The Singapore Met Service forecasted that February would be dry and windy, but they only got the second one right. Every day there’s been either great towers of clouds looming past, or out-and-out thunderstorms. It’s not exactly going out weather, in other words. But who needs going out when you can have stew?
Or maybe I can claim the shiny patina of Korean-ness and call this a jjigae instead. It’s got all the basic components of Korean cooking, all the bright colours and pungent aromas – kimchi, garlic shoots, leeks. Into this mix goes the hefty flavour of rendered, charred, golden roast pork (sio bak).
Be warned: this is not first date food. This is only for when you already know it’s real.
Serves 4 – 5
500g roast pork belly, cut into large chunks
500g cabbage kimchi, sliced, with liquid
1 bundle of garlic sprouts, cut into 5cm lengths
3 to 4 leeks, cut into 3cm lengths
3 to 4 cloves garlic, sliced
3 to 4 shallots, quartered
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1.5 tsp sugar
2 tbsp Shaoxing liquor
1 tsp sesame oil
First pan-fry the roast pork belly on low heat to render the fat.
Then switch to medium-low, and add the shallots, garlic and leeks. If there isn’t enough fat from the meat, you can add a teaspoon of oil. Let the garlic brown and the leeks wilt a little.
Add the garlic sprouts and then drizzle the Shaoxing liquor. Continue to stir-fry until the sprouts have softened a little.
When the shallots have gotten translucent, add in the kimchi along with juice, and the sugar, light and dark soy sauce. If there doesn’t seem to be enough liquid, add a little water; there should be enough to half-cover the ingredients.
Bring to a boil, simmer for about 10 minutes, then drizzle sesame oil on top. Serve hot with a heaping mound of rice, or instant ramen without the soup and seasoning.