Monday, July 25, 2005

Harm Ha Pork with Kabocha Ong Choy

Another emergency request from a pregnant woman (my sister-in-law Cathy) for Harm Ha Pork with Kabocha Pumpkin and Ong Choy. Cathy spoke to my wife early this morning so I got an unexpected call at work. I laughed out loud! But my wife Au was serious. So earlier this evening my brother-in-law Les brought over the groceries for the dish. He bought boneless pork butt, ong choy, and a nice sized kabocha pumpkin.

I started prepping the dish right after he left by cutting the pork, cutting the onions, and mincing the garlic. The whole dish took under an hour to cook. Then I called Les and dropped off the dish at their house. Ading Cathy hasn't been eating well, so a craving from a buntis=hapai=pregnant woman is a priority to fill ASAP. :)

Harm Ha Pork with Kabocha Ong Choy


4 lbs boneless pork butt
8 cloves garlic, crushed and minced fine
1 round onion, cut in half and sliced
1 whole tomato, cut into wedges
1 bunch ong choy, cut in 2 inch sections
1 3-4 1lb kabocha pumpkin, cut into 2x2 inch chunks
3-4 Tbsp Harm Ha sauce (fine shrimp sauce)
2-4 Tbsp Canola oil
2 bay leaves, ripped in half
Dash fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Dash MSG to taste (optional)


Cut pork into 1 inch thin strips with a combination of fat and meat.Heat wok and add oil. Add cut pork and stir fry on high heat. Don't let the meat stick. Add bay leaves, garlic, and onions. Crack some fresh black pepper. Continue to brown until meat is dry and onions are translucent. You may fry it till its a bit crispy but be careful not to burn the meat and keep it moving in the wok.
While meat is cooking, cut kabocha up into pieces. Remove any hard outer skin or stems. You may remove the all skin but you'll be losing all the vitamins and we wouldn't want that. Plus if you peel the skin off, the kabocha will melt and fall apart during the cooking process and it'll turn into mush. Rinse and set aside.

Cut ong choy into pieces and set aside. Cut tomato into pieces and set aside.
Add kabocha, tomatoes and ong choy to wok. Stir a bit and cover to steam. Add Harm Ha sauce and about 1/4 cup of water to wok.
Simmer ingredients and "shake" or "toss" wok so kabocha doesn't get smashed from stirring. Continue to cover and simmer till kabocha is fork tender.
Do not overcook or it'll turn into pumpkin meat pie filling! Add more pepper and optional MSG to taste. If not salty enough you may add a few Tbsps of patis or more Harm Ha.

Serve with cold or hot steamed rice.

This recipe should serve 6-8.

FYI, if you added more vegetables to this dish such as eggplant, ampalaya, long beans, okra, wing beans etc. then it would be called Pinakbet.


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