She does it best…

My missus cooked this dish of phak lor too kha or stewed pork leg…

Phak lor too kha

…that other day and yes, she does it best – nobody does it better…and yes, she got the meat from that shop round the corner that I blogged about the other day. They do have a lot of things there, no, not everything but a whole lot.

My mum’s pork leg was exactly like that too and my mother-in-law’s as well and there was this old couple running a restaurant in Kanowit when I was there, 1978-1982 – the wife’s stewed pork leg was the same too. I used to go there for my meals, RM60.00 for two meals a day and whenever she cooked this favourite dish of mine, she would serve me the too khai pui (pork leg rice) instead of the regular one meat and one veg plus rice that I would get every meal. They’re all gone now – they have all passed away and sadly, though there are some nice ones at some places in town, they are simply not quite there.

I don’t know how to cook it myself but I did catch some glimpses of my missus at work. Shudders!!! Anything that entails so much work is definitely not for me! LOL!!!

It seemed that she used a whole lot of garlic, some cloves unpeeled, some peeled and finely chopped. Hmmmm…at the price of garlic these days, I am not surprised if the people at the shops would scrimp on it. Besides, theirs tend to be somewhat diluted whereas my missus simmered hers for hours till the meat, skin, tendon and all became nice and soft and tender and the gravy got a bit thick and a little sticky.

But to be fair to those people going all out to make a bit of money, I have tried stewed pork leg cooked by other people but yes, theirs were nice too but no, I did not think I like theirs as much either. I suppose this goes across the board – my mum’s curry is better than your mum’s kind of thing.

Of course, while my missus was working on her stewed pork leg, I pounded some chilies and Bintulu belacan (dried prawn paste)…

Sambal belacan

…to eat the pork leg with. It sure would bring it to a whole level and if you have never tried, it does go very well with siew yoke…or even, boiled pork – just boil the whole chunk, no need for any ingredients, and slice and eat with the sambal. It is so very nice!

Well, since there was the sambal belacan and my missus had so much to do, there wasn’t any need to cook a vegetable dish. We just boiled some ladies’ fingers lightly and had that…


ulam-style and what is stewed pork leg without the stewed eggs…

Stewed egg

No, we did not forget those, not at all.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

10 thoughts on “She does it best…”

  1. I read this line: “the meat, skin, tendon and all became nice and soft and tender and the gravy got a bit thick and a little sticky” – and I could imagine how tasty this dish is. The sambal you prepared looks to be a dry sambal version. Usually the sambal dips that I have tried here have more liquid in them.

    Yes, the sambal was a bit dry. I did not want to add any more chilies and I could not find any calamansi lime in the fridge.

  2. never knew belacan could work well with pork leg but that does not bother me at all anyway

    Been eating it that way since God knows when…and in the 80’s, I recorded a documentary on Singapore on video tape and showed the students in my school – I taught Geography, other than English and I was surprised to see them showing people there eating siew yoke with sambal belacan. Gee, I thought, we were not the only ones!

    You don’t like belacan? Eeeee…so very nice. What about hay kor, prawn paste – it seems in Penang, people serve so many things with that. Or it’s the pork leg that you do not eat?

  3. Wish I were there to taste the pork leg. Yummy. Salivating.

    I never cook pork leg myself. Don’t know how to handle the leg. Haha.

    These days, just ask the butcher. I just bought a chicken yesterday – asked the seller to chop into pieces. Not so nicely chopped, but just close one eye lah! Such a hassle having to do it myself at home. Fish, I’ll also ask the fishmonger to clean – want to make fish balls, ask the guy to fillet, get rid of the bones, skin and all…and freshwater prawns, they will also devein for you.

  4. Same here, I also do not know how to cook this dish…

    Must learn! It’s our heritage, our tradition, our identity. When the day comes and nobody knows how to cook it the way it should be cooked, our priceless treasure will be lost forever.

  5. I love this stewed pork leg and of course the pak lor nerng is a must. I do cook it once a while and I notice your missus add mushroom to it too. I never knew it goes well with sambal belacan. Yes, love the ladies’ fingers to eat with.

    Yes, lots of dried shitake mushrooms but we do not eat a lot of those, usually most of them will get thrown away in the end. Maybe those people at the shops do not add them so that is one reason why theirs are not the same. They are very very expensive these days.

  6. That’s another dish that I like and your missus’ dish looks very good.

    Yes, it was good. I can’t exactly remember but I think the old lady at the Beach Road HDB flat where I was renting a room, 1973/4, also cooked it (for Chinese New Year) and hers was quite like this too.

  7. Ooohhhh….”too kah” is my favorite! And goodness, with sambal belacan it is to die for! Can your missus share her recipe?

    I dunno if she has one. Maybe next time she cooks, I’ll take snapshots of every step and blog about it.

  8. Oh, so your wife is a good cook too! Lucky household having two people who work well in the kitchen.

    She’s a good cook – she will be the one cooking all the special dishes for special occasions, not me. I only cook what is edible for ordinary days.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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