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Grandma Grandpa Cook

by: Yang Yeung, chief editor

Hong Kong : MCCM Creations 2010, Paperback
ISBN: 978-988185839-9

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Summer Volume: 2013 Issue: 20(2) page(s): 20

This book, in Chinese and English, is a collection of more than forty stories told by many grandmas and grandpas who settled in Hong Kong. Most came from China before the Second World War. Each recipe has its writer's picture. All are in this project inspired by the L'Art et Le Chef in the 'Art for All' in 2003 - 2006. The concept, completed and developed by Evelyna Liang, has photography by Michael Wolf and many of the recipes including small color photographs with their completed dishes.

Filled with memories of childhood and more before their arrival in Hong Kong, these Grandmas and Grandpas discuss their earlier lives, most of which were in China, some from later in Hong Kong. Their recipes are special, many are Cantonese and simple, each is written as told, as are their memories. The recipe below is barely rewritten, just enough to make it easy to prepare.

It and the others are in six sections titled: Love; Bitter days; Play; I Am; I Learn; and I Taste. They provide understandings shared, most recipes not found elsewhere, some might be mentioned in a novel or a story. Hardly any can be found in English-language Chinese cookbooks, many are true Cantonese comfort foods, the one we share below is no exception.
Pork Belly with Taro and Red Bean Curd
1 pound marbled pork belly
3 Tablespoons mustard cabbage
1 or 2 medium-size taro
4 pieces fermented red bean curd
some honey and dark soy sauce
4 cups oil for deep frying
1. Rinse pork belly and blanch with hot water. Next half-cook it and then immerse it in cold water for half an hour.
2. Pierce the pork many times with a fork to reduce the oil from spitting during the upcoming deep-frying.
3. Cut the deep-fried meat and the taro into thick slices and coat the pork belly with dark soy sauce and honey.
4. Using a ten-inch deep pot, deep-fry the pork piece by piece in hot oil, using a cover over the top of the pot to control as much spitting as possible. Fry it one minute one each side and then remove the piece and put it in cold water again. Repeat until all pork pieces are deep fried.
5. Next, deep fry the taro slices until golden yellow, about two minutes on each side.
6. Place the meat and taro slices between one another or in layers in a deep dish.
7. Dice the mustard cabbage and mix it with the mashed red fermented bean curd, then put this mixture on top of the pork belly and taro.
8. Steam this dish over boiling water for two to three hours until pork belly and taro become very soft. Then serve.

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