Up event, hosted by Joyce, kitchen flavours, organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen for my little favourite D.I.Y.
To join us, simply bake or cook any recipes using the ingredient for this month MUSHROOM. Submit your post by linking to the thumbnail linky provided at the bottom of this post.
- Your submission must be a current and new post.
- Mention Little Thumbs Up in your post, and submit your post to the thumbnail linky to the host of this month, Joyce from kitchen flavours, and link to Bake For Happy Kids, and my little favourite D.I.Y.
- Feel free to display Little Thumbs Up badge in your post.
- Last date of linking will be on 31st May 2013.
by : kitchen flavours
800gm pork belly (cut to medium-sized chunks)
2 tbsps light soy sauce
25-30 pcs medium dried shittake mushrooms (soaked in warm water until soften, discard stem, and drain the caps)
3 pcs dried beancurd stick (soaked until soften, then cut to 2" lengths)
2 tbsps oyster sauce
1/4 cup light soy sauce, or to taste
1 tsp black soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
4 cups water
- Marinate pork belly chunks with 2 tbsps soy sauce. Cover and keep aside for 15 minutes.
- Heat about 1 tbsp oil in a medium pot. Saute chopped garlic until fragrant. Add in the drained mushroom caps, stir, add in 4 cups water, 1/4 cup light soy sauce, 2 tbsps oyster sauce. Stir to combine. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer while you prepare the pork belly.
- In a non-stick saucepan, heat about 4-5 tablespoons of oil. Reduce heat to medium high and fry pork belly in a single layer, on all sides until browned. Remove and drain, let rest for 2-3 minutes.
- Place fried pork belly into the pot of simmering mushroom. Stir and continue to simmer for about 1-1/2 hours on low heat, stirring once or twice, or until pork belly and mushrooms are tender. If the water has evaporated, you may add 1/4 cup of hot water at a time, and adjust the seasoning of soy sauce to taste.
- Add in the softened beancurd stick and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes or so. Enjoy!