Red Cooked Pork (Hong Shao Rou )
Pork belly goes with everything. The Chinese knew this long before the hipsters of the culinary world added it to every menu. The Chinese love the gelatinous chewy toothsomeness of this cut. Fat is my favorite part of the meat – its where all the flavor is stored! I never understood it when people cut the fat off their steaks, I always try to choose the steak or prime rib with the most fat possible This is one of my childhood home-cooked favorites! Its so easy to make at home, and easy to store in individual sized servings in the feature – taste just as delicious heated up. I like to add soft tofu into the dish at the last hour of simmering (not pictured) I used this recipe from RedCook.net
- 1 1/2 lb. pork belly meat cut into two inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 cloves of garlic peeled
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce (老抽)
- 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (紹興酒)
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- This first tip was LIFE-CHANGING for me — I sometimes didnt look forward to making this dish because the pork belly took so much power to cut and it is slimey in its consistency and squiggly. Wrap the pork belly in foil and freeze for about 15 minutes, just so it firms up — its quite easy to cut after that!
- Melt the sugar and the vegetable oil in a medium pot over medium high heat. Continue heating until the sugar is slightly brown. About 3 minutes.
- Put the cubed pork in the pot and brown it with the caramelized sugar. About 8 minutes.
- Put the garlic, star anise, dark soy sauce, rice wine and clear stock into the pot. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat. Cook for about 40 minutes. Stir the meat every 10 minutes to make sure the bottom of the pot does not get burnt.
- Remove the cover and turn the heat to medium high. Cook the meat for another 10 minutes until the sauce reduces to a smooth consistency.
- This dish, like most stew dishes, is better if left overnight and reheated the next day. But if you can’t wait then plate it in a shallow bowl and garnish with shredded scallion and sprigs of cilantro.