It is already the month of July through 2017. Where has the time gone???? We say stuff like this every year don’t we? Seems like for parents our year is scheduled more around exams and school activities for our kids and then you see that half a year has already gone. So of course, it is time to get back to blogging again, no matter how sporadic my postings may be.
The first time I saw this dish, I actually thought someone had slathered shellac all over the meat to make it look super-glossy. Mind you I was 8, I have never heard of caramelizing sugar and because my dad was in construction, I knew more about tools and home depot stuff than I do ingredients. As I got older, I still have no idea what makes this meat super-glossy, I thought it’s heck lot of oil to use on pork belly. So the magic of Pinterest once again exposes you to wonderful recipes and here I am trying out this dish for the first time which was surprisingly super-easy to make.
‘Hong’ in mandarin means ‘red’ whereas ‘shao’ means ‘hot’ and ‘rou’ is meat. So red-hot-meat. Sounds enticing doesn’t it? I really liked to eat this with mantaou or those Chinese steamed buns with shredded cucumber, but white plain rice will do the trick too.
Hong Shao Rou (Braised Pork Belly)
Recipe adapted from 'The Woks of Life'
- 800 gms of pork belly cut to 1 1/2 inch rectangle strips
- 200 gms rock sugar about 6 equal lumps
- 3 tablespoons of shaoxing wine
- 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
- 200 ml water
- 2 tablespoons oil
- White pepper
- Mantaou or steamed buns optional
- Shredded cucumber optional
- Water for blanching
- In a pot, boil some water. Blanch the pork belly pieces, take them out, strain and dry.
- In a wok, heat the oil in medium heat. Add the rock sugar.
- When they're half-way melted, add the blanched pork belly pieces and toss to brown them on both sides.
- Toss the pork in the melted sugar then pour in the shaoxing wine, light soy sauce and dark soy sauce. Toss together.
- Add the water.
- Add the white pepper and let it simmer for about 40 mins or more till the pork is tender.
- If it gets a little dry, add more liquid but slowly.
- When the pork is tender, let it continue to simmer till the water has reduced to a sticky consistency with the sugar caramelize over the pork.
- I like to cut the pork belly into smaller strips before eating. It is best to cut them big before cooking and then cut them into bite sized pieces later because they tend to shrink when cooking.
- Serve with rice or mantaou with other trimmings like the shredded cucumber or coriander.