Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dongpo Pork 東坡肉 Dongpo Pork 東坡肉

I have to admit - I got the inspiration to make this dish because of an advertisement I heard on Yes 933FM on MERadio (an iphone application which allows me to listen to Singapore radio stations). I googled and this recipe from 'Eating China' seems to most authentic (in terms of number of steps and details), but it also put me off a bit because of the number of steps! I finally tried it, and I was happy with the results, but it is definitely not something you want to put on a busy schedule. How does it taste? Surprisingly like the Maling brand of canned braised pork, but of course better!

500g pork belly
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon tea leaves
2 stalks spring onions
4 cm of fresh, young ginger, peeled and sliced lengthways into matchstick widths
200g broccoli, cut into small florets Dongpo Pork 東坡肉

Sauce Ingredients
1 cup water
5 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
5 slices old ginger
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons yellow wine (e.g. Shaoxing wine)
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons sugar
For thickening the sauce (add towards the end): 1 teaspoon corn flour, 1 tablespoon water, stirred well before use Dongpo Pork 東坡肉
  1. You may want to tie the pork like a present with a piece of string as some recipes might advise you too, the reason being that when you blanch the pork, they will expand and might lose it's shape. I did not and went ahead to blanch the pork in a pot of boiling water. Discard the water.
  2. Put pork back in pot and cover with water again. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes. Dongpo Pork 東坡肉
  3. Heat a wok and add sauce ingredients. Mix well and bring to a boil. Add pork and cook each surface for a few minutes over a medium heat. Remove pork and drain well. Pour remaining sauce into a small saucepan and set aside. Dongpo Pork 東坡肉 Dongpo Pork 東坡肉
  4. Clean and drain wok. Heat vegetable oil to a medium heat. Fry pork on all sides until it is well browned, making sure skin side is a little crispy. Be careful that the oil might splash at this stage. Dongpo Pork 東坡肉
  5. Steep tea leaves in hot water for a couple of minutes, remove and set aside. Place pork in pot of water again–topping up water if necessary. Add tea leaves and simmer for 30 minutes. Dongpo Pork 東坡肉
  6. Place scallion stalks on bottom of a steamer. Transfer pork to steamer. Steam for 2 hours, turning pork after 1 hour. Replenish the water in the steamer during this period, topping up with hot water if necessary. Dongpo Pork 東坡肉
  7. Add broccoli to steamer for final 5 minutes of cooking time.
  8. Remove pork to a serving dish and arrange broccoli around it. Reheat sauce in saucepan, adding and stirring in thickener. Pour over pork and serve. Dongpo Pork 東坡肉

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