This is the way my mom cook it, but not very presentable as pork and vegetables are mixed up, whereas in restaurant, it looks more presentable with pork are nicely sliced and not mixed up with the vegetables. I’ll give a remark at the end for making it more presentable, but take longer to cook.
- 600 grams pork belly
- 200-300 grams salty mei cai 梅菜 (you may increase if you like more)
- 5-8 clove garlic
- 3 table spoon dark soya sauce
- 6 table spoon light soya sauce
- 2 table spoon sugar
- 2 bowl water
- 3 table spoon cooking oil
- Soak the mei cai for at least 6 hours, rinsing and changing water every 2 hours. This is to get rid of the saltiness of the mei cai. You can take small portion to chew and taste to make sure it is not salty.
- Wash by rinsing the mei cai to get rid of all sand.
- Cut mei cai into 3 cm long strips, squeeze dry (put into palms and squeeze)
- Rinse the pork and drain dry, and cut into thick strips, about 2 cm wide, and the length is the thickness of the belly meat. Each piece will have the skin, fats, and the lean meat in layers (that is why another name for pork belly is 3-layer meat 三层肉). Another way of cutting is to slice the pork into slices of 1 cm thick, again with the 3 layers.
- Remove skin of garlic, and cut into small pieces.
- Heat up a wok, without oil and with low heat, and pan fry the mei cai until it is dry and slightly brown and can smell the fragrance of the mei chai. This might take some time so be patience.
- When done, set aside the mei cai in a plate or bowl. Add cooking oil in the wok. Add in garlic and fry till fragrance. Add in the pork and sauté. While stirring add in the light and dark soya sauces and sugar, and keep stirring it around, until the fragrance of slight burning soya sauces can be smelled. Add in the mei cai and stir to sauté. Lastly, pour in water, and cover and allow to simmer at low heat for 2 hours or until the pork is really soft (I prefer to cook till the fat is really soft and will almost melt in the mouth.)
- Remove from heat and serve hot.
As option for presentation, you may not cut the pork before cooking and cook it as a whole piece. When done, scope up the pork and slice it 1 cm thick, and lay nicely on the plate, then top up with the mei cai. However, you may take a bit more time in the simmering to soften the pork as it is a bigger piece.