Friday evening, I was sitting at home relaxing and attempting to study for the LSAT exam coming up in a little more than two months until I got bored. I’m not going to lie – logical reasoning is so much fun (/sarcasm). I started to think about some food that I haven’t had in a long time (over 1 year+) and something that you probably wouldn’t want to eat more than once per year. The first thing that came to mind was Woo Tau Kow Yoke. I never tried making it at home before because I always thought there was a secret blend of spices to make the ‘weird’ but delicious sauce. After doing some research, the recipe was relatively simple, and also really cheap to make.
1. Begin with the fresh pork belly. I chose a piece that is relatively lean because… it’s pork belly, enough said. You want to make sure the hairs are taken off, you can do this by holding the pork belly upside down with tongs and waving it over a flame. Boil the pork belly with 4-5 slices of ginger and green onions. This will help remove some of the fatty oils. Place the pork belly aside to cool. Brush the pork belly with soy sauce and lightly pat with a few pinches of five spice powder. Cut the pork belly into 1/3″ or 1/2″ inch slices.
2.While the pork belly is cooling, slice your taro as the same length of the pork belly and about 1/3″ or 1/2″ inch slices. Remember to wear plastic gloves and always use a dry cutting board and knife because raw Taro can irritate the skin.
In a saucepan, add 1 tbsp of oil and add 3 cloves of shopped garlic. After 30 seconds, add the beancurd and mash the beancurd with a spatula. Add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the red fermented beancurd sauce (from the jar), 1/2 tbsp of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Lastly, add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.
5. Pour into the claypot. Add more water until the pork belly and taro is fully submerged. To cook, either place on-top of the stove on low-heat (until you reach a simmer) uncovered for 1 hour. Every 10 minutes, use chopsticks or a utensil to poke the taro/pork belly so it doesn’t burn onto the bottom of the claypot. Or, steamer for 1 1/2 hours. Essentially, just keep cooking the pork and taro until the taro and pork belly are soft. The sauce will naturally thicken as the taro cooks.
I’m not going to lie – the cooked product is fairly ugly but it’s so delicious. It’s hard to describe the taste of this dish but it’s pretty awesome. You won’t know how it tastes until you’ve made it yourself so GO AND TRY THIS!
My recipe primarily came from http://lilyng2000.blogspot.com/2006/02/woo-tau-kow-yoke.html. I didn’t deep-fry the taro and the skin of the pork belly because steaming/braising will remove the crispiness that deep frying does.