That was then, this is now. Older, sedate and aware of lightning risks, I don't run around in the rain any more. I love curling up with my cats (that's Princess Mel in the photo) for a snooze when a heavy downpour cools the hot, humid air. Or sitting next to an open window with a cup of tea, feeling the rain on my face. Back when we were catching fish with lungs, we had a corrugated zinc veranda which made a real ruckus when it rained. And the wave pattern in the zinc roof created a water curtain with strings of rain. It was very relaxing listening to the thundering rain and watching the shimmering strings of water. No such sound and visual effect now, I'm afraid.
There's one thing rainy weather always does to me no matter how old or young I am. It makes me really hungry! So hungry it's a good time to eat a piping hot stew. Not just any stew but a pork belly stew which might be too rich and filling when the weather is hot. Some call it Lor Bak (滷肉), others call it Kong Bak(扣肉). Or Dong Po Rou (東坡肉) or Tau Yu Bak (豆油肉). All these are pork belly braised Chinese style but the ingredients vary depending on personal preferences. I love the one I make because it has lots of vinegar to cut through the richness of the pork. And onions, garlic and ginger slowly cooked and caramelized in a dark, thick sauce. They are unrecognizable by the time the stew's done but these black blobs of stuff are, trust me, more delicious than the pork. I enjoy the stew with either rice or Chinese steamed buns, and every single bite is worth the extra time on the treadmill come payback time. Before I pay back, however, I wash everything down with a cup of strong Chinese tea and have a good snooze. Can't exercise right after I eat, right? Later lah.
Check these out:
|Tamarind Pork |
|Drunken Chicken and|
|BRAISED PORK BELLY |
(Recipe for 4 persons)
1 piece pork belly (400 g), blanched and rinsed
⅓ cup Zhenjiang vinegar (镇江醋)
⅓ cup water
¼ cup Shaoxing wine
80 g rock sugar
2 tsp dark soya sauce
2 tsp light soya sauce
1 small piece dried tangerine peel, washed
4 big shallots, peeled and washed
4 big cloves garlic, peeled and washed
4 big slices ginger, cut bite size
Place everything in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer gently on low heat till pork is tender and sauce is thickened, about 1½ hours. Increase heat for the last 15 minutes if necessary so that sauce is reduced when pork is done.
Cut pork into 16 slices when cool enough to handle. Plate, together with onions, garlic and ginger. Skim oil from sauce and drizzle over pork. Serve with steamed rice, or as a filling for steamed mantou (馒头).