Even though we are not Hakka but my mom do cooked some of Hakka dishes for us like the Yong Tau Foo , Kau Yoke, Mui Choi Kau Yoke, Abacus Beads and this Char Yoke. She will make this particular dish only on special occasions like Chinese New Year or Mooncake Festival. This is quite a simple recipe with not too many ingredients other than the adding the red fermented beancurd and five spice powder to the dish.
I put off making this dish for something because I don’t like the splashing of the oil while deep frying the marinated meat. I did get splashed a bit by the oil while trying to turn the pork but it is all worth it as the dish turns out really well as the pork is tender and the black fungus (woodears) are soft yet slightly on the crunchy side. It goes really well with steamed rice. Since I don’t prepare dishes like this often I cook a bit more so I can freeze some of it. When I wanted to eat it, all I have to do is defrost and reheat it with a few tablespoon of water.
2 pound pork belly or shoulder (best with skin and fat), cut into chunks
1 pieces of fermented red beancurd – mashed
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp five spice powder
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
Rest of the ingredients:
60 gram black fungus (I used the thick kind)
6 cloves garlic
2 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp dark soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Combined the pork with marinate except the flour and cornstarch. Mix it well and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. Soak the black fungus in water till softened then cut into pieces and remove the hard stems.
2. Heat about 2 cups vegetable oil in wok till hot. Just before frying, add the flour and cornstarch to the marinated meat. Mix well and then fry the pork in several batches at medium high heat till golden brown. Be careful as oil may splash due to the pork skin, don't get too close. (If the oil starts splash turn the heat down). When done remove pork and drain exceed oil on paper towel.
3. In a stewing pot, add in 1 tbsp of oil. Add in garlic and stir-fry until lightly brown fragrant. Add in the fried pork and black fungus. Stir for a few seconds. Add enough boiling water to nearly cover pork and black fungus. Let it boil for 2 - 3 minutes; add in all the rest of the seasonings except the salt. Cover the lid and lower heat to simmer for an hour or till the meat is tender. Stir it once a while.
4. Check seasonings and see if it needs some salt. Dish out and serve with warm rice.
Note: You can always eat the fried pork as it is without stewing it.