In Singapore, new mothers still go through ‘confinement’. After the baby is born, the mother gets to be pampered for a whole month until the baby turns a month old.

During this time, we are not supposed to wash our hair, touch water, or bath. At the same time, we are supposed to nourish ourselves with food rich with ginger, sesame oil, wine and pepper.

This dish has always been my favorite. I like the sweetness and the gelatin. I was told that the vinegar helps to clear out impurities present in a woman after the baby is born, and also helps the womb get into shape. Was also told that the gelatin in the pork hock helps with the healing and make us look younger.

I don’t know if all of these are true, but I do know that my mood improves whenever I see my mother carry a claypot full of it to my house. It means I will get to enjoy it for weeks.  We don’t really throw out the gravy. We take out the meat and egg and eat them, then reboil the gravy.

When we want to eat again, we add vinegar, the meat and whatever ingredient and boil it again.  For a whole month. A woman only starts to take this dish after she stops menstruating after giving birth.  Remember that.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Black Glutinous Rice Vinegar
3 tablespoons Sesame Oil
2 tablespoon Black Sugar
1/2 cup Old Ginger (skin removed and smashed up)
1 Pork Hock chopped into 5 pieces
Any number of eggs

Method:

  1. Heat up a claypot and fry the sesame oil with the black sugar.
  2. Add the ginger and vinegar.  (this mixture can be stored, the older ladies in the family will make this a month before the expected date of delivery and keep it until the new mother is ready to consume)
  3. Heat up the mixture (2), add pork hock and boil until soft (1.5 hours).
  4. Hard boil the eggs (10 minutes)
  5. Add the peeled hard boiled eggs to the mixture.