Last year, we visited Aunt Irene during the Lunar New Year and were lucky enough to savour one of the recipes that were passed down by Grand Aunt Soo.
Aunt Irene couldn’t name this year as she too didn’t know. She just observed how Grand Aunt Soo made this when she was young.
Anyway, as one of the ingredients is only available just before the Lunar New Year period, we were not able to learn from her straight away.
Thus this year, I went on to source for this fresh bamboo shoot. Went around three wet markets but with no success until Aunt Irene's friend said she spotted it in Kreta Ayer's wet market.
According to Aunt Irene, this is easily available in HongKong but for
, it is only sold
during this festive period. Singapore
We were lucky as out of so many vegetable stalls, most were already sold out except for one.
Aunt Irene asked for a specific type of garlic. She said this is more fragrant than the whole garlic.
The cuttlefish must not be thick. Thus needed to buy those really thin type.
The yellow bean paste that was only available in the wet market.
The pork belly must not be too fat or lean.
After processing, this is how the bamboo shoot looked like. Actually half of the weight went to wastage.
On hand, you need to have a really good pair of kitchen scissor as well as knife. The cuttlefish had to be cut to as fine as hair. The pork belly has to steam to the right texture and cut really tiny. The bamboo shoot has to be shred to the right dimension.
The process was long, meticulous and tedious.
Even with my youngest sister who came down to help, it took us 6 hours from start to the end.
The end result was really good. We enjoyed it tremendously and now we understood why the cuttlefish has to be hair like fine.
Will I cook this dish again, I might, it was really delicious. My fussy eating dad was having numerous servings.
To my reader, if you happened to know the name of this dish, I will be very much appreciated if you can let me know. In the meantime, I will just simply call this Aunt Irene's Lettuce Wrap.