Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Red Cooked Pork

Served with steamed rice and pak choi, to cut through the richness of the fatty pork belly
Red cooking is what you would expect- the cooking process (a slow braise) imparts a red colour to your chosen meat. The flavour is rich, slightly sweet and deep. This is a variant of another recipe from Sunflower's blog- I have used other recipes, but this is my favourite. This time I made it, I did not use potatoes, which are used as a thickening agent as well as an extra comforting carb. I rather like drowning my rice in the thinner liquid, but you may feel differently- if so you can refer to Sunflowers instruction. I also cooked it for a lot longer than suggested, about 2 hours longer. For this reason, I use a casserole, and not a wok. The meat holds together, but barely, and the skin and fat from the pork belly is a soft, gelatinous treat.

You may need a trip to your local Chinatown for the fermented red beancurd and anything else, but nothing on the list of ingredients should be hard to find.

*Update 14/10/15*
This is still a fairly regular meal I make. I haven't changed anything I do cooking-wise, but I would like to recommend having some good chilli oil to hand when eating this.
I cooked this last night- here are some new photos:


2 tbsp oil
About 400g belly pork, cut into small chunks
1 rounded tbsp of red fermented beancurd, mashed
2 tbsp of the red pickling juice from the fermented beancurd
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 - 3 slices ginger
1 tsp five spice powder
3 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
2 star anise
1 tbsp light soy
1 tbsp dark soy or mushroom soy
3 tsp sugar
some ground pepper

Heat the oil to a high heat in a casserole, and stir fry the ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add the beancurd with some liquid from the jar, five spice and star anise, cook for a few seconds, then add the pork. Continue to stir fry for a few minutes, then add the wine, soy sauces and sugar, plus enough water to cover the pork. Bring the pan to the boil, and then reduce to a low heat.
Cook for about 2 hours on a very low simmer, until the meat is extremely soft.
Serve with rice.

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