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Red Cooked Pork Chinese Recipe

Chinese Food Recipes - Red Cooked Pork
Red-cooked Pork – Chairman Mao’s favourite dish

Red-cooked Pork – Hóngshāoròu – 红烧肉 as it’s known in Chinese, is not too difficult to make and very, very delicious.

It’s quite rich and fatty, so it goes down best with steamed rice and some nice green veg. It tastes sweet, and quite strongly of soy.

Basic ingredients are belly pork, soy sauce, sugar and oil. Ideally also star anise (about 5), sichuan peppercorn (5-10), a few slices of fresh ginger, and two or three spring onions or half a leek.

Chop belly pork into bitesize pieces having removed any skin.

Start off gently heating a few tbsps of oil in a pan with star anise, Sichuan peppercorn and fresh ginger. If you put too much ginger it’ll drown out the others. Leave it for as however long you have, a few hours wouldn’t hurt as long as you don’t burn the ginger.

Next fish the ginger, star anise and sichuan peppercorn out of the oil.

Add about 1 1/2 tbsp of sugar and the meat to the oil. As you cook the pork, the sugar will caramelise and become sticky – keep adding soy sauce to slow this process down and dye the meat a dark red/black.

Keep an eye on it, stirring continuously. If it starts getting too sticky or too black before the pork’s done, (the sugar’s caramelising), then add a tiny bit of water and/or lower the heat. At the end chuck in some spring onions or leeks as you fancy.

Eat. There are an infinite variety of different methods of cooking this dish – adding preboiled potatoes while it’s frying is a good idea if it’s too rich for you.

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