In early 2005, a fellow foodie and good friend Raymond Khoo got me to work with him on a Yellow Ribbon project. It was to start a chinese restaurant that was owned and run by a group of ex-drug offenders. Ray and I work at the Highpoint Halfway House at Geylang Road. The restaurant was Goshen Restaurant. But it has since closed shop due to financial problems. During my course of volunteer work there, I met Chef Benny Seteo and we became good friends overnight.
Chef Benny made Singapore proud to be the First asian to go to London and under study at Fifteen Foundation that is owned and run by famous TV Celebrity Jamie Oliver. Soon after his return from London, he open his first Italian restaurant called 18 Chefs.
In the years of knowing Chef Benny, we shared with each other, many skills in cooking and baking. I would teach him to make no bake cheesecake for his restaurant and he taught me to make this Chinese Cured ham. Whenever we meet, Chef Benny and I would talk of the good ole days and indulge in good food. And he was thankful that I stood by him all these years.
I introduced him to Dr Pauline D Loh who used to run the Bon Appetito on News Radio 938 and had his story told again over the radio waves.
And to Chef Benny, I often told him..that God walks with us all the time. In our daily walk, in our lives so that we can learn from it and be an inspiration to others like He did with us. So let us learn to walk with our friends not to lead them or be behind them. But to be by their side, be their friend in need and indeed.
And here is the Chinese cured ham recipe which Chef Benny Seteo selflessly shared with me...
Thanks Brother Benny..
Chinese Smoked Ham(Bacon)
Original Recipe by Chef Benny Seteo
Modified for Smoking by Gina Choong
1 pig leg(about 450g to 500g), deboned
1 tbsp szechuan Peppercorns
1 tbsp Sea Salt(coarse)
2 pcs dried Bay Leaves
Method to cure the ham
1. Get the butcher to debone the pig leg for you.
2. Wash and clean the pig leg.
3. Add all the curing liquids ingredients in a pot till salt is melted.
4. Roll up the pig leg and tied it together(tightly).
**I use rubberized Bandage to wrap and bind the meat** You can get this from the pharmacy
5. Use a large glass jar and put the bound up pork in it.
6. Pour the hot liquid into it.
7. Add more water till it covers the pork entirely.
8. Leave it aside to cure for at least 1 day.
Method to Roast the cured ham
1. Discard the curing liquid
2. Remove the strings that bound the ham.
3. Wash the ham under a running tap water.
4. Roast ham in preheated oven 240C for 15 mins or until skin is brown and burnt.
1/4 cup rice
3 tbsp szechuan peppercorns
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
Method to Smoke the cured ham
1. Line a wok with tin foil.
2. Place the smoking spice mix on the tin foil.
3. Put a wire rack on it.
4. Rest the ham on it.
5. Turn on the fire to medium and smoke it for 10 mins.
6. Leave it covered for a further 5 mins.
7. Remove and sliced.
Storage and usage
You can slice and store a container in the freezer.
If you are going to consume soon within 2 to 3 days, just put it in the
Smoked Bacon can be used in a wide variety of dishes. Can be served on its own : COLD like a Cold Dish Platter
Or added to soups to brew into a rich and flavourful Superior Soup.
Or added to other dishes and stir fry or cooked.
Or added to raw rice in the rice cooker to be cook