When i mentioned red cooked pork to many of my Singaporean or Malaysian friends (namely Darryl) they sometimes go into a bit of a frenzy, describing the gelatinous texture of the skin and fat as though it were a heavenly cloud.
Personally, prior to trying red cooked pork, pork belly and Asian cut pork ribs were a vastly different affair of love for me. My love was of the crisp crackling skin of the deep fried bbq pork ribs, or the crunchy goodness of Perry's caramelized pork. So when i ordered red cooked pork belly at David's in Prahran, i was shocked to see this almost black, shiny, quivering cube of... something... served to me.
After a lot of research i still don't know how they got that pork looking so very black. Nobody online seems to have achieved that level. But in this recipe, though the look may not be the same, the taste is there.
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 600gm pork ribs or 500gm pork belly, cut into large pieces (2 inches or so)
- 3tbsp dark soy
- 3tbsp light soy
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup shao xing rice wine
- 2 star anise
- 4 scallions, cut into 2 inch sticks
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 inches ginger, minced
- Steamed rice and bok choy to serve
In a saucepan, bring enough water to cover the pork pieces to the boil
Chuck in the pork and boil for 1 minute.
Strain the pork, saving the water in a bowl.
In the saucepan, bring 1tbsp of oil to medium heat.
Add the ginger and scallions and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly
Add the pork, soy, sugar, star anise, shao xing and enough of the saved water to cover the pork pieces.
Cover the saucepan and reduce to a low simmer.
Simmer for 4 hours or until the pork pieces are gelatinous.
Carefully remove the pork with a slotted spoon, trying to keep the pieces whole.
Skim the cooking stock to remove the fat, and reduce to a syrup.Serve the pork belly with rice and bok choy, and spoon the syrup on top of the pork pieces.