I have been participating in Merdeka Open House hosted by Babe in the City since the very beginning, so of course I cannot left this year out. This year theme for Merdeka Open House 2010 is Food From Our Hearts. A local dish that I love and is lovingly prepared by my loved ones and tell a story about it. My mom is the cook in the family so of course I had to pick my mom's dish. The most memorable dishes that I missed from my mom are Acar Hu (Pickle Fish) and this Tamarind Stew with daikon. I really like her Acar Hu but I never made it before because of the limited fish choices over here. This Tamarind Stew can be made with chicken which I did a while ago over here or pork which I did for this year open house.
I really have no idea where she learned this dish from or it is a pass it down recipe. The taste just stick to me because I like the spiciness from the dried chili, the sourness from the tamarind juice, the sweetness from the brown sugar, the softness of the daikon, and the tenderness of the pork, it just blend so well together. When I came over to the U.S. this was one of the dishes I missed so much that I had to call and ask my mom for her recipe so that I could enjoy this dish here. I hardly cook this dish though because my hubby and daughters do not like Chinese radish or daikon at all, thus every time I cooked this, I was the only one who ate the daikon. Well, actually more for me because I do enjoy the daikon very much.
When I was stewing this dish for this post, my husband came home from work and said something smell like shit in the house. I had no idea why this dish smelled like shit to him because it smelled fragrant to me. He had the hesitated look on his face. But guess what, he ended out enjoying this dish, even came back for second and third. See, never judge a dish when you haven't tasted it!
There is still time to participate in this event if you or your spouse is a Malaysian, just go to visit Babe KL's blog for more details.
Some skinless and boneless pork, cut into chunk pieces
1 small daikon/ Chinese white radish, cut like below picture
8 dried red chili peppers, reconstituted in warm water, drained
15 pieces of dried tofu knots, soften in room-temp. water, drained (optional)
4 cloves of garlic, keep whole
2 cm of ginger, smashed
1 cup of tamarind juice
Dark soy sauce to taste (for color)
Soy Sauce to taste
Brown sugar, about 2-3 Tbsp.1 tsp. salt
This should be how to you cut the daikon. I don't know how to explain it in words so showing a picture here.
1. In a stock pot, heat up with some oil. Add in ginger and garlic, fry until slightly golden and fragrant. Add in pork and dried chili and fry to brown the pork on the outside.
2. Add in tamarind juice and water to cover the pork. Mix well and add in the rest of the sauces ingredients. Add daikon, mix well. Lastly add in tofu knots, mix well.
3. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer covered for 3 hours or until the pork is tender. Add water along the way if needed.