Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cha Sio Rice

A classmate once 'declaimed' about the importance of being a vegetarian to the class. To her, maybe a vegetarian is like a hero who helps save the world from catastrophe. I was quite interested at that time but I think no one can stop me when it comes to eating MEAT. I'm truly a meat-lover! But I just don't know why I'm still a skinny girl no matter how much I eat. This is also why I can't be influenced by the theory that overstates the benefits of being a vegetarian, hahahaha...

In cooking Chinese food, which my mother commonly cooks, there is a wide range of meat processing methods. Pork is the favorite item used in Chinese cooking. It can be roasted, boiled, fried, and many more. There are indeed many delicious food made of pork, such as Cha Sio and Sio Bak

I used to think Cha Sio (a name derived from local Hokkian dialect, means fork-barbeque) and Sio Bak (also from Hokkian dialect, means roasted meat) were the same. Certainly they're completely different.

Sio Bak is made of brined pork belly. It is roasted till the rind/skin turns brown and crisp. Yummy! Absolutely a perfect 'companion' for rice! You can refer to this blog to know more about Sio Bak.

What about Cha Sio? Unlike Sio Bak, this Canton-originated cuisine uses pork loin to produce better texture of Cha Sio, even though pork belly is sometimes included. The color is reddish brown, tastes a little sweeter than Sio Bak but less crispier. Ooohh, I love both of them!

In order to make a fine Sio Bak, particular techniques and instrument are actually required. That's why famous Sio Bak is quite costly in Medan (around IDR 150.000 - 300.000/kg). Cha Sio making is quite easier. Luckily my mother knows how to make it.

All you need to do is to clean the pork loin and marinate it with soy sauce, sugar, arrack (Chinese liquor), and crushed salted soy beans (tauco) for 1 until 2 hours. Then just heat the pan/wok with a little vegetable oil and cook it with the pan/wok covered. Don't forget to open and turn the loin every two or three minutes until it is dry and done. Afterwards, slice it and serve with rice or buns!

Happy cooking! ^^

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