Thursday, August 19, 2010

Merdeka Open House 2010: Tamarind Stew Pork with Daikon/ Chinese Radish

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.


Cooking Gallery said...

I like tamarind sweets, that's why I think I might like this pork stew dish as well!

Belinda @zomppa said...

I'm glad your husband didn't go by what he smelled!

eileen said...

Yum!! One of my favorite. Will have to make it this coming week :-)

Juliana said...

Wow, what a delicious and flavorful of stew pork...I would love to have it with a bowl of white rice...yummie!

tigerfish said...

Smells like shit? can it be? But I don't think I have tried anything close to this dish. The only meat stew I have tried with Daikon is the Cantonese Braised Beef Brisket with Daikon.

Unknown said...

wahhhh i love the addition of tamarind in this stew...yum yumm

Noob Cook said...

I love this version of stewed pork. the daikon must have soaked in all the stew sauce and very flavourful :D

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Oh, I salivate just look at this picture, sour, sweet and spicy, full of flavours. Well done.

busygran said...

I've never cook pork this way before. Looks interesting to give it a try.

Anh said...

I don't take pork, but the tamarind sauce sounds amazing!

ICook4Fun said...

My husband said the same thing if I boil this daikon soup. If you think about it, it does smell pretty bad but the soup taste sooooo good :)

Little Corner of Mine said...

Cooking Gallery, try it, it's delicious. :)

Hahaha Belinda. Or else he would be missing out.

Hope you like it Eileen. ;)

Thanks Juliana. It's so good with rice, the gravy is yummy.

Tigerfish, yup that was what he said! It didn't smell like that to me. LOL!

Thanks Rita. :)

Yes noobcook, the daikon was flavorful.

Thanks Sonia. Well have to thanks my mom for sharing her recipe. :)

It's worth a try busygran and hope you will like it too.

Anh, you can use chicken to cook this dish too. :)

Gert, don't know leh, it doesn't smell bad to me, perhaps I am used to tamarind smell? :P

Beachlover said...

I think it's daikon that smell..I never join any Merdeka OH post b4.looking at your dish..maybe I should join,right?

Little Corner of Mine said...

Beachlover, why not? Go support Merderka Open House! :) Oh, it's the daikon that smell? I thought it's the tamarind. :P

Unknown said...

That is like a soup I make. I like how you used the daikon.

Babe_KL said...

Thanks for participating. Brilliant write up and you're right hehe they do stink during cooking but the end result is always superb!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Thanks Joy, try it with daikon next time ya.

Thanks babe_kl for hosting it again this year. I really enjoyed doing this post for you. :)

Big Boys Oven said...

I love this dish! awesome, so nyonya!

Unknown said...


May I know if using tamarind paste, how many tsp or tbsp of the paste needed to make 1 cup of the juice?


daphne said...

oh man! I can't believe that is what your husband said! but glad he appreciated the taste in the end. I like this dish as well-love the sour and salty... plus the daikon. Good entry for Merdeka!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Thanks BBOven. :)

Hi K, I used about 3 Tbsp. of the paste to make the juice.

Thanks Daphne. :)

wendyywy said...

True true,
Whenever I boil daikon soup, my husband always thinks that my girl have pooed.
It's only obvious if you went out of the house and came back in.

Little Corner of Mine said...

I see Wendy, no wonder I couldn't smell it. LOL!