Sunday, November 13, 2016

Hunan Cuisine: Red-Braised Pork

Chairman Mao's Red-Braised Pork

Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook by Fuchsia Dunlop

1 lb pork belly (skin optional)
1 Tbsp peanut oil
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
3/4-inch piece fresh giner, skin left on and sliced
1 star anise
2 dried red chilies
a small piece of cassia bark or cinnamon stick
light soy sauce
a few pieces scallion greens

Blanch pork belly in boiling water for 3-4 minutes.  Remove.  Cool.  Cut into bite-size chunks.

Make a caramel with 2 Tbsp peanut oil and 2 Tbsp sugar.  Add cut pork belly.  Splash 1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine.

Add enough water to cover pork, along with ginger, star anise, chiles and cassia.  Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 40-50 minutes.

Toward the end of cooking time, turn up the heat to reduce the sauce.  Season with soy sauce, salt, and a little sugar to taste.  Add the scallion greens before serving.


With water chestnut-
Peel the water chestnuts and deep-fry until taking color.  Drain well.  Add to wok with some cooked red-braised pork, light soy sauce, sugar, ground white pepper, and dark soy sauce for color.  Reduce the sauce.

With garlic cloves-
Similar with water chestnut, replace with garlic cloves.

With deep-fried bean curd-
Add deep-fried bean curd puffs to the red-braised pork, adding stock and simmer until bean curd absorbs the meat flavor.  Finish as in the water chestnut version.

With bean curd skin-
Soak the brittle yellow bean curd skin rolls in cold water overnight, or in hot water for 30 minutes, then drain and cut on an angle into chunks.  Cook with prepared red-braised pork as above.

With "Tea-Tree" mushrooms-
Stir-fry the mushrooms, adding the pork.  Simmer. Proceed as above.

With preserved mustard greens-
Put the red-braised pork in a bowl, top with preserved mustard greens and steam for 20-30 minutes.

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