This slow braised dish has tender pieces of pork covered with a glistening moreish Chinese red braise sauce.
|1||kg||pork belly / shoulder|
|2||whole||shallots, 5cm lengths, whites only|
|2||tbs||light soy sauce|
|1/2||tbs||dark soy sauce (optional)|
|1||tsp||toasted sessame oil|
Either use 1 tsp of five spice powder or a selection of the following:
|1||leaf||dried bay leaf|
|1||whole||chinese black cardamom|
|1||whole||dried red chilli (optional)|
|1||whole||black licorice root (optional)|
|1/4||tsp||fennel seed (optional)|
Slice the pork into large chunks (2-3 cm). Expect a little shrinkage during cooking.
Blanch the pork in boiling water for 3 minutes to remove impurities. Drain and toss out the water.
Create a caramel in the pot by adding the sugar, water and oil and turning on to a high heat. Stir constantly. It should bubble vigorously. Once the right colour has been achieved stop the process by adding warm water to the caramel. Don’t use cold water, it could cause popping. Two to three cups of water should be added, depending on the amount of meat.
OPTIONAL: remove the caramel and use the pot to fry the meat for a few minutes to achieve browning.
Add the main ingrediants and bring to the boil.
Place a lid on the pot and simmer for about 40-50 minutes.
Remove the lid and boil off most of the liquid.
Season with salt and MSG.
Plate up. Toss on scallions and drizzle with sessame oil.
If you want to make the dish quickly you can skip using all the individual spices and replace with a decent amount of five spice.
You can skip making the caramel. Instead, add the optional dark soy sauce.