Stew arrowroots with pork is a dish that we never miss on every second day of Chinese New Year. This dish brings back fond memories of two men I love dearly. One who cooked it very well the other loved to eat it.
|On the left: Eric, the last picture I took of him. On the right: Our last family photo with Mike|
The one who cooked it well is my late brother in law, Eric. The one who love to eat is my late hubby, Michael. Friends used to tease him that people eat to live but he lives to eat. I knew Eric when back in 1975 through a common friend. We used to go out in a group to parties and to see Mid-night movies. There were eleven of us in the group, five couples and Eric. After movies we will go to our favorite fry noodles store in China town for supper before we hit the sack. We met every weekend and did that for many years. Eric and I became best of pals. I remember he told me once that I am the only true friend he has and there is no way anything would break up our friendship. I knew my late husband, Michael through Eric. The brothers used to come by my house after they knocked off from work and we would eat and chat for hours. They were so humorous and whenever I was with them, I laughed till my jaws hurt and all my intestines in my stomach got knotted! Michael and I were buddies for many years before we started our love story. We got married five years after we met. Our marriage was short lived because he passed away suddenly due to a massive heart attack on a new year’s day in 1991. We hugged and kissed and wished each other a Happy New Year. Sadly, that was the last kiss we had! Although my time with Mike was short but it was sweet and the I felt most loved and he had always put me high on the pedestal! He had been the most wonderful, loving and caring husband. After Mike passed away, Eric has been there for me and helped me through difficult times.
Eric spent ten years more with us and he passed away the same way as his dear brother. He too had a heart attack two weeks after we celebrated the New Year in 2000. A phone call came from his wife’s brother one morning while I was in Bangkok with my hubby, Stitch on a business trip. He told me Eric has left us. Stitch cancelled all his business appointments with his clients immediately and we flew home that afternoon. It was the longest flight I ever had in my life! When I was in the plane on my way back, I had mixed feelings of anger, sadness and fear. I was angry that both men that I love so dearly were taken away from me. I feared to go through the pain of loosing people whom I love again. Fortunately, I have Stitch who is always very supportive. He not only love me and my family, he loves all the people I love. He also continuously assured me of his love for me with his action. He is my anchor! I prayed always that he will not be taken away from me.
When I was cooking this dish which Eric used to cook for us almost every Chinese New Year, the beautiful memories of those time the four of us, (him and his wife Jennifer, me and Michael) spent together played back in my mind. I am sad they are not with me now but it put a smile on my face remembering the fun time we had together. Although Michael has left me for twenty one years and Eric, eleven years now, I still feel their presence! This dish is for you both!
Stew arrowroots with pork
270 gm pork
270 gm arrowroots
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 ½ cup water
½ tsp sugar
Ingredients for Marinate:
1 cube (nam yu) fermented beancurd, meshed
1 cube bullion chicken stock
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp corn starch
Marinate pork in (A) for 10 mins. Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok and stir fry arrowroots till golden brown and scoop out and set aside. Add another tbsp oil in wok and sauté garlic and nam yu till fragrant. Add marinated pork and stir fry till they are whitish in color. Add arrowroots and mix well. Add 1 cup water and bring to boil. Add ½ tsp sugar and mix well. Add balance of ½ cup water and turn heat to medium and let simmer till gravy is thicken, arrowroots are soft and pork is cooked.