I’ve blogged about red-braised pork before, but as it is a dish I cook regularly I am always looking for tweaks and variations. This is based upon Fuchsia Dunlop’s recipe in her wonderful book, Every Grain Of Rice, but I have added in some dried red chillies for heat and increased the amount of dark soy sauce. I have also added in some carrot chunks and some tinned Chinese mushrooms, and a drained tin of whole water chestnuts for some crunch.
2 tablespoons of neutral cooking oil, I like groundnut oil
500ml of water
1 tablespoon of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
500 g pork belly, cut into cubes, skin on
1 drained tin of Chinese mushrooms
1 drained tin of water chestnuts
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
4-5 slices of fresh ginger, skin on
a couple of spring onions, green and white parts separate
2 tablespoons of Shaoxing rice wine
1 whole star anise
a piece of cinnamon stick or cassia bark (I use cassia bark)
3-4 dried red chillies
2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
Pour the oil into a casserole with a lid on a high heat. Chop the white parts of the spring onions into chunks and fry with the ginger until you can smell the aroma. Add the pork and stir-fry for a few more minutes. Add the Shaoxing wine, then the water, sugar, 1 tsp of salt, star anise, chillies, cinnamon stick and soy sauce.
Stir well to mix together, bring to the boil, then cover, lower the heat and leave it to simmer for at least an hour, until the pork is tender. Add the carrots, mushrooms and water chestnuts and carry on cooking for another 30-45 minutes.
If the sauce seems thin, thicken it with some potato flour paste.
Serve with steamed white rice, I think that Thai jasmine rice is best and garnish it with the chopped green parts of the spring onions.
So, this is slightly different from the original recipe, but I think that it is a variation that works pretty well.