Sometime ago, I read this e-mail forwarded by a friend about a “mishap” which occurred live on a local Malaysian Radio show. The show was hosted by one of my favourites - Yasmin Yusuff, who was also crowned Miss Malaysia/Universe back in 1973.
I have always loved listening to her voice and wit on radio. This story is so good that it got stuck in my head until today, and possibly forever. Not too sure how true it is though. However, it never failed to make friends laugh when I tell it to them. So today, I am telling it to you
Yasmin was hosting her show as usual one morning and she posted a trivia live, prompting listeners to call her in with the answer. The first caller to answer correctly will win a prize. Her question that morning was:
“What is the common name for Sodium Chloride?”
In case you didn’t know the answer, it is simply Salt. About a minute later, this lady got through and attempted to answer the question.
Not knowing the answer, she asked Yasmin for a clue. Yasmin kindly responded, “This is something that you put on your husband’s eggs every morning.”.
Almost immediately after she heard the clue, the lady shouted excitedly on live radio, “TALCUM POWDER!!”
Yasmin went off air for commercial break for at least 10 minutes after that. Perhaps she should have said “This is something you put on your husband’s BREAKFAST eggs every morning!”
Chinese pork stew (low-jue-yoke) is one of my favourite dishes to make. Simply because everything is cooked in a single pot (yat-wok-suk!!), it lasts a few days and actually gets more flavourful day by day. Typical accompaniments for the pork are shiitake mushrooms and boiled eggs (low-dan). Ideally pork belly (fah-lam-yoke) should be used because of its decent fat to flesh ratio. Its alternate layers of meat and fat (mmmm…….) is very important to ensure your stewed pork won’t turn out stiff and dry! I am not a fan of shiitake mushrooms, but since Terry is not much of a pork person, I usually add in a fair amount of shiitake mushrooms to keep him happy.
- ~300g pork belly meat, cut into bite sizes
- ~8 pcs dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked til plump and soft, sliced
- 3 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
- Chinese 5-spice powder (ng-heung-fun)
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
- Salt to taste
- Sugar to taste
- Cornflour (optional)
- Marinate pork with one tablespoon of 5-spice powder and enough soy sauce to coat every piece. Set aside.
- To prepare gravy, mix the 3/4 cup of soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of five spice powder together in a bowl. Add about 1/2 cup water, stir. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a medium saucepan.
- Fry garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in your gravy, bring to boil.
- Once boiling, add in pork, shiitake mushrooms and eggs. If needed, add more water until all ingredients are covered in gravy. If it looks too diluted, add some dark soy sauce and/or soy sauce carefully. Bring to boil.
- Once boiling, switch to low heat, cover and let simmer for about an hour or until pork is tender.
- Season with salt and sugar if needed.
- If you prefer to have your gravy slightly thick, stir in a teaspoon or two of cornflour (optional).
- Remove from heat and serve!
Like I mentioned, I find the dish more flavourful the next day. Its perfect on rice or even noodles (gon-lou). Please note this recipe is for a decent pot of pork stew enough for the two of us for like 2 days! Feel free to half it. Anyway, the most important thing is the gravy so as long as you have something blackish and enough to cover your stuff, it’ll work just fine, no matter the amount! I think this recipe can be directly applied for chicken feet and mushroom stew too (dong-goo-mun-gai-geok), simply by subsituting pork belly with fried chicken feet. Maybe you could give that a try too.