It was during my last year’s Shanghai trip when da real thang blew me away.
Before that, Dong Po Rou didn’t quite make an impression. In fact, i don’t remember eating any prior to the trip. Because i read so much about Shanghai’s Dong Po Rou, it was a die die must eat dish when we were there. The first time we had it was when the gf’s brother brought us to this fabulous restaurant at a rather hip area for a meal. I did most of the ordering (HEH!).. a few dishes were quite disastrous but gawwwwwddd, the Dong Po Rou totally kicked ass. Like totally, totally. Sweet, sticky, melt in your mouth… it was as though we were observing a moment of silence when we sank our teeth into the meat. It was so good! More on this for my travel post..
It has been a year since the trip — i so missed the girlfriends and all the fun we had! — and this post is dedicated specially to the girlfriends who were there with me through thick and thin. :)
Dong Po Rou 东坡肉 / Braised Pork Belly
500g pork belly
1 thumb of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 sprig of scallion, chopped into 3 cm lengths
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tbsp rock sugar or brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2.5 cups lukewarm water
2 cups boiling water
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/3 cup shaoxing hua tiao wine
1 tsp cornstarch
1. In a wok on medium heat, add peanut oil. Saute scallions, ginger and garlic for 2-3 mins until fragrant.
2. Add sugar and further saute until sugar starts to melt. Add soy sauce, dark soy and wine. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off heat and add lukewarm water. Set aside.
3. While sauce is coming to a boil, slice pork belly into rectangular portions about 2.5 inch x 4 inch pieces. Place pork belly pieces on a chopping board or a tray and scald them on all sides with boiling water.
4. Place the pork pieces skin side down in a pan large enough to fit all the pieces together and add the earlier sauce mixture.
5. Bring to boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat to a low simmer and braise the pork for 30 mins, covered.
6. After 30 minutes, flip the pork belly pieces over so the skin is shown on top and continue braising covered for a minimum of 3 hours, basting the skin occasionally.
7. When ready, remove pork belly pieces gently and set aside. Strain remaining sauce into a saucepan and bring to a low simmer.
8. Mix cornstarch with 50ml of water and gently pour it into the sauce. Stir well until sauce becomes a shiny, sticky glaze. Turn off heat.
9. To serve, gently place a piece of braised pork belly onto a plate and spoon over the sauce. Serve immediately with warm steamed rice or steamed buns. Enjoy!
this is how you should eat it – further thicken the gravy and dress it up pretty and shiny!
(adapted from here)
Note : i DOUBLED the recipe. I mean, since i’m already at it, might as well double it right? I cannot imagine braising this for 3 hours for 4-5 pieces of meat. Not worth it in my humble opinion but then, that’s just me. :P
So, how was the porky pork?
WE LOVED IT!
Though i didn’t manage to replicate the sticky sauce which i had in Shanghai, i’m not complaining. The pork was so so soft, and the fats.. of the fats, — no one should ever remove the fats when eating this. period. yeah, screw the cholesterol and whatnots — doesn’t need further elaboration i believe. Grin. This porky dish is insanely good and if you’ve guests who is pork belly crazy, be prepared for the WOW-ed guests. ;)
And yes, we polished off the entire 1kg of pork belly that night if you must know.