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Chairman Mao's Red-Braised Pork Belly (he ate this every day until he died aged 82)

Member Forum >> Food and Diet >> Chairman Mao's Red-Braised Pork Belly (he ate this every day until he died aged 82)


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Posted: 12/29/2012 6:16:14 PM

Chairman Mao's red braised pork belly

Serves 4

500g/1 lb 2 oz belly pork (skin optional)
2 tbsp groundnut oil
2 tbsp white sugar (you don't need this much sugar)
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine (you can substitute sherry)
20 g/3/4 oz fresh ginger, skin left on and sliced
1 star anise (optional but very nice)
2 dried red chillies
a small piece cassia bark or cinnamon stick
light soy sauce
salt and sugar (you don't need sugar)
a few lengths of spring onion greens

Plunge the belly pork into a pan of boiling water and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes until partially cooked. Remove, and when cool enough to handle, cut into bite-sized chunks. Heat the oil and sugar in a wok over a gentle flame until the sugar melts, then raise the heat and stir until the melted sugar turns a rich caramel brown. Add the pork and the Shaoxing wine. Add enough water to just cover the pork, along with the ginger, star anise, chillies and cassia. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 40–50 minutes. Towards the end of the cooking time, turn up the heat to reduce the sauce and season with soy sauce, salt and a little sugar to taste. Add the spring onion greens just before serving.

From 'Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook' by Fuchsia Dunlop (Ebury Press)

This is really, really good when it's cold outside.  I use less sugar for the browning.   The Chinese serve over rice, of course, but I serve over steamed cauliflower.

The Chinese believe that pork belly is good for the brain, and it makes women beautiful.