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Steamed Minced Pork

As interstate borders in Malaysia reopen and the travel ban is lifted, many are travelling back to their hometowns to visit their parents and families. Kitchens will be busier than usual as requests for mum’s (or dad’s) favourite dishes will surely be put forward. As children, one of the favourite things we used to love was this simple steamed minced pork dish. Accompanied with rice and some vegetables on the side, this was for us the meaning of comfort food that is simple, satisfying and just so good.

Pork is a staple in Chinese cuisine and my mum always seemed to have a piece of meat in the freezer. She never bought ground meat but would make it herself, armed only with steadfastness and her versatile cleaver. In her little kitchen, on a heavy round wooden chopping block, a piece of pork shoulder would be sliced, diced, then chopped. The texture is distinctly different from ready-ground meat that you buy from the butcher or the supermarket. I also like to make my own minced meat but I have to acknowledge that I depend on a motored gadget. Some butchers may prepare your ground meat on request, but making your own is not so difficult. A piece of not-so-lean meat like the pork shoulder will be ideal for this dish. Using a lean cut like the loin will give you a drier and more dense texture but it is totally acceptable if you opt for this.

There are many versions for this dish using different ingredients like preserved mustard, salted duck’s eggs or water chestnuts. This version is the simplest of all, calling for hardly anything that is not already in your pantry. Apart from the salted fish that is. Not everyone is wild about salted fish (I am) and it may not always be easy to find the right variety so I’ve used anchovies as a substitute as I always have that in my fridge.

This is best served with steamed rice, but equally good with simple plain noodles. I may not be able to travel yet, but this is what home tastes like.

Steamed Minced Pork

Incease the water to 1/2 cup if you’d like more broth to serve over the rice (as children, we almost preferred this flavoursome broth to the meat) but make sure you have a deep enough bowl. As the anchovies are already salty and there is a teaspoon of soya sauce, you need not add salt.


serves 6

Prep Time 10 to 15 mins/Cook Time 20 mins/Total Time 30 to 35 mins

  • 500 gms minced pork (from pork shoulder)

  • 4 to 5 anchovies in oil, drained and chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and grated

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tsp light soya sauce

  • 2 tsp sesame seed oil

  • 1/4 tsp ground while pepper

  • 1/4 cup water

  • Spring onions or coriander and fresh chilli to garnish


  1. Prepare your steaming appliance.

  2. Put minced pork in a bowl together with the chopped anchovies.

  3. Peel and grate a garlic into the meat.

  4. Add all the other ingredients, mix with a pair of chopticks or wooden spoon until you have an almost smooth paste.

  5. Spread the meat into a steaming bowl.

  6. Steam over high heat for 20 minutes.

  7. Remove from heat, let sit for 2 minutes. Some of the broth will be re-absorbed into the meat.

  8. Garnish with spring onions or coriander and finely sliced chilli.

  9. Serve hot.


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