Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fuschia Dunlop's Red Braised Pork with Fresh Water Chestnuts

I am currently reading Fuschia Dunlop's "Shark's Fin & Sichuan Pepper - A sweet-sour memoir of eating in China" and am enjoying it so much that I finally bit the bullet, went to my local wet market, bought a 2lb slab of pork belly (skin, hair & nipples still attached), the required ingredients and hurried home to make Chairman Mao's Red-Braised Pork.

Upon arriving home, I went through the recipe again but decided that I'd experiment with the spices. In addition to the star anise, red chillies and cassia bark used in Fuschia's recipe, I added 2 bay leaves, 2 pieces of sand ginger, 1 small piece of tangerine peel, 1 slice of dried licorice root, 1 clove and 3 white peppercorns. I also used brown slab sugar instead of white sugar with only a teaspoon of white sugar at the final stage of cooking and a drizzle of dark soy sauce for colour. My version of the red braised pork looks a lot drier compared to Fuschia's version so I would probably add a little bit more water next time to see if it makes any difference but from the Lin Heung Tea House demonstration this was pretty much how they cooked their pork cartilage so I followed suit.

The end result was absolutely amazing! If you haven't read Fuschia's book I highly recommend it. For a copy of Fuschia's recipe click on the title to this post.

Stay tuned for some photo's of the Central wet market in Hong Kong. Also, at some stage I'll visit Sham Shui Po or West Kowloon to try and pluck up the courage to try snake soup.

Update - I made this dish again using more water but was actually happier with the result first time round. Copyright © 2008 - 2009 All Rights Reserved

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