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Chinese Braised Pork

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Pork belly is getting very popular. This recipe is a take on Guang-do Lor Bak. Translation time: Lor bak is simply "braised pork." Guang-do is the capital of Szechuan. Let me hasten to add the dish is not at all spicy. Pure comfort.

Sometimes this is called "red cooked," because the particular sort of shaoxing (rice cooking wine) you're supposed to use is red. Don't panic, there are perfectly good, reasonably priced alternatives.


RED COOKED BRAISED PORK BELLY aka GUANG-DO LOR BAK
(Yield: 6 to 12 portions, feeds 4 to 8 as a main)


Ingredients:
1-1/2 to 2 pounds fresh, boneless pork belly, skin on if possible
2 to 3 inches of fresh ginger; i.e., one large or two small fingers
4 whole scallions
1/4 cup vegetable oil, preferably corn oil
2 cups chicken or roasted chicken stock
2 tbs dark soy sauce
1/4 cup shaoxing, medium-dry sherry (Amontillado), or dry Madeira
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 star anise

Technique:
Cut the pork belly in pieces small enough to fit in a pan. Cut the ginger into five or six pieces and crush them with the flat of a knife. Cut the scallions into four to six pieces each.

Fill a pan, pot, dutch oven, or preferably a clay pot with enough water to cover the pork (when it’s added). Put the pan on the stove, and bring the water to a boil. Add the pork. When the water comes back to the boil, reduce the heat to a fast/simmer low boil, and blanch the pork for about five minutes.

Remove the pork. Rinse it in clean water, and set it aside to dry.

Clean and dry the pan.

Cut the pork into cubes – about 2” per side.

Heat the pan over a medium-high flame, add the oil and bring it to temp. Return the pork to the pan and saute it.

When the pork starts to show some color, add all of the remaining ingredients. Bring the broth to a boil.

Either:

(1) Reduce the flame to low, partially cover the pan and allow to cook for two hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very, very tender and the stock reduced to deliciousness; or

(2) Remove the pan from the stove top, cover and place in the oven at 300F for two hours. After two hours, return the pan to the stove top. Remove the lid, and simmer until reduced – about thirty minutes more.


BDL


PS. As always, this recipe is original. You may share or repost it only on condition you credit me, Boar D. Laze. I would consider it an additional kindness if you would mention my enventually to be finished book, COOK FOOD GOOD: American Cooking and Technique for Beginners and Intermediates.
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post #2 of 15
Sounds very good. I think I would only use standard chicken stock because I feel a roasted chix stock may interfere with the complexities of the dish.

What would you serve with it?
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
If I were doing multiple Chinese dishes, I'd include a steamed or fried seafood, gai-lan with garlic, and glutinous fried rice with sausage; and maybe a few other things depending on how many guests, and how willing I was to overtax my limited Chinese cooking skills. It would make a perfectly fine lunch with egg or rice noodles, or even Taiwan style rice noodles.

If I were doing a Euro-fusion presentation (something I like to do), using the pork as a main, I'd start with sesame fried chicken wings, buffalo wings, gravlax, seared scallops, or ... ?; precede the main with a composed salad of several ingredients (avocado, shrimp, papaya perhaps); serve the braised pork with a few steamed green beans and appropriately herbed rice on the same plate; and finish with fruit and an appropriate ice cream, pannacotta or maybe a lemon tart -- something not too heavy with a clean hit of citrus would go very well after that pork, I think.

BDL
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post #4 of 15
This is a red marinade that when I worked in NY with the chinese wok chefs they would put together

Kikommin terriakii sauce\
hoi sen sauce
red food color
dryginger
fresh crushed garlic
sessamee oil
5 spice powder
sherry wine
sugar s&p
They would combine all this and marinate ribs, cubed pork or pork pieces in this for 2 days. Then cook in many ways and boy was it good.
CHEFED
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post #5 of 15
Sounds delicious! On my to-do list.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #6 of 15
Don't toss the braising liquid. While you'll often use some for saucing the dish, the rest is often kept and reused for years and years. You'll occasionally add more of the ingredients over time but it gets richer and better with use. 've had mine running for about 5 years now. Degrease it after use, then either reboil it weekly or freeze and use again with in six months. Use on fowl, pork beef, just not fish.

