Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

An Extraordinary Oriental Dish


Chinese Dish: Dongpo Rou

dongpo-pork-01

Dongpo pork is a Huangzhou dish, which is made by pan-frying and then red cooking pork belly. The pork is cut to around 2 inches square in dimensions, consisting of half fat and half lean meat. The mouth feel is oily but not greasy.
Legend has it that while Su Dongpo was banished to Huangzhou, in a life of poverty, he made an improvement of the traditional process. He first braised the pork, added Chinese fermented wine and made red-braised pork, and then slowly stewed it on a low heat. This dish was first launched in Huangzhou, then spread to Hangzhou, the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty, flourished, and then became one of Huangzhou's most famous dishes.
Dongpo pork is a famous Chinese dish, believed to be created some 900 years ago in Hangzhou by Chinese poet Su Dongpo.
There are a few ways to make Dongpo pork, as the original recipe of the Dongpo pork was probably not documented properly. The common traits of the dish are the aroma and the tenderness, where the fat of the meat would melt in your mouth without the greasiness.
There are a few ways to make Dongpo pork, as the original recipe of the Dongpo pork was probably not documented properly. The common traits of the dish are the aroma and the tenderness, where the fat of the meat would melt in your mouth without the greasiness.

dong po rou

1 lb. raw pork belly
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
¼ c. light soy sauce
¼ c. dark soy sauce
½ c. Chinese rice cooking wine
3 ½ oz. Chinese rock sugar
1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
8 spring onions, sliced
Slice the pork belly into 2-inch wide strips. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and stir in the pork slices; reduce heat to a simmer, and cook the meat for 10 minutes. Remove from the water, and blot dry with paper towels.
Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large wok, and brown the pork strips well on all sides. Pork will splatter - use a splatter shield for this step.
While pork is browning, mix together the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce; rice wine, rock sugar, ginger, and spring onions in a large soup pot or stockpot. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, and lay the pork strips into the liquid. Cover, and simmer until the meat is very tender, 1 ½ to 2 hours. Add water as needed to keep the liquid from going completely dry.
Chef’s notes: Chinese rock sugar is available at specialty and Asian grocery stores. If you can't find it, substitute brown sugar.
A dash of five-spice powder is delicious, but not traditional. I like to quickly stir-fry some vermicelli with some of the remaining liquid and serve the pork on top.

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