東坡肉 (read as dong po rou) is Chinese-style braised pork belly, and has been a family favourite since n-years ago.
|Photo credit to my dinner guest - Jonathan Liu|
I always had the impression that dong-po-rou is hard to prepare, but when cravings kicked in one day and I started looking up the recipe, I realized that it was pretty easy.
I've since cooked this thrice, and my brother sometimes still request for it. This recipe is a definite keeper! ;)
東坡肉 (Slowly Braised Pork Belly)
Recipe adapted from Almost Bourdain and modified by The Bakeanista
1 kg pork belly, skin on
150 g scallions (spring onions / green onions), cut into half
50-80 g ginger, skin peeled and sliced
500ml Shaoxing wine
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
100g rock sugar
1 cinnamon bark
1 star anise
2 dried mandarin peel
4 bay leaves
5 cloves of garlic, with skin on and cracked
6 dried chilies
1) Cut the pork belly into two equal sizes to fit the pot.
2) Put the pork belly in a pot of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. This step is to get rid of the impurities. Remove the pork belly and set aside.
3) Pour away the boiling water from the pot and line the base with scallions and sliced ginger.
4) Lay the pork belly (skin side down) on top of the ginger and scallion. Mix the wine, soy sauces (light and dark) together and pour in the pot together with the rock sugar. Add some water (about 250-500ml) to ensure 2/3 of the pork is submerged in the water.
6) Remove the pork belly and reserve the master stock. Steam the pork belly in a steamer on high heat for 30 minutes.
7) Serve pork belly with the master stock.
Oh, the fatty goodness! :P
DISCLAIMER: According to one of Australia's most influential chef - Neil Perry, 'master stock' is a sauce in which the ingredient is first cooked and allowed to cool down. This allows the flavour to start permeating the skin, but not to reach deep into the flesh; the result is a silky texture and meat with just a hint of flavour. In China, some master stock are generations old by virtue of the fact that the old base is boiled and added to the next use (sourced from Food Source).
NOTE: The master stock can be reused again in any instances you wish, but I personally would rather prefer to start again from scratch due to hygience purposes.