Easy to prepare Siew Yoke (Roast Pork Belly) with a perfectly crisp crackling. Delicious served…
Braised Ngaku Arrowheads with Roast Pork Belly in a fermented red beancurd sauce and fried tofu puffs for even greater flavor and texture.
I have always associated ngaku/arrowhead with Chinese New Year because that is when they normally appear at the markets, whether it is in Malaysia or here in the United States. Of course I don’t always spot it here, at least not in the Midwest where I lived for many years. Back then, I only saw it once or twice and when I did see them, I cannot help but bring a package home. I have since moved from the Midwest and spotted it two weeks back when I went to the Asian market close to Denver. Of course I picked up a package and regretted not getting one more. I will do better next year.
Ngaku/Arrowheads tubers look a little like water chestnuts with similar texture when peeled. Once cooked, they have a potato-like texture with a mild flavor. As such, they do well cooked in stronger flavored sauces like fermented red beancurd or dark soy sauce. My Mom usually cook this tuber with dark soy sauce using similar ingredients. In today’s recipe, I decided to use the former instead.
A Special Treat for CNY
Since we have not eaten this dish in a long time, it was quite a treat. There were only three packages left at the Asian market when I was there. I should have picked up two packages instead of one and regretted not have done that. The next time these reappear again at the Asian market will probably be a year from now. As such, I set aside some to make the popular Ngaku/Arrowhead Chips.
This dish can be cooked with raw pork belly but I made this quick version Pan Fried Crispy Pork Belly for this and another stir fry which I will be sharing next. Either way works and the decision to use raw or roasted pork belly is totally yours. The fried tofu puffs are optional but they do really combine well with the rest of the ingredients.
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Braised Ngaku Arrowheads with Roast Pork Belly
- 1¼ lbs ngaku / arrowheads (565g)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3.5 oz roast pork belly (100g)
- 3 cubes fermented red beancurd
- 1 cup water (240ml)
- 3.5 oz (100g) fried tofu puffs, cut into ¼ inch slices
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 green onions / spring onions (finely sliced)
- Cut the tops and bases off each ngaku/arrowheads using a paring knife. Then peel each one, rinse, drain, and cut into ¼ inch thick slices.
- Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large fry pan over medium heat. Add roast pork belly and fry for 2 minutes.
- Push the roast pork belly to the side. Add garlic and stir fry for 20 seconds.
- Add fermented red beancurd. Stir fry and mash with spatula for 1 minute.
- Add ngaku/arrowheads. Stir fry to get ngaku/arrowheads coated with the mashed red fermented beancurd.
- Add fried tofu puffs and pour in water. Stir to get everything well mixed. Bring liquid to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Most of the liquid would have been absorbed. If it is too dry, add another 2 tablespoons of water. Season with salt. Stir and turn off stove.
- Sprinkle green onions on the top.
- Dish onto a serving dish and serve immediately with steamed rice.
All you need is a steaming bowl of rice to go with this tasty dish. Do give it a try.