Chan Kong Thye Black Vinegar

I had this craving for a bowl of good pig trotters in black vinegar for a long time. It is usually prepared for women who had just given birth, and therefore, rarely found in restaurants.

The dish itself is meant to help women to cleanse the body of blood clots and remove wind after giving birth. It is consider a very ‘heaty’ dish, and is meant to nourish the body back to perfect health. Due to the black vinegar used as the base and sesame oil added, the dish has a very nice smell to it.

I decided to try cooking it since it was difficult to find it in restaurants. Now since the black vinegar is used as the base, it is very important to get good quality black vinegar. The best black vinegar that I know of, is the Chan Kong Thye Black Vinegar.

Photo 29-12-11 12 25 46 PM

I remember many years ago, Chan Kong Thye had a shop in the old shophouses of Chinatown. Back then, they had huge earthen pots where they made the black vinegar, and soya sauces which are then bottled and sold in the shop. The smell coming from the shop was fabulous, at least to me. Now the problem is hunting for a bottle of this black rice vinegar.

Starting with Giant supermarket, I searched for it in vain, before going to, in the span of 3 days, a few NTUCs and Cold Storages. In the end, after googling for it on the web, I found this minimart selling it in Serangoon Central. I proceed to empty their stock of 4 bottles.

Looking at the address on the label of the black vinegar (incidentally, it is a very old label, as the telephone number listed does not begin with a ‘6’), I discovered that the factory is now at the following address:

Blk 15, Woodlands Loop, #03-33/34

I drove there and purchased a bottle of their finest dark soya sauce too. Only their dark soya sauce is not salty and comes with an exquisite taste.

Photo 29-12-11 3 04 48 PM

Looking at their factory, it seems like they have decided to distribute their products to restaurants, eateries etc instead. No wonder it took me 3 days to hunt for their black vinegar.

I then went back home and started cooking the dish, replacing the pig trotters with pork shoulders instead. After leaving it overnight, I finally sampled the result.

Photo 30-12-11 6 08 35 PM (HDR)

Was the taste worth it? I can only say, YES!

*The recipe for this dish is easily available on the Internet. One word of caution, always use an earthen pot to cook this dish, as the vinegar tends to ‘react’ with metal pots.