Did you know?
Red-braised pork is a dish that in Hunan is inseparably bound up with the memory of Chairman Mao: many restaurants call it “The Mao Family’s red-braised pork.” Mao Zedong loved it, and insisted his Hunanese chefs cook it for him in Beijing!
Hong Shao Rou—Chinese style red braised pork belly. Hong Zhao or red-braising or red-cooking are methods of cooking meats or vegetables with soy sauce, sugar and sometimes other spices. It’s a powerful concoction, best eaten with plain steamed rice and simple stir-fried vegetables; the sweet, aromatic chunks of meat are irresistible. This recipe is from Jeno, a Chinese student from Monash University in Melbourne. “The savory-sweet combination just seduces your taste buds,”, she commented with excitement. “It is a part of my sweetest childhood memories–I learned it from my mum.”
Your Red-Braised Pork is Waiting
- 3 /4 lb. of lean pork belly (cut into 3/4-inch thick pieces)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar (rock sugar is preferred if you have it)
- 3 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 2 cups warm water
1/ Start by cutting your pork into pieces. Then bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch the pork for a couple minutes. This gets rid of impurities and starts the cooking process. Take the pork out of the pot and set aside.
2/ Over low heat, add oil and sugar to your wok. Melt the sugar slightly and add the pork. Raise the heat to medium and cook until the pork is lightly browned. Turn the heat back down to low and add cooking wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and warm water.
3/ Put the sugar* in another pot to stir fry until all the sugar melts and you can see large bubbles. Keep stirring in the process and add cooking wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce. Turn off the fire and add warm water to make the sauce*. Pour the caramelized sugar sauce into the pot. This is another way to cook the meat beautifully!
4/ Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until pork is fork tender. Every 5-10 minutes, stir to prevent burning and add more water if it gets too dry. Turn up the fire to thicken the sauce.
5/ Here we are! Garnish some chopped green onion and serve hot!
- If you are using brown sugar it is perfect for an amazing caramelized color.
- Be careful when you pour hot water on the sugar sauce, but you need to pour all the water at once, quickly without hesitation.
- It’s imperative to the color and flavor of this dish that you have both kinds of soy sauce! Just head to your local Asian market, buy a bottle of each, and it will last you a year!