When we went to Queenstown on holiday in January a number of blog followers told me we had to go to Josh Emmett’s Madam Woo. We listened. Unfortunately, we didn’t have Hawker Rolls and I got told off. Apparently, these are “the schizz”.
Back up the bus. What’s a hawker roll? Malaysian street food, in the form of a deliciously decadent fried roti filled with the freshest, tastiest meats, veggies and sauces. Think humble wrap, or a burrito, on steriods, that’s what a hawker roll is.
So, as I can follow rules sometimes, we went back the next day and had Hawker Rolls for lunch. I died and went to culinary heaven. Yes, I wholeheartedly concur, these were ‘The Schizz’.
On our return home, with me still happily reminiscing my first Hawker Roll mouthful, I played around in the kitchen. Eventually, thanks in part to my Aussie friend Tam who sent me this amazeballs pulled pork recipe (which I slightly adapted), I came up with this tasty dish: Pulled Pork Hawker Rolls. The last three dinners I’ve cooked for friends has been this: It is both a showstopper and crowd pleaser!
Now, I know the recipe might look complicated, but it’s not: It’s one of those ‘whack it in the slow cooker and forget about it for a while’ type dishes. In fact, when I made this on Sunday, I got everything prepped, popped it in the slow cooker and sent Hubby a text asking him to turn it on at 12 noon. Off I went to the beach, returning four hours later to delicious cooking smells wafting through my house. This is my kind of dinner party dish.
Roti – in case you haven’t spotted them, can be found, frozen, in the freezer section at your local Asian grocery. I buy them in packs of 20, which cost $15 (from memory). Cooking them is straightforward: Dry fry them on a high heat until golden brown on both sides. Load up with toppings. That’s it.
Side note, it’s not great first date fodder: Prepared to get messy.
1/2 cup of kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup of brown sugar
3 star anise
2 stalks fresh lemon grass, beaten and bruised
2 thumbs of ginger, roughly chopped
5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
Dried Chilli Flakes to taste (I use about 1/4 tsp)
2 onions, cut into chunks
1 tbs of toasted sesame seeds
For the toppings (make it your own! Get creative)
Sliced spring onions
Toasted Sesame seeds
Sauce: Sweet Thai Chilli Sauce or kecap manis
Chop the onions, place on the bottom of a slow cooker. Note, you can do this dish in the oven - you'll need a good casserole dish with a lid.
Pop the meat on top of the onions.
In a bowl whisk together the kecap manis, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar and oil, garlic, ginger, chilli, lemongrass. Pour over the meat. Add the star anise.
Give everything a good stir, pop the lid on, turn the cooker on to high and don’t even think about it for at least two hours.
After two hours, lift the lid, turn the meat over and baste with the sauce whenever you think of it - but don’t be too precious!
After another 2-3 hours (exact cooking time will depend on the size of the joint) remove the meat from the cooker and cover with foil to keep warm. If there's a lot of fat on the pork - discard.
Strain the liquid from the slow cooker into a jug/large bowl (e.g. through a sieve).
Remove the star anise (throw it away). Place to one side HALF the quantity of the sauce and, placing the remaining half back in the slow cooker - along with the onion.
Blitz the sauce in the slow cooker with a hand held blender: The onion adds a lot of flavour to this delicious Asian sauce. Taste it: Need more kecap manis? Seasoning? Adjust as needed.
Whack the heat up on the slow cooker and bring the sauce to a simmer for about 20 minutes. The sauce will reduce and go sticky and syrupy. If there is a lot of fat in the liquid and this bothers you, you can place the strained liquid in a jug and pop it in the freezer for 30 minutes. The fat will solidify and lift out really easily.
While the sauce is simmering, shred the pork with two forks (or better still, get some of those cheap as chips BBQ meat claws from the supermarket!).
Place meat on a plate and cover with tin foil.
When the sauce is ready, add the pork, stir through. Note: At this point, if you want more sauce - blitz the other half of the sauce you had to one side and add what you need to the pork.
Prep the roti and fillings
Decide on your fillings - and prep these (dry fry in a hot frying pan until golden - so easy!).
Cook roti breads as per the back of the packet.
Add pulled pork to the centre of the roti bread and pile up with your favourite toppings.
Toppings that we like: Coleslaw, sliced spring onions, diced cucumber, fried garlic, sliced fresh chilli (or dried chilli flakes).
Add a sauce at the end: Sweet chilli sauce is great, as is a drizzle of kecap manis.
Lastly, finish with a drizzle of kewpie mayonnaise (this is a delicious Japanese mayonnaise that's readily available in the International section of your supermarket - Google it - and seek it out - it's worth it!). You could also use aioli or regular mayonnaise... But Kewpie is... special.