Speaking of 媽媽的菜 (mom’s food), one of the things I craved on my birthday was 豬腳麵線 (Pork Hock Noodles). My mom would make these for our birthdays – not every year but most years.
Why do we eat this for birthdays? Because you “kick” away bad luck.
My husband couldn’t understand this craving. It was one of those “this was what we ate during our childhood” type of cravings. He respected that I wanted to have some; however, he wasn’t a fan of eating just “bone and skin”.
It’s pretty easy to make and the sauce goes very well with noodles or rice.
It also doesn’t have to be *just* pork hock. You can put in tofu, kelp, and eggs.
What do you need?
Pork hock 豬腳 zhu1 jiao3 or 蹄膀 ti2 pang2 – I got two because hubby wasn’t going to have much
(This refers more to the hoof part.)
* You can get it at New City Supermarket in Kitchener
3 cloves of garlic
1 onion (you can also use green onion – about 3-4, cut into 1-inch pieces) cut into 8 pieces
4 slices of ginger
1/4 cup of soy sauce (more or less – depending on how big your pork hock is)
2 star anise
1 tsp sugar
a dash of red pepper flakes
1 tbsp rice wine
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp black vinegar
1 tbsp soy paste (醬油膏)
4 eggs – hard-boiled and de-shelled
Put the pork hock in a pot, cover with water. Boil the pork hock in water. Drain and dry the pork hock.
In a pot or wok (something deep enough), heat up sesame oil. Fry the onion, garlic, and ginger for a couple of minutes. Throw in the pork hock. Fry for a minute or two.
Add soy sauce, star anise, rice wine, black vinegar, sugar, soy paste, red pepper flakes, and enough water to cover the pork hock. Bring to boil. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer for two hours. Add more liquid if you find that the liquid is boiling off too much/fast.
I added the hard-boiled eggs an hour after it boiled. You can added them in earlier. It was a last minute addition for me.
Cook the noodles (麵線 = mian4 xian4 = noodle thread = thin noodles). I also cooked some bok choy to have with this meal. If you like soup noodles, you can dilute the sauce with water and serve with the noodle.
What is something that you traditionally have for your birthday?