Sunday, 17 March 2019

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Easy Healthy Chinese Braised Pork (红烧肉 Hong Shao Rou)


Ingredients:
1. 1 kg pork neck chops (nakkekoteletter)
2. 8 clove garlic minced
3. 1 inch ginger sliced into thin strips
4. 1 stalk spring onions diced (optional)
5. 1/2 cup Shaoxing rice wine
6. 6 TBS light soy sauce
7. 4 TBS dark soy sauce
8. 1-2 cinnamon sticks
9. 1-2 cloves
10. 1-2 star anise
11. 1-2 dried bay leaves (optional)
12. 1 tsp five spice powder (optional)
13. 2 TBS cooking oil
14. 1 cup boiling water

Directions:
1. Heat wok with cooking oil and fry garlic, ginger and spring onions until fragrant.
2. Add the spices (except powder) and fry until fragrant.
3. Add pork and fry until golden brown on the outside.
4. Add shaoxing rice wine, light soy sauce and dark soy sauce.
5. Add five spice powder stir and mix well.
6. Transfer to a pot and add 1 cup boiling water.
7. Simmer until low heat (no. 2.5 on my stove) for 45-60 minutes.
8. Skim off the layer of fat floating on the surface.
9. If it is still very watery, turn up to high heat to evaporate the liquid, until it reaches the consistency of a sauce. This will take a few minutes.
10. Serve with rice, hard-boiled egg and vegetables.

Additional Information:

This is a simpler version of the Chinese Braised Pork (红烧肉), which in my opinion tastes as good.

If you wish to braise some hard-boiled eggs, you can add it to the simmering, after you have boiled the eggs separately and remove the shell. This is a healthier recipe version that replaces pork belly with pork neck chops, which is the leaner type of meat, but still contains a marble of fat, which gives a similar result of a tender meat. This recipe also eliminates the use of sugar. It is actually not necessary, as it is tasty on its own. However, if you prefer to add sugar, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar while frying the meat. This is also a simpler and quicker recipe, that in my opinion, does not compromise the taste. I couldn't really taste the different.

References:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTCyaP_7cjQ
https://thewoksoflife.com/2014/04/shanghai-style-braised-pork-belly/
https://thewoksoflife.com/2018/04/red-braised-pork-belly-mao/
https://redhousespice.com/red-cooked-pork-belly/

 Pork belly are extremely fat and unhealthy, but Chinese like it for its fat and belly-like texture that melt in your mouth. I prefer to use pork neck chops instead, as it is a leaner meat, but still retains some fat, so that the end result will still be very tender, without the same amount of fat in every bite.

Cut the pork neck chops into square pieces

 Here are the ingredients clockwise from left: Shaoxing rice wine, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, pork neck chops cut into squares, bay leave, cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, ginger, spring onions and garlic

 Heat wok and add 2 TBS cooking oil.

 Fry garlic until golden and fragrant.

 Add ginger and spring onions and fry until fragrant.


 Add in the spices - 2 bay leaves, 2 cloves, 2 star anise and 2 cinnamon sticks and fry until fragrant.

 Add 1 kg pork meat...

 and fry until golden brown.

 Add 1/2 cup of Shaoxing rice wine.

 Add 6 TBS of light soy sauce.

  Add 4 TBS of dark soy sauce.

 Stir and mix well.

 Add 1 tsp of 5 spice powder, stir and mix well.

 Transfer to a pot or cray pot.

 Simmer under low fire (no. 2.5 on my stove) for 30-45 minutes.

 In the meantime, make some hard-boiled eggs to braise in the sauce.

 This is how it looks after 30 mins.

Add in the boiled eggs after peeling the shell and let it braised in the liquid.

 After 45 mins to an hour, when the meat is tender to your taste, skim off the layer of fat floating on the surface.


 This is the amount of fat collected.

 Remove excess liquid into a separate bowl along with the eggs and set aside.

 Turn up the heat and let the liquid boil off and evaporate into a sauce.

  


  

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