Saturday, April 23, 2011
Dong Po Pork Belly
It is outrageously difficult to find a proper Dong Po Pork recipe on the internet. It seems that every website has a totally different recipe and a totally different picture. I must admit, it took me couple of tries before I can get the dish right. After about three tries, I've came up with a proper recipe. Chinese chefs always keep their recipes with chains and locks, so it's hard to find a proper recipe even in Asian countries.
A good Dong Po Pork recipe means the pork must be tender. The sauce must be sweet, savory and aromatic. The fat must melt in your mouth. And the color of the dish must be appealing. I could have left the pork belly overnight in the fridge to have the grease solidified and removed but I am very excited right now to post, so you will find that the pork belly in the picture is a bit on the greasy side.
Good news and bad news. The good news is that I'm sharing this recipe freely(as always) to everyone. The bad news is that the recipe may be troublesome to execute to some, as ingredients can be hard to get in western and European countries and the procedures may seem awfully annoying.
If you ever make this, drop me a comment or an email, I would love to know if you like it. Otherwise, I hope you are having a jolly good time indulging yourself in some food porn. Have a great Sunday. See you tomorrow, I'll be posting again!
500g pork belly
1 thumb of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 sprig of scallion, chopped into 3 cm lengths
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tbsp rock sugar or brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2.5 cups lukewarm water
2 cups boiling water
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/3 cup shaoxing hua tiao wine
1 tsp cornstarch
- In a wok on medium heat, add peanut oil. Saute scallions, ginger and garlic for 2-3 mins until fragrant.
- Add sugar and further saute until sugar starts to melt. Add soy sauce, dark soy and wine. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off heat and add lukewarm water. Set aside.
- While sauce is coming to a boil, slice pork belly into rectangular portions about 2.5 inch x 4 inch pieces. Place pork belly pieces on a chopping board or a tray and scald them on all sides with boiling water.
- Place the pork pieces skin side down in a pan large enough to fit all the pieces together and add the earlier sauce mixture.
- Bring to boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat to a low simmer and braise the pork for 30 mins, covered.
- After 30 mins, flip the pork belly pieces over so the skin is shown on top and continue braising covered for a minimum of 3 hours, basting the skin occasionally. (I braise for 4)
- When ready, remove pork belly pieces gently and set aside. Strain remaining sauce into a saucepan and bring to a low simmer.
(Optional) Up till this stage, you can cool the sauce and chill it overnight and have the grease solidify and removed before heating it up to a low simmer again on the next day. Do this if you want a cleaner finish.
- Mix cornstarch with 50ml of water and gently pour it into the sauce. Stir well until sauce becomes a shiny, sticky glaze. Turn off heat.
- To serve, gently place a piece of braised pork belly onto a plate and spoon over the sauce. Serve immediately with warm steamed rice or steamed buns. Enjoy!