Good evening, dear friends 😀
Much have been heard about the goodness of garlic. The therapeutic qualities of garlic are nothing new. Sanskrit records reveal that garlic remedies were pressed into service in India 5,000 years ago, while Chinese medicine has recognised garlic’s powers for over 3,000 years. Even Louis Pasteur, who discovered penicillin, recognised the anti-bacterial powers of garlic back in 1858. And during World War One surgeons regularly used garlic juice to stop wounds turning septic.
Most of the modern research on garlic has concentrated on its ability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure as well as offering protection against strokes and heart disease. For example, when the Journal of the Royal College of Physicians reviewed data on cholesterol in 1993, it found that after just four weeks there was a 12 per cent reduction in cholesterol levels in the research groups that had taken garlic.
In the Chinese and Malaysian cuisine, garlic plays a very important role in flavouring and enhancing the various dishes. One very traditional Chinese recipe that has been handed down from the generations that makes use of lots of garlic is the Braised Pork With Soy Sauce & Garlic , also known among the Hokkien as “Tau Yew Bak” – a superb and full aromatic dish that will make you eat more and more rice with it once your appetite is whetted. 😆
For those that don’t take pork, you can use chicken thighs and drumsticks as well in this dish and the tantalising aroma and taste of this country dish are just as great! Most importantly, there are lots of garlic in it. 😀
Usually, I will cook a large portion of this dish and keep half for the next day’s dinner, as the flavours would have come together and the dish will taste even more heavenly! 😀 Before I post the recipe below, I have excerpted some information on the goodness of garlic from an article in The Age, Australia dated 16 October, 2007.
Health Benefits of Garlic Unravelled
Alternative medicine has been touting the health benefits of garlic for centuries, from its anti-bacterial and antifungal properties, to its positive effects on the cardiovascular system. Now US researchers say they have figured out precisely why the pungent clove makes such a valuable health tonic: it boosts the body’s own production of a compound that relaxes blood vessels, increases blood flow, and prevents blood clots and oxidative damage.
Much of the research into the pharmacological benefits of garlic has focused on the organic polysulphides that the clove is rich in – the best known of which is Allicin. But the new research suggests that Allicin and similar biologically active compounds are only a piece of the puzzle, and that it’s the chemical messenger that is produced when these compounds are metabolized that is important.
In laboratory tests, the researchers at the University of Alabama found that it was this chemical messenger – hydrogen sulphide (H2S) – which is essential at low levels for cellular signaling, that appears to relax blood vessels, enhancing blood flow.
The team conducted a series of experiments, first extracting juice from supermarket garlic and adding minute amounts to red blood cells. The cells immediately began emitting hydrogen sulphide.
Easy Yummy Braised Pork or Chicken With Soy Sauce & Garlic (Serves 6)
* 1 kg of pork, cut into 1-inch chunks (or chicken pieces, for a healthier version) (sometimes, I use pork spare ribs or pork belly)
* 3 whole bulbs of garlic, separated into pips (making about 50 pips)
* 1/2 cup soy sauce
* 1/4 cup thick black sauce
* 3 tbsps oyster sauce
* 1 or 2 tbsps of sugar
* 2 cups of water
* 6 hard-boiled eggs, shelled
* salt and pepper to taste
* cornstarch mixed with water to thicken sauce
1) Marinate pork or chicken with soy sauce, thick black sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. Set aside for at least 2 hours. Left in the fridge overnight is even better.
2) Heat up about 2 tbsps of oil in a pot or wok. Put the garlic pips in and stirfry for 2 minutes.
3) Pour the pork/chicken and marinade in, and keep stirring until the sauce comes to a boil. Lower heat to simmer for about 3 minutes or so, until the liquid is almost dried up and the meat is aromatic.
4) Add in 2 cups of water, bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer for about 40 minutes (or until meat is tender) stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Put in the hard boiled eggs halfway through the simmering time.
5) You may or may not need further salt to season this dish as it depends on the saltiness of the soy sauce….but check the taste to see.
6) Thicken gravy with a bit of cornstarch-water and serve hot with white rice, a dish of vegetables, and a soup.
** Note – the garlic pips would be very soft and very delicious to eat, and the garlicky taste has been mellowed. For those of you that don’t like to eat garlic whole this way, then you use the same amount of garlic but you just remove the skin and chop them finely….this dish would taste just as superb! I like to have this a bit sweeter, and I would put in 2 tbsps of sugar. 😉