Pork Rendang!

Yes, aside from observing politics, I enjoy cooking to whet my pseudo-Peranakan palate. I never thought that I would one day be posting recipes online until a good friend of mine made a request earlier. So here it is, the recipe for pork rendang!

Pork Rendang

Ingredients

  • 400g pork shoulder (ngoh huay bak, 五花肉; take the one with a bit of fat)
  • 5 pieces of shallots
  • 5 pieces of garlic
  • 1 thin slice of lengkua/galangal
  • 2 small and thin slices of turmeric
  • ⅓ stalk of lemongrass
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • 6 to 8 pieces of kaffir lime leaves
  • 200 ml of chicken stock for deglazing (this is more than enough; the remainder will be wasted)
  • 200 ml of coconut milk
  • Chilli paste (bought or homemade is fine; mine is homemade)

Method 

1. Slice the shallots and garlic. Put aside.

2. Remove the first one or two layers of the lemongrass stalk. Bruise it lightly so that the flavour will be released. Finely chop ⅓ of the lemongrass stalk from the white part upwards (I find this to be the part with the stronger flavour).

3. Prepare the rempah via blender.

3a. Pour a bit of water in the blender.

3b. Throw in the shallots, garlic, lengkua/galangal, turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, and lemongrass.

3c. Blend for a few seconds until a paste forms. Add water if necessary, but not too much, just enough to make it thick and runny.

4. Add the chilli paste. Blend. Make sure the blender doesn’t go up in smoke.

5. Chop the pork shoulder into rough, bite-sized chunks. Remove the extra fat if you wish, but keep a modest amount there for flavour.

6. Sear the pork chunks in a saucepan with a heavy base, not a wok/kwali because you don’t want the wok hei but the brown bits that come after searing the pork.

7. Sear the pork until it is nicely brown on all edges. The pork does not need to be fully cooked at this stage, but it is important for all edges to be brown. Once done, put seared pork chunks into a separate bowl.

8. Deglazing means that you pour just enough stock to remove the brown bits from the saucepan. You will have this sauce that you will need to pour over the pork in the bowl.

9. It is time to fry the rempah. First, put a few drizzles of oil in a large pot. Heat up the pot with oil over a medium fire.

10. Once the oil sizzles, throw in the rempah. Fry the rempah until it is fragant. Then, add in the pork, coconut milk, and kaffir lime leaves.

11. Cook over a small fire. Do not let the mixture burn. The rempah will still be on the watery side. Keep stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated.

12. Rendang is ready for eating once the lime leaves have turned a dark brownish green, the pork meat is firm, and the gravy is thick.

Enjoy! Do feel free to give your comments on this recipe J

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