Thursday, 30 March 2017

Chinese Braised Pork Belly 红烧卤肉

I was watching BBC and saw a Shanghainese chef serving this Chinese Braised Pork Belly 红烧卤肉 to an European guest. This reminded me that I had not cooked this Chinese classic for the longest time. Before I change my mind or procrastinate further, I decided to put this on my table the very next day! 

The Chinese Braised Pork Belly 红烧卤肉 is relatively easy to prepare. It is almost like a one-pot dish less the greens. It is definitely satisfying to go with steamed rice. We can surely forget about dieting when savouring this fulfilling dish!

Ingredients :
  • 500g pork belly (cleaned)
  • 4 hard boiled eggs (peeled)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 star anise 
  • 8 ginger slices (pressed)
  • 2 stalk spring onions (do not chop)(for cooking)
  • 6 garlic cloves (pressed)
  • 8 tbsp Chinese dark vinegar (ok to use balsamic vinegar if you do not have Chinese vinegar)
  • 5 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 pc rock sugar (about half fist size)(this will give the shine to the pork belly when cooked)
  • 4 tbsp dark soy sauce (or to taste)
  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce (or to taste)
  • 1/2 pc ikan bilis stock cube
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • water (volume subject to pot size)
  • chopped coriander & spring onions (for garnishing)

(tsp = teaspoon; tbsp = tablespoon) 

Method :
  1. Lightly season pork belly by rubbing a little salt on surface and skin. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Heat pot with cooking oil at medium heat. (Suggest to use a smaller sized claypot or cast iron pot. I used a 18 cm pot. Should you decide to use a larger pot, please adjust seasonings, rock sugar and taste accordingly as pork need to be totally submerged while braising. And if you have to add more water, you do not want to compromise on taste as well).
  3. Toss in cinnamon stick, star anise, ginger slices and big chunk spring onions and quick stir fry till aromatic.
  4. Add garlic later for quick stir fry.
  5. Fold in Pork and pan sear till all sides turn a little brownish.
  6. Mix all seasonings in a bowl and slowly pour into pot. Top up with water to totally submerge pork belly.
  7. Add rock sugar and ikan bills stock cube into pot.
  8. Ensure pork belly is totally submerged.
  9. Cover lid and allow to simmer till boiling point. 
  10. Open lid and taste test. Adjust seasonings and tastes accordingly.
  11. Turn to low heat.
  12. Braise for minimum 1 hour or till meat turns tender (mine took about 1.5 hour).
  13. Add hard boiled eggs into pot 20 minutes before turning off heat.
  14. Cut pork belly to thick slices and transfer to serving plate with sauce when satisfied with texture.
  15. Garnish with chopped spring onions before serve.

(scroll to bottom of page, click on "Print" or "PDF" icon for printer friendly recipe)



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