I've seen it done with beef tongue, duck, chicken and so on. One of my favorites is to simmer chicken wings for a bit, then smoke the wings.
post #7 of 15
An interesting recipe, BDL, - unfortunately, I find belly pork a little too fatty for my tastebuds!
post #8 of 15
BDL,
Have you ever tried to replace the Chicken Stock with an XO or Chinese braising liquid? Gives it a nice rich, deep flavor and maintains the Szechuan theme.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yes to messing around with braising liquids; but no to XO.

For the benefit of those not familiar with it, XO is essentially "salt and pepper" with a bit of a seafood spin. Topping a pizza with jalapenos and anchovies does the same sort of thing -- but with considerably more oomph. Not that XO lacks oomph. Also, it's significantly more accessible and goes extremely well on darn near everything. For instance, it would make a heck of a finish on top of Eggs Benedict.

I'm not sure when and where XO originated, but it burst like a bombshell in Hong Kong in the late seventies/early eighties -- and by the nineties had moved very assertively into the sort of better Hong Kong style U.S. restaurants which cater to a mostly Chinese clientele.

It can be made as a "dry sauce," i.e., a sort of garnish; or it can be mixed into oil, vinegar, both, or what have you to make a more normal, liquid sauce.

The XO style here in the SGV (San Gabriel Valley -- about 1 million Chinese people here) mimics the current popular HK trend, and that's dry.

To be more precise, our SGV style is a mince of dried scallops, dried shrimp and serrano chilies, with some finely ground white pepper. Sometimes it's elaborated by using two different types of shrimp; and/or red (often Thai bird) as well as green chili; and/or a little Chinsese ham; and/or szichuan pepper; and/or some minced, dried fish.

It's called XO, not because it contains any, but because it's as good as one of the top line cognacs. Also, good dried scallops are very, very expensive.

Hint: Buy broken scallops, same thing, cheaper, and you're going to chop them fine anyway. You usually can't find them at a Chinese supermarket, but can usually find them from a Chinese folk medicine/herb shop.

Returning to the question... No, I haven't tried it on a pork belly braise, but don't see why it wouldn't work if it was used to garnish the top of the meat chunks -- as long as they were presented (near) dry themselves.

Great questions. I'll not only try it, I'll try it on Eggs Benedict.

Thanks for the inspiration,
BDL
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post #10 of 15
When making the one I use at home I make a dashi based broth, add dried shrimp, scallops, crab essence (or 3 Crabs Nam Pla for a nasty bit of deep brown flavor), shiitake mushrooms, white peppercorns, a bit of oyster sauce, high quality black soy instead of salt and sliced and seeded serrano's. Bring it all to a boil and simmer for about 30-40 minutes. Let it cool in the fridge with the body in it and then strain. Makes a very bold, rich and flavorful sauce base, soup broth base or braising liquid.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #11 of 15
Is that the same product as the Three Crabs nuoc mam nhi?
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #12 of 15
Yes it is.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #13 of 15
I stumbled on that product earlier this year wandering through a vietnamese grocery store. Good stuff.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #14 of 15
Its an aquired taste and leaves a bit of a stink in the kitchen at home but it is necessary in Thai curries and certain marinades. I like to use in when I am looking to build a nice deep brown flavor base for many different types of food. You should really use it to deglaze a pan so you can cook it down quickly. Its an unmistakable flavor and aroma that I happen love.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #15 of 15
I use it in both pad thai and lamb curry. I remember seeing XO by Kikkoman (?) earlier this year but I had no idea what it was.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
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