Serving
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Pork Belly Red-Braised
China - Hunan

Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
3 main  
**
1 hr  
Yes

Said to be a favorite dish of the late Chairman Mao (it's "Red" cooked, after all). You can vary the richness by what part of the pig you use (see Note-1) but it shouldn't be too lean. This dish is is often eaten as is, but it's also often used as a basis and finished up with other ingredients



1
2
1-1/2
1
ar
------
3/4
1
2
1/2
------
1
1/2
2
#
T
T
T

---
in


in
---
T
t
Pork belly (1)
Oil
Sugar, white (2)  
Rice Wine
Water
-- Spicing
Ginger root
Star Anise
Chilis, dry (3)
Cassia (4)
---------
Soy Sauce
Salt
Scallions
Prep
  1. Cut PORK BELLY into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Bring plenty of water to a full boil, drop Pork Belly in and simmer for about 4 minutes. Drain and discard water.
  2. Cut Pork Belly crosswise about 1/2 inch wide with some skin at one end of each piece.
  3. Slice Scallions (greens only) thin for garnish.
Run
  1. In a sauté pan, sauce pan or wok, slowly heat Oil and Sugar until sugar melts, then turn up the heat a little and fry stirring until the sugar is caramelized a rich brown.
  2. Stir in the Pork Belly, then the Rice Wine. Add just enough water to cover the pork.
  3. Crush the GINGER lightly, leaving the skin on, then stir all Spicing items into the pot. Bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer covered for 40 to 50 minutes.
  4. Near the end of cooking uncover the pan and turn up the heat to reduce the sauce. Season with Soy Sauce and Salt.
  5. Take off the heat, stir in the Scallion Greens and serve hot with plenty of steamed long grain rice.
NOTES:
  1. Pork belly: also called "uncured bacon" is readily available in East and Southeast Asian markets, this should be "skin on" if possible. It may be sold as a slab or may be sliced but should not be sliced thinner than about 3/8 inch. For details see our Pork Belly page.
  2. Sugar:   I've cut this back from the original recipe which called for 2 T plus option for more. That's just too sweet for me. In home cooking many just use dark soy sauce instead of caramelized sugar - but you aren't escaping sugar if you do that - it's in the dark soy.
  3. Chili:   Dry red Thai chilis or Arbols will do fine. for details see our Chili Page.
  4. Cassia:   This is what is sold as "Cinnamon Sticks" in North America, so you already have it.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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