Growing up, my Mother was a stay-at-home Mom. So almost everyday, we enjoyed delicious home cooked meals. When I grew up, I noticed many people mentioning things like, "my Grandmother makes the best dumplings..", "my Mother makes the best chicken curry.." etc. But many wonderful homecooked recipes were lost because somewhere down the line, the recipe was not learnt, and thus lost forever. Such a waste!
I created a YouTube channel, CoKohKitchen comprising of me recreating my Mother's recipes and also some of my own recipes. Hoping that the trial and errors that we went through would not be lost. Hoping that someone, anyone, would be able to benefit from watching the videos. Maybe, one day, my own children would be able to learn a thing or two from there even if I'm not around.
My brother surprised me by asking me to make this dish for my YouTube channel. I didn't even know that he was subscribed to it. This is such a simple and humble dish that even I had forgotten all about it. But I did remember that it was one of his favourite dish growing up.
So I had to go ask the guru (a.k.a. Mommy) how to cook it. The problem with "Mom's recipes" is that it's always very vague. She can tell you the recipe, but because everything is agar-agar (estimated), it just doesn't turn out the way you want it to be. So a seemingly simple dish took me a few tries to master it, and to finally write it down.
Here are some things to take note for this recipe.
1. Buy big pieces of dried squids.
You can smell them. They should have a strong aroma. Smaller ones doesn't have any flavour. After soaking them, peel off the cuttlebone. This is a bone of the squid. It looks like a long piece of plastic. Use your fingers to feel the squid. If there's a lump in the middle, remove it. It's the eye or beak. Honestly I can't tell. It's tough and not for eating. Gross, I know. Sorry.
For best results, go to a butcher, choose a nice piece of pork belly. I find that meat that is darker pink have better flavour and more tender than the light pink ones. You can decide how fatty or lean you want it to be. At least 40% fats please. Ask your butcher to mince the meat to save you the effort. My Mother would go home and chop up the meat herself. You can do that too. DO NOT buy pre-minced meat. Yup, those packets of minced pork have no flavour and way too lean. The meat patty would turn up super dry and tough. Don't.
3. Always check seasoning
Don't blindly trust how other people season their food. When you are cooking for yourself, always, always check the seasoning. Everybody have different taste, so always under-season, taste it, and then gradually adjust according to your liking.
That said, here is the recipe.
half a piece of dried squid
2 pieces of dried scallop (conpoy)
280g Minced fatty pork
1/4 tsp salt
a dash of pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Chinese cooking wine
a pinch of Chicken powder (optional)
5 tbsp water
- Rinse the dried squid and dried conpoy and soak it in cool water until it's soft. About 30-40 minutes.
- Remove the squid bone and eye. Chop the squid and scallop finely.
- Add chopped seafood into the pork and mix in all the seasoning.
- Check seasoning by cooking a little of the meat and tasting it.
- When you are happy with the seasoning, spread out the meat onto a plate and add in the water. (use the water from soaking the squid and scallop)
- Steam for about 5 minutes.
For a better understanding, check out the video for this recipe.