This dish was inspired by Narcissus brand "Pork Mince with Bean Paste", which is actually one of the tinned food that I used to eat in my "younger days". It comes in a small can, but because it is rather salty, it was usually enough to serve as a supplement to our lunch. The tasty bits of pork and mushroom in the fragrant bean paste sauce goes really well with a hot bowl of rice porridge (congee). Such simple pleasures!
In this recipe, I used salted soy beans (or brown ground bean paste) as I didn't have black bean paste, but use that if you have it. Either way, it will still be delicious. I added plenty of thick caramel (dark soy) to give the meat a richer and darker colour, and make it look more appetizing. Instead of using pork mince, I took some pork belly, removed the rind and shredded the meat into very thin strips. I also added some dried chillies to give it a little heat. And don't forget the mushrooms as they add flavour and texture to the dish.
Shredded Pork with Spicy Bean Paste Recipe
500g pork belly, rind removed, and meat shredded into long thin strips
4 dried chinese mushrooms, stem removed, soaked in warm water, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tbsp grated ginger
2 shallots, chopped
3 petals from a star anise
3 cm cinnamon stick
2 tbsp ground bean paste (black or brown is fine)
2-3 dried red chillies
1/2 stalk scallion
1 tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp water
Coriander leaves for garnish
1-2 tbsp thick caramel (thick dark soy)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
2-3 tsp sugar (to taste)
Dash of pepper
1 1/2 cup water
Heat up some oil in a medium pot and fry the garlic, ginger, shallots, star anise, cloves and cinnamon. Then fry the ground bean paste, followed by the chillies and scallion. Add the pork and mushrooms, and fry with the thick caramel sauce until browned all over. Add the rest of the seasoning ingredients, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until pork is tender and sauce is slightly reduced. Add cornflour solution and stir to mix until you get a smooth and thick gravy. Dish out, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with a bowl of congee or steamed rice.