Slow-cooked five spice pork belly with tofu and cooked egg recipe is super popular in my hometown. It is a must-have dish in every family table. I seldom cook it because John doesn’t like fatty food, but I truly adore it – so much layer of flavour and texture. The five spice smell and the melty-in-your-mouth pork belly is just so amazing.
Lotus root slow cooked with pork bone broth is my old time favour. Mum always cooks it in different seasons. Chinese soup is very important in our diner table. You need to change soup every night. Most of them are slow-cooked for 4-6 hours, or pressure cooked for 45 minutes. Chinese people believe it will bring out all the meat/bone flavour and nutrition, plus different vegetable. (normally we don’t eat the meat after slow-cooked, no nutrition left, all about the soup). Lotus root got a unique taste, sweet, texture like potato. I like that unique tasty and nothing you can replace it. Pig tails with soy beans is also one of my favourite soups, but hardly to find pig tails in London.
Seafood Congee is very popular easy rice soup. It is almost like risotto but with more broth/soup inside. It is very popular in Southern area, specially in Shantou I grow up. People feed congee for baby, because it is easy for them to digest. You can put anything you like inside the congee, it will taste good. My favourite one is Seafood congee. It will require pork bone/chicken broth as base, if not, you could try to put a vegetarian/chicken stock, when the soup is boiled, put the rice in to cook, add more water if needed. Or Shantounese we prefer the rice cooked first, then put into the soup straight away, thus you could taste more rice and soup, without too soggy, then add fresh vegetable at the end, with white pepper, a little coriander. Simple, but super comfort food! Perfect food when you are sick or need a quick meal.
Stew fresh chestnut with chicken is one of my favourite dishes as well. It is more winter dish because chestnut is more winter vegetable / nut. It just takes so long to peel the fresh chestnut, and you need patient. Normally we used a whole chicken with chestnut, it brings out so much flavour with the lightly nutty touch. Slow-cooked for 4-5 hours, or pressure cooked for 45 minutes. The dish won’t let you down. Simple but so tasty! Good stew / soup.
Hope you enjoy my home-made Chinese Shantounese food. It is complete different tasty compared with Cantonese or Northern food, also the way to cook and ingredient is different. Shantounese food is more seafood based (we lived near the ocean), light flavour, (believe the taste should come from the fresh ingredient); we like to used different parts of the animal (got all the flavours).
Sometimes it is very hard to have Shantou food outside Shantou, thus I have to home-made some of them, copying my Mum’s recipes and it all brings out childhood memories. Good food is worth making effort I believe.
You eat well, and life is happy!