Red stewed pork (hong shao rou)

Alicia writes: This is a very easy recipe, peasant food, and was the favourite dish of Chairman Mao.  My grandmother used to cook me a version of this when I was small, we used to call it “fatty pork”.

 

 

 

350g pork belly
1.5 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
30g piece or about 1 tbsp size ginger, sliced into 4
3 tbsp dark soy sauce (it MUST be dark not light)
1/2 tbsp rice wine
2 large or 4 small spring onions, roughly chopped

Try to pick pork belly that hasn’t got too thick a layer of fat.  Don’t remove the rind – this is a crucial part of the juicyness of the dish. Cube the pork into 1.5 inch chunks.

In a wok, heat oil till hot, add sugar and caramelise till reddish brown. Add the pork and stir and fry till well coated in the caramel.

Add all other ingredients and enough water to barely cover the pork, simmer till the rind is tender and can be pierced easily with a chopstick (1.5–2 hours).

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