Pulled Pork Hawker Rolls: My new favourite food.
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.
Pulled Pork Hawker Rolls
For the pulled pork
- 2kg rolled pork (or shoulder pork)
- 1 tbs of flavourless oil (e.g. rice bran)
- 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
- Diced cucumber
- Diced capsicum
- Fried garlic
- Toasted Sesame seeds
- Sauce: Sweet Thai Chilli Sauce or kecap manis
- Kewpie Mayonnaise
- 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.