This is what I call "The Magic Dish", if you don't like to eat pork, this dish might change your mind and if you love pork, then you will love pork even more. The way the pork falls apart and the fatty bit melts in your mouth like a jelly candy. The Chinese call it Dongpo Rou and the Japanese call it Buta no Kakuni, the difference is the wine they are using but basically the same. I know many people especially the women who want to watch their weight, when they hear the word "pork belly or pork fat" will run away. The good news is, really the fat bit is not such bad thing, some even say it is good for the skin, I will say anything is better than margarine, just try to wash it away from frying pan you will know how bad that is. Some people say animal fat is bad for the heart, I will say if you eat it everyday maybe, but every once in a while I don't see it can really make your heart so bad. Now a day everything is bad for you, don't eat this and don't drink that. If people listen to that, might all end up dead because of depression, why not just try a good dish every now and then, it won't kill you but only makes you happier, beside this is a easy cooking, everyone can do if you have a bit of time. Try to cook this dish for your pork eating lover, this will make them love you to death, not a bad way to go.
1 kg/2lb pork belly, cut into 8cm cubes
3 tbsp sugar or more to taste
4 slices of fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small red chilli – optional
1 star anise
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
½ cup soy sauce
5 tbsp mirin/optional
3 tbsp Shaoxing wine/Sherry or Sake
2 sliced spring onions
Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add soy sauce, sugar, mirin, sake and some water, bring it to boil then put in the pork, put in all the fresh ginger, garlic cloves, 1 small red chilli, star anise, cinnamon powder and stir to coat the pork for 1 to 2 minutes then add enough water to cover the meat. Bring to the boil again, and cover it with a aluminum foil, or the Japanese will use a wooden lid called Otoshibuta (cut a sheet of aluminum foil that covers the diameter of your pot, fold the edges up into a circle so that the lid fit inside the pot), then simmer very gently for about an hour. Check the sauce, the sauce should taste a bite like a Christmas cake, you will taste the sweet star anise and cinnamon, but everyone tastes it differently so you can adjust the taste to your liking, if not sweet enough, add some sugar, if not salty enough add some more soy sauce, add water if its too dry, cover with the aluminum again to let it simmer for another hour, until the pork is meltingly tender. Then boil down the sauce until thick and syrupy. Remember, the key is simmer, give it a time, watch a good movie when you are cooking this, go on facebook and tell people about my Blog.., ok now the hour is up, your pork should be ready. Now you know the basic, next time you can do it your own way, put different kind of sugar ? or even cola? want it a bit sour and add some vinegar.
Now is ready to serve the pork pieces with some sauce and a scattering of spring onions. As you eat, add a little mustard if you like.
Sometimes I put fresh Shiitake mushrooms and bak choy in the pot for 3m ins before I serve this. It will give the pork a nice flavour and green color. This dish is just like life itself, add flavour according to your taste, make it sweet, make it lovely and melt in your mouth, give it some color and do it slowly otherwise if you burn it then you might have to do it all over again.