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Dongpo Pork

Dongpo Pork

Dongpo Pork

You may recall me mentioning Chinese regional cookbook author Fuchsia Dunlop earlier this month. Tuned into my local intelligent radio station while attending to boring domestic chores, I dropped everything and listened when Dunlop came on to be interviewed about her latest publication “Land of Fish and Rice.”

Dunlop, an Englishwoman has lived, worked and studied in China. Her latest book focusses on traditional food found in the region south of the Yangste River, Jiangnan. She spent time there in restaurants, private homes, culinary training schools and markets learning from those that are considered to be the masters of the provincial cuisine. Dunlop is held in high esteem in China, she is considered a learned conduit between China and the west.

At the end of the interview rather than return to the chores I went into my local Library’s online catalogue and reserved the copy they had on order. It arrived within a few days and after a quick browse made no hesitation in adding Dunlop’s latest book to my wishlist. Meanwhile I intend to keep it for the maximum borrowing period allowed.

Like most Australian cooks, I’m no stranger to Chinese ingredients, in fact many are staples in my pantry including those needed for this dish. Without hesitation I decided to try Dunlop’s recipe for Dongpo Pork

The preparation was simple. The long slow braising of the pork belly reduces the meat, fat and skin to an unctuous melt in the mouth texture with an umami rich sweet but savoury flavour the Chinese do so well. The sticky richness of the pork needed no more than plain white rice and steamed Chinese greens.

This is meat you can cut with a spoon. I cooked the pork a little longer than Dunlop suggested, testing it with the point of a knife until satisfied it would easily fall apart, as she says, it should be  “so exquisitely tender that it melts away at a chopstick’s touch.”

We devoured the leftovers cold, sliced and stuffed into sushi handrolls.

Dongpo Pork

1kg boneless pork belly in one piece, lean end

3 spring onions, green tops only

30g fresh ginger, skin on

4 tablespoons castor sugar

5 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce

250mls good Shaoxing wine

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Place the pork into the water and boil for 5 mins.

Drain then rinse the meat under the cold tap.

Cut the pork into 5cm X 5cm squares. Keep any trimmings.

Whack the ginger and spring onions lightly with the back of a cook’s knife blade.

Put the sugar, soy sauces and Shaoxing wine into a heavy based ban wide enough to accomodate the pork in a single layer.

Bring to the boil, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved.

Add the ginger, spring onions pork trimming, then lay the pork on top, skin side down.

Return the pan to the boil, cook for 2 minutes then place a simmer pad under the pan and lower the heat to a gentle simmer.

Cook for 2 1/2 – 3 hours checking from time to time to make sure the pan doesn’t boil dry. Add a little hot water if necessary. I added 1 cup of water over the cooking time.

The pork should fall apart when tested with the point of a paring knife.

Remove the ginger and spring onion then refrigerate the pork to overnight.

The next day remove the congealed surface fat from the sauce.

Bring the pan back to the boil to reheat the pork. Once the sauce has loosened turn the pork skin side up then simmer until the sauce is thick and syrupy.

Serve with plain rice and steamed greens.

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

27 comments on “Dongpo Pork

  1. patrick @alldayieat.com
    November 2, 2016

    thanks for sharing this !!

    Like

  2. ardysez
    October 30, 2016

    Yum. Must try this one! Thank you.

    Like

  3. Lisa @ cheergerm
    October 28, 2016

    Melt in the mouth, my lads would love this, just showed the 12 year old and he was totally like ‘wow’…on my list next time we have a free Saturday avo to get it sorted.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 28, 2016

      Get the 12 yr old on the job Cheery, it was pretty simple to prepare and delivered a big bang for your buck…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. EllaDee
    October 28, 2016

    You have stumbled across one of my culinary favourites… Chinese pork. You did well keeping some leftovers.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 28, 2016

      We love it too, next time I’m going to factor leftovers into the equation, it was good hot and cold

      Like

  5. dishnthekitchen
    October 28, 2016

    Mmmm! looks good. I didn’t know this dish was called Dongbpo Pork?! I just call it red braised pork. At any rate it’s a stellar dish. I like the idea of eating the leftovers in a sushi roll.

    Like

  6. Francesca
    October 28, 2016

    Dunlop! I could see that error, Dunloop, shooting off into the ether as I pressed the post comment button!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Francesca
    October 28, 2016

    Dunloop’s books are wonderful. Must check my library for this one. I like the idea of meat that you can cut with a spoon. Must make it for the boys.

    Like

  8. nadaskitchendiary
    October 28, 2016

    This looks so tasty! Melt in the mouth 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 28, 2016

      It was literally melt in the mouth Nadia, both textural and flavour pleasure. Thanks for commenting

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Linda Duffin
    October 27, 2016

    Oh my goodness, that looks divine. I can almost taste it (wish I could!). I’ve got Fuschia’s earlier books but not this one … sounds like a glowing recommendation. Lx

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 28, 2016

      Linda, it was totally amazing, literally melted in the mouth. There’s lots to recommend about this book..

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Duffin
        October 28, 2016

        I’ll add it to my list but I’m running out of book shelves! xx

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Summer Daisy
    October 27, 2016

    This looks nice ♥

    Like

  11. Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
    October 27, 2016

    I have never heard of Dunlop, but her books sound intriguing. I really must investigate. I have to admit I am a little bit intimidated by cooking Asian cuisine. This is why I live your posts like this one that make it seem matter of fact and nothing scary about it. Pork belly (slow cooked, of course) is a great favouite of ours. Will definitely give this one a go (and the eggy pancake in your previous post). A variation on pulled pork!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 27, 2016

      Debi, you would love Dunlop’s style, plenty of social history arrached to each recipe

      Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 27, 2016

      Sorry that should have read “attached”. Dunlop makes genuine Chinese food quite achievable.

      Like

  12. Bunny Eats Design
    October 27, 2016

    I love Fuchsia Dunlop! I stumbled across her blog many years ago and have bought her books. This pork belly looks melt in your mouth divine.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 27, 2016

      Glad to meet another Dunlop fan, thought I was a voice in the wilderness. Recipes for fabulous and authentic Chinese food are worth celebrating

      Like

  13. creativeshare
    October 27, 2016

    And now I am hungry… 😦

    Like

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This entry was posted on October 27, 2016 by in Cooking, FODMAP diet, Food, Lactose Free, Main Meals, Pork and veal and tagged , , , , .
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