Red-Braised Pork(控肉) is a very famous street food in Taiwan. You can find it almost everywhere including street food stalls, lunchbox shops, restaurants and we even cook it at home. And it is not only for lunch or dinner, some people eat it at breakfast time or late night supper too. We like to eat it with sticky rice or Gua Bao (Taiwanese burger), and we like to add some pickled veg (cucumber, mooli ) or bamboo, they help to cut through the fat.
This recipe is from my mother, she used to cook it a lot for us and we really really love it. The dish is full of flavour and tastes sweet & salty, its so good you keep coming back for more . So I would like to share this recipe with you. It takes quite a bit of time to cook but it is very easy.
Which is the best pork part for this dish
The best part to cook for this dish is the ‘ham hind quarter’, it has a nice fat and meat distribution. With each bite you can taste nice meat flavour with a soft texture and a little bit chewy texture from the fat. Pork belly is also a good great choice too.
How to cook it and about the ingredients
This dish is mainly made from soy sauce, sugar and herbs (Star Anise, Cinnamon Stick…etc). The cooking time is to allow the flavours to be fully absorbed into the meat. Normally we cook for 1 to 2 hours, however you can cook it longer which would allow the meat go softer. This will also create a deeper, richer flavour. If you prefer your meat to be a little chewier, then just cook for around 1 hour. When we cook this dish we keep the skin on, but if you don’t like it you can cut it off.
I usually season the pork with Sweet Bean Paste for 2 hours before I start cooking. It can be difficult to find in England supermarkets however you may able to find it at the local Asian supermarket or Amazon.
When we cook this dish we like add boiled eggs to the pan too, when they cook together makes the dish really flavourful. I like to eat the egg with the rice, I always break the egg first, add more sauce and mix the egg yolk with the rice. You should try this, it is very delicious. In this recipe I added the eggs to the sauce for around 30 minutes, but if you want more flavour you can cook it much longer.
- 500 g Aged Pork Belly or normal Pork Belly Cut into 1.5cm slices
- 2 tbsp Sweet Bean Paste
- 2 Green Onions cut in half
- 2 Large Slices of Ginger
- 1 Star Anise
- 1 piece Cassia Bark / or Cinnamon Stick
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tbsp Rice Wine
- 4 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- 3 ½ cups Water (approx 850ml)
- 1 Red Chilli with seeds removed (optional)
- 4 Boiled Eggs (optional)
- Wash the pork belly then slice, try and get them about 1.5cm thick (too thin and they will lose shape when you cook). Put the slice into a food bag and add 2 Tbsp of Sweet Bean Paste, massage the paste in to the meat and leave to marinate for 2 hours.
- Add the meat to a pan along with the Cassia Bark, Star Anise, Green Onions, Ginger, Sugar and Chilli if you are using it. Also add in the Rice Wine and Soy Sauce. Next add the water, make sure it covers the meat completely.
- Turn on a hight heat and bring it to the boil. Next turn it into a low heat and remove the scum on the surface (if you want your boil egg to cook longer, add them now), put the lid on and simmer for around 30 minutes.
- Add the boiled eggs, replace the lid and allow it to simmer for another 30 to 90 minutes. (Depending how soft you want the meat)
- Enjoy your meal.