Sunday, 12 April 2015

Red Cooked Pork and Carrots - Hong Shao Rou (紅燒肉)

I had a small piece of pork belly in the freezer, nice, but it was really too small to roast. What to do?

How about Chinese style? Red cooked pork is delicious, the fat and skin turn into a soy sauce tinted soft jelly that works wonderfully well with rice. I cooked sushi rice as I wanted something much stickier than basmati - I didn't have any other rice that would be sticky, and it worked excellently. I followed (roughly) this recipe - more for the method than for the quantities.  The blanching of the pork I only did for 10 minutes as I had already cut the pork into cubes and I added star anise and a few slices of ginger to the blanching water.

The rest of the ingredients are as per the recipe, except that I increased (roughly doubled) the amount of dark and light soy sauce, and used dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine as I didn't have that in stock.  I also added carrots to increase the amount of veggies, (that was a suggestion in my Ken Lo Chinese cookery book) which worked really nicely.

A warning though - when they say that the pork spatters when you are caramelising it with the oil and sugar they are right. Wrap a tea-towel around your hand and tilt the pan away from you when you are stirring the pork, or you will have a blister on your hand like I do.. :(

I didn't take the sauce right down to a sticky coating as I wanted some gravy to go with the rice. I served it with the sticky rice and finely sliced spring greens stir fried with grated ginger,  finely chopped chili (just a little) and oyster sauce and scattered with sliced spring onions.

Delectable and one for the recipe file I think :)

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