Wait for the tempting aroma to bring back memories of the delectable stew boiling in your stovetop oven!
In China, pork is much more than just “the other white meat.” Pork is a delicacy.
Many of China’s best-known pork dishes can be found in Cantonese cuisine, such as the smoky BBQ Pork and the crispy Crispy Pork Belly, as well as numerous pork dishes in between.
No matter what type of meat is specified in the Chinese character for meat, pork will always be interpreted as the meat of choice.
During one of my trips to China, I had the opportunity to try the delicate and delectable Braised Pork Belly, Dongpo Pork in Chinese cuisine.
For example, Beggar’s Chicken and Goubuli Baozi both have an intriguing history behind their names.
One of Hangzhou’s most famous dishes, Dongpo pork, may be traced back to Su Shi, a scholar and court official of the Song Dynasty who is known today for his mastery of Chinese literature and poetry.
For a period, Su Dongpo was exiled to Huangzhou after being demoted for publicly denouncing Emperor Qin Shi Huang.
He once forgot about the Red-Cooked Pork Belly braising on his stove because he was too busy playing Chinese chess with an old friend.
The aroma of the long-simmering braising in the kitchen brought back memories for him.Because of the way the pork was cooked, it was more tender and delicious than he imagined, and he couldn’t believe it.
And boom! Dongpo Pork was born.
After moving to Hangzhou and managing a reconstruction project on the West Lake, he prepared the same meal with pork cubes. He handed them to the workers as a token of appreciation.
The dish was a massive hit with everyone, and Dongpo Pork quickly became a signature dish in Hangzhou cuisine and a popular dish around the world from that point onward.
For Dongpo and Red-Cooked Pork, the main difference is that Dongpo pork is braised for a longer period of time than Red-Cooked pork, which caramelizes the sugars, infuses the cooking wine more deeply into the meat, and breaks down the fat further to achieve the “melt in your mouth” texture without any of the greasiness.
To put it another way, this dish is well worth the wait.
It’s also possible to “forget” to set your kitchen timer and wait for the delicious aroma to remind you of the delicious mixture boiling on your burner.
What if? What if you get a dish named in your honor? Hmmmm.
Each serving of this recipe has only 376 calories.
- Clay pot/stainless steel pot
- 400 g of pork belly
- 40 g of brown sugar/ 28 g of rock sugar
- 3 stalks of scallions (cut into 3-inches length)
- 3 ½ tablespoons of Shaoxing wine
- 2-3 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce/regular soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 1 inch of sliced ginger
- Extra sugar
- Boil a pot of water. Boil for 5 minutes with the belly pork. Remove the pork from the saucepan, rinse it, and wipe it dry using a towel. It’s best to slice the meat into 2 1/2-inch squares. As much as possible, prevent the meat from breaking apart when braising by tying it with food-safety cords.
- In a clay or stainless-steel saucepan over medium heat, add the oil, ginger, and scallions, and cook until fragrant. Ten minutes later, add the water and bring to a boil.
- Add light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and wine, as well as enough water to cover the pork belly. Bring to a boil over high heat. Pork slices, skin side down, and rock sugar are added and cooked for 5 minutes.
- Cook the pork for 30 minutes over medium-low heat until it’s tender. Continue braising the pork for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until it is tender enough to your taste. Adjust the flavorings, such as sugar, to your preference.
- Pork with Dongpo sauce can be served over steamed rice or in a bun with vegetables.
Add sugar and other ingredients to the sauce after serving the pork belly and bring it back to a boil to thicken it. If you wish to braise the entire slab of pork belly, no food safety string is necessary. As a result, trimming the pork belly is unnecessary.
The Dongpo Pork recipe can be made using ordinary Shaoxing Wine. Wine made from Shaoxing ‘Hua Tiao’ grapes will give the dish a more robust and full-bodied flavor.