For the forthcoming Chinese New Year celebration, I’m sure many of you are brainstorming unique recipes to share with family and friends. Today I’d like to share some information about a traditional Chinese New Year’s dish called Fen Zheng Rou, which translates as Steamed Pork with Rice Powder.
You won’t find this on any restaurant menus. Even in China, it would not work. Also, it’s not something that’s typically served during family meals. Although this is a traditional dish, it is only eaten on holidays and special occasions like the Chinese New Year.
While I did use a piece of pork belly with less fat than usual, the fat is still essential for this recipe since it helps the taro and rice absorb flavor during steaming. Pork ribs are a better choice because they are leaner, but I’ve tried the dish with both kinds of meat, and it’s still excellent any way. Moreover, if you don’t like taro, you can substitute potatoes, pumpkin, or yams.
When I think of this creative dish, I think of the wisdom and innovation of Chinese culinary culture. I plan on making this steamed pork dish for our New Year’s Eve meal with the family. Compared to the other elaborate Chinese holiday dishes, this steamed pork belly is a breeze to make.
In addition, I hope that the New Year brings you all nothing but good health, joy, and success! We wish you a prosperous new year.
- 450g of pork belly
- 450g of taro or potato
- 1 piece of fermented bean curd (white or red)
- 1 finely of chopped scallion
- ½ cup of water
- 6 tablespoons of long grain rice
- 3 tablespoons of sweet rice
- 1 tablespoon of spicy bean sauce or regular bean sauce
- 1 teaspoon of five spice powder
- ½ teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of minced ginger
- 2 teaspoons of Shaoxing wine
- ¼ teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorns
- ¼ of a star anise
- 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce
- To begin, pork belly should be marinated. To prepare the pork belly, wash it and then dry it thoroughly with paper towels. Cut it into quarter-inch slices. Combine the sliced pork belly, minced ginger, spicy bean sauce, five spice powder, Shaoxing wine, fermented bean curd, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Put your hands to good use and mix the ingredients thoroughly. Marinate for an hour in the fridge, covered.
- Get the rice and seasonings ready while the meat marinates. Put the long grain rice, sweet rice, Sichuan peppercorns, and star anise in a clean, dry wok and cook them over low heat. To achieve a light brown hue, cook the rice for around 5 minutes. Turn off the heat after 5 minutes and allow the mixture to cool down.
- The next step is to coarsely crush the ingredients in a food processor, mortar, and pestle. Two or three quick pulses in the food processor should do the trick. We recommend not grinding the rice too finely.
- It’s also a good idea to make extra rice mixture and keep it in the fridge the next time you want to cook this dish. The rice mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for several months.
- What comes next is the actual preparation and cooking of the meal. Taro skin needs to be peeled, washed, and chopped into pieces that are nearly the same size as the pork belly.
- Coat the pork with the marinade and add the taro. Blend the ground rice combination with 1/2 cup water in a separate bowl until you have a thick paste. Next, mix the rice paste with the pork belly that has been marinated, the taro, and 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce.
- Put the ingredients in a bowl or casserole dish that can withstand high temperatures and will fit in a steamer. Make sure the dish is large enough, as the ground rice will expand when steamed. You don’t have to make the dish look as nice as mine did to enjoy it.
- Prepare your steamer by filling it with water (about 2 to 3 quarts’ worth). Cover the dish thoroughly with the lid and place it in the steamer. Start with high heat to bring the water to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and steam the pork and taro for 70–90 minutes.
- Check it at regular intervals to ensure water hasn’t completely burnt off in the steamer. Serve immediately with a garnish of sliced scallions.