Dong po Pork is part of the Zhejiang Cuisine. Pork is clearly a meat of choice in China. This pork belly recipe should pretty much sum up the reason why. There was a man named Su Dongpo, he was an artist, writer and politician. He was exiled to the Huangzhou area for criticizing the Emperor. This dish is named after him, as one day when he was playing chess, he forgot his pork belly was left braising on the stove. When he returned home he tried what was left in the pot and to his surprise, it was tender and even more delicious than the original red cooked, pork belly recipe. This is a serious ‘melt in your mouth’, incredible dish. Every now and again, I almost thought I was eating candy. I loved it! I also would like to give a special shout out to our dear friend Dr. Steven Tidwell, who brought his camera for a day of Chinese food fun. This was his delectable shot. Thanks Steve!
China – Zhejiang Dong Po Pork (dōng pō ròu) 東坡肉
- 1 lb pork belly
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 stalks scallions cut into 3-inch lengths
- 1- inch peeled ginger cut into slices
- 2-3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or 1-2 tablespoons regular soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 3 1/2 tablespoons Shaoxing Wine
- water enough to cover the pork belly
- 1 oz or 40 g rock sugar, lightly crushed or 2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- extra sugar to taste
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the pork belly and boil for 5 minutes. Discard water, remove pork from pot, rinse and pat dry. Cut the meat into 2 1/2-inch squares. Tie the pork pieces with food safety strings as tight as possible to avoid meat from falling apart while braising.
- Heat up a clay pot or stainless steel pot with oil, stir-fry the ginger and scallions until aromatic. Pour in the water and continue boiling for 10 minutes.
- Add light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and wine, adequate amount of water just to cover the pork belly and boil in high heat. Mix in rock sugar, pork pieces, skin side down and cook for 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat to medium-low, at a gentle simmering level, cover the pot and braise pork for 30 minutes. Turn pork skin side ‘up’, and continue braising for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until pork is tender enough to your liking.
- Dish up and serve pork with Dong po sauce over steamed rice or buns and vegetables, or just eat like candy!