Friday, April 9, 2010

sweet soy caramelised pork

With the universities in Australia, engineering students have to have work experience of at least 3 months before they are allowed to graduate. I was one of those students in Kalgoorlie getting some work experience. I stayed at this residence / dorm called the Agricola College while the local students were home for the summer break and only us vacation work students were there.

Those three months consisted of students having lots of booze and doing lots of crazy things, except me of course, because I am such a good girl. One of the students staying there was this guy from mainland China, let's just call him mr. box for convenience sake (sorry I can't remember your name!). Since we were both very budget conscious, we seemed to cook together in the afternoons every 3-4 days. He cooked almost every day and cooked stir fry mostly, whereas I would cook something that I could store and eat for at least 3-4 days straight. I'm lazy if you haven't noticed.
One day I saw he had this pork dish that smelled absolutely marvellous that required almost no effort. There's a lot of waiting around, but I watched TV while waiting for the dish to finish. This recipe actually is very similar, yet quite different, to my grandmother's sweet soy pork (babi kecap). Since I don't know how to cook hers, I cook this one.

Cooked the pork without the fat for my husband who hates pork with fat, it just didn't taste the same to me, too dry, not succulent

Sweet soy caramelised pork
by mr. box

  • 600g of pork loin (with 2cm of fat on top of the meat, the meat usually comes in 3x3x15cm cuts)
  • 500g of potatoes (about 2-3 large ones for me), cubed into bite size pieces
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 slices of ginger, finely chopped
  • 2tsp of szechuan peppercorns (substitute: normal black peppercorns)
  • 1 dried aniseeds (star anise)
  • sugar, vinegar, salt, soy sauce to taste

  1. Boil about 2 litres of water and pour into a pot.
  2. Cube the pork pieces into 3x3x3cm pieces.
  3. Heat some oil on a frying pan and sauté the garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add the pork pieces and stir fry until it's golden brown. Add the peppercorns and aniseed and stir for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add contents of frying pan into the pot with the boiling water. Add 4 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of sugar, 1 tbsp of salt, 2 tbsp of vinegar. Cover the pot and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, when it's time to remove the fat and foam that has raised to the top.
  5. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes, remove any fat or foam raising to the top.
  6. Add the cubed potatoes. Add some more boiling water to cover the contents of the pot.
  7. Add soy sauce, sugar, vinegar to taste. The taste should be mostly sweet from the sugar and sweet soy sauce, a little tiny bit salty from the soy sauce and a tinge of vinegary.
  8. Stir to combine and simmer with the lid off for another 20 minutes, simmer longer if potatoes are not yet soft.
Notes from mr. box:
  1. Broth should be darkish brown & thick, meat is soft and potatoes are also soft when it's ready, if not, keep boiling
  2. If too salty, add some vinegar (1 tbsp at a time)


  1. hey san, just drop by to check on ur blog, bikin ngiler as always :)

    kalo aku masak babi kecap, bikin karamel dulu pake gula pasir, dipanasi sampe coklat cair, baru masukin bawang n daging e.. terus buat bikin warnanya agak coklat tinggal kasih kecap manis dikit n kecap asin.. the rest is the same.

    boleh dicoba tuh :)

  2. Thanks "anonymous", *wink wink*. I will certainly try it the next time I cook it.


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