Let me show you how…

When I was young and even much later, it was easy to buy wild boar meat here. There was a stall selling that at the market but these days, it is semi-protected in the sense that the ethnic people can hunt it for their own sustenance and they can sell whatever extra there may be.

I never had a problem cooking the soup version and how it would turn out each time depended on the quality of the meat. My mum used to tell me that it must be very fat (best to buy during the fruit season when it had had a lot to eat) and the hair must be thick and black and long which would mean that it was old enough and would be more fragrant and taste a whole lot nicer.

However, somehow or other, I never managed to get the stewed soy-sauce version right and it did not taste as good as when my mum or my grandma or one of my aunties cooked it a long time ago. Perhaps it was those stainless steel pots, nothing like our old-time super-dented and not-very-nice-looking aluminum or whatever pots…or perhaps it was the gas cooker – the flame would be a lot stronger than the good ol’ kerosene stove that they used in the old days…or perhaps it was the quality of the soy sauce used – I remember they used the made-in-China one that had a lot of coins on the label…or maybe I was too lazy to get rid of the hair so I just sliced off the skin (and the fat) and threw that away. Imagine my delight when I cooked some the other day and was able to replicate what we used to have and enjoy in the family a long time ago. Finally, I got it right!!!

Well, it turned out that I was not the only one! My cousin in Kuching saw my photo on Facebook and she mentioned that she could never get it right either and asked how much water she should add. Water? Oh no, no water! You must not add any water! Come, come…let me show you how to do it!

First, you cut the meat into thick slabs and put it in the slow cooker…

Stewed wild boar 1

Turn the heat on to LOW and let it cook slowly until all the juices and the fat have come out of the meat…

Stewed wild boar 2

This should take an hour or two but if you want it to be nicer, just let it cook slowly for as long as you can.

Then you throw in a bulb or two of garlic – I put in one whole bulb and the other one, I separated the cloves…lots of soy sauce, enough to darken the meat…and say, around three tablespoons of sugar, enough to counter-balance the saltiness of the soy sauce, a handful of peppercorn…and a teaspoon of msg to enhance the taste…

Stewed wild boar 3

Mix everything well together with the meat and turn the heat up to HIGH. Let it continue to cook for as long as you like – the longer you cook, the nicer…and the meat will be much more tender.

There you have it – my version of the stewed wild boar meat in soy sauce…

Stewed wild boar 4

…the way I remember it to be and love so much – so fragrant, so juicy, so tender, so absolutely delicious…

Stewed wild boar

See! No water added!