This is a popular dish you see at economical rice stalls. If you’re not familiar with ‘economical rice’, it is simply rice eaten with small portions of side dishes. You select 2-3 dishes to go with your rice and a meal of 1 meat and 2 vegetables typically cost $2.80 – $3.20. I guess they’re so named because it’s a cheap way to eat.
What’s your favourite combination at these ‘zhup cai png’ (literally translated as mixed vegetables rice) stalls? I almost always go for long beans with dried shrimps, brinjals and this sliced pork with garlic sprouts. And of course, must put curry gravy. I also like tomato egg, fried pork and fried meat balls. Super unhealthy sounding I know, but they’re da bomb. If I say ‘zhup cai png’ is luxury food, will you believe me? Yes, I indulge in one whole packet of zhup cai png with my favourite ingredients once in a while.
To tenderise the meat, I use a combination of baking soda and corn starch. The bouncy texture you get at Chinese restaurants or zi-char stalls is baking soda in action. You can skip this step, and I sometimes do, but lean meat is tough and it has an extremely low fat %. I don’t use baking soda if I’m cooking this dish with pork shoulder butt or pork collar shabu shabu. Be sure to rinse off all the baking soda before cooking to avoid a bitter aftertaste.
This dish isn’t life changing but so comforting. I could eat this every day!