Hard core Chinese this one.
I was lucky enough to spend a few months working in KL a few years ago - and I persuaded the guys in the office there to show me some of the real Malaysian food. One evening I will never forget was a drive across KL to a small grotty roadside stall that was apparently the best Bak Kut Teh in Malaysia. Bak Kut Teh can be roughly translated as 'Pork Bone Tea', and the guys were justifiably proud. I remember it being quite a dish - fragrant and full of shall we say interesting bits of pig.
I left KL with a small bag of the BKT spices as a parting gift, but sadly I had never gotten round to using them...until I found myself on baby sitting duty and well - it seemed only right. As I was as work that day, I made a trip to China Town and bought myself another packet of the spices, as I was not sure the ones I was given several years earlier would still be up to the job.
Also bought some Morning Glory! Chuckle.
The China town spice mix...Normally I'm not one for a pre-mix - but take a look around the internet for some of the numerous things that could go into Bak Kut Teh....I was not going to source that lot
Before the 2 hour simmer. I used both the mix and also the whole herbs I got from my colleagues in KL. Absolutely no idea what I was putting into the dish (the ginger like stuff at the top)
As I mentioned - I also bought some Morning Glory. Turns out it's a sort of hollow Chinese spinach. I found a recipe to cook it with preserved tofu....and as Lou was out that made sense. However, sadly the jar of preserved tofu I'd had knocking around for a few years has gone mouldy when I opened it....so has to resort to Oyster Sauce, Not such a problem!
After cooking. Note the whole head of garlic and the shitake mushrooms
The finished dish. It was superb. A great broth....fantastic deep flavours - almost herby - definitely Chinese. The pork was literally melt in the mouth. And it tasted even better the day after!