Braised Yam/Taro With Pork Belly

Ready : 40 mins Generic : Braise Difficulty : Easy
[ Prep : 10 mins † Cooking : 20-30 mins † Excluding Marinating ] Printable Recipe

Yams/Taros are carbohydrate rich, staple tuber vegetables which are high in Calories, low in Fats and Protein, free from Gluten, high in dietary fiber and antioxidants. They are very popular in Chinese cuisine and is often used in making Chips, Fries, Croquettes, Desserts, Buns, cook with Rice, Steamed Cake and even Ice cream. Given all the goodies using Yam, it can also be easily cooked as a main dish. One such dish is the famous “Wu Tau Kow Yuk (Hakka Steamed Pork Belly With Yam) – 芋头扣肉” (click here for recipe). Another popular way is by slow-braising them with different kind of meat; such as Pork Ribs or Pork Belly into a Smooth and Creamy dish.

To The VianD, this braised Yam dish is closely associated with the Chinese Dumpling Dragon Boat Festival. This dish is almost as synonymous as the Dumplings themselves..😇. My late Mother (R.I.P) will always prepare this from the extra leftover marinated Pork-Belly (one of the key ingredient of making Dumpling) and has always been a treat to family’s youngs and olds. The intense flavor of the Pork Belly marinated with Five-spice powder (this is the unique X-factor spice); coupled with the Yam – create a distinctive aromatic delicious creamy Yam/Pork Belly dish. Here’s is The VianD attempt to re-create my Mom’s version of “Braised Yam/Taro With Pork Belly“.


 One medium size Yam/Taro.  There are quite a number of varieties out there (all with some differences in texture and flavor), The VainD prefer the local (Malaysia) elongated ones.  

 Scallion and Parsley.

 Pork Belly – really depend on how much Protein U want in the dish. U can also add some lean Pork if so fancy.

 Garlic and Shallot/Onion.


Salt, Sugar,  White Pepper and a dash of Sesame oil and Oyster Sauce. All to taste.

 Marinate – All of the above plus Five-spice Powder (Optional – Not too much, can be overpowering). All to taste.

** Note : Just a dash/pinch of everything, if U prefer a stronger intensity of an ingredient/spice flavor, simply add a little extra of that ingredient/spice – no rocket scientific measurement here. Always taste your Seasoning !!! The trick is NOT the exact measurement, the trick is “to taste the Seasoning” and get ur preference balance of flavors !!!


STEP 1 :

 Start by slicing the Pork to about 1-cm thick. Marinate with the Marinating Ingredients for at least a couple of hrs (longer means better flavors).
 With the Yam properly peeled, cut into cubes of about 1-inch.  If too small a cube, the Yam will disintegrate during the braising process and U’ll end-up with just starch..😄. Wat U are looking for is a plate of creamy Pork and soft Yam cube.

Note : Raw Yam/Taro is slightly toxic. When cutting the root, the white starch can cause skin irritation and itchiness to some. Therefore, just to be cautious – it is recommended to handle Yam/Taro wearing Gloves and never eat Yam/Taro raw...😄.

 Slice the Shallot. Mince the Garlic. Cut Scallion and Parsley to about 2-inches long.

STEP 2 :

 On low/medium heat, start by sauteing the sliced Shallot and minced Garlic till aromatic. Turn the heat to medium-high, add in the sliced Pork. Mix well and saute for a couple of minutes till Fat starts to render and aromatic.

STEP 3 :

Add the Yam cubes, again mix well and thoroughly, making sure everything is blended and aromatic.

STEP 4 :

 At this juncture, The VianD like to transfer everything to a some-kind of Ceramic-pot or even a Clay-pot. This is because this kind of pot retains heat much better and will do a better job in slow-braising.

 Add water to a level of just about covering the Yam (U can always add more as U go along). Crank up the heat and bring to boil, turn heat down to simmer and slow-braised for about 20-30 mins (depending on the size of Cube and heat). Stir occasionally to avoid the bottom from burning. With ur preference of consistency, add the Scallion and Parsley and all the Seasoning Ingredients. Mix well and ur pot of delicious aromatic creamy “Braised Yam/Taro With Pork Belly” is ready to be served hot.

Copyright © 2014 The VianD · All Rights Reserved

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