Loh Kai Yik

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Preparation info

  • Serves

    3–4

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Chinese Heritage Cooking

Chinese Heritage Cooking

By Christopher Tan and Amy Van

Published 2018

  • About

Literally translated as braised chicken wings, this very old and traditional dish was popularly sold by itinerant hawkers back in the 1950s and 1960s. Kept all day at a perpetual simmer, their vats of loh kai yik developed an inestimable depth of flavour. This recipe has been slightly adapted to suit modern taste preferences, but the traditional loh kai yik included pig skin (to give body to the gravy), pork offal (such as intestines and liver) and cuttlefish (joo her). Loh kai yik is best enjoyed with a bowl of freshly steamed white rice.

Ingredients

  • Kangkong (water spinach) 250 g (9 oz)
  • Fried bean curd puffs (tau pok) 8
  • Chopped garlic 3 Tbsp
  • Chopped ginger 1 Tbsp
  • Shallots 5, peeled and finely chopped
  • Cooking oil 3 Tbsp
  • Red fermented bean curd (nam yee) Tbsp, mashed
  • Liquid from jar of red fermented bean curd (nam yee) 1 Tbsp
  • Preserved soy bean paste (taucheo) 1 Tbsp, mashed
  • Brown sugar Tbsp
  • Hoisin sauce 2 Tbsp
  • Oyster sauce 1 Tbsp
  • Chicken legs 2, each cut into 3 or 4 pieces
  • Chicken wings 6, each cut into 3 parts
  • Pork belly 500 g (1 lb oz), cut into large chunks
  • Water 750 ml (24 fl oz / 3 cups)
  • Lightly toasted white sesame seeds 1 Tbsp

Method

  1. Wash and trim roots from kangkong. Blanch kangkong in boiling water for 45 seconds and drain well. Arrange stalks in pairs and tie the pairs in loose knots.
  2. Rinse fried bean curd puffs in warm water and pat dry. Cut each puff in half.
  3. Pound garlic, ginger and shallots together into a coarse paste.
  4. Set a wok over medium heat. When very hot, swirl in oil, then add pounded paste and fry, stirring constantly, for 2–3 minutes, until softened and fragrant and lightly browned. Do not rush this step.
  5. Add red fermented bean curd, its liquid, preserved soy bean paste and sugar. Cook for 1–2 minutes, stirring constantly, until paste cooks down and thickens slightly.
  6. Add hoisin and oyster sauces and mix well. Add chicken wings and legs and pork and stir well for 2 minutes to coat meat with aromatics.
  7. Add fried bean curd puffs and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer gently, covered, for 45–60 minutes, until meats are tender.
  8. Add kangkong and simmer for 10 minutes more. Dish out, garnish with lightly toasted white sesame seeds and serve hot with rice.