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  • Writer's pictureCharlotte

Fragrant Pork Belly Braise 炖肉

Updated: Jan 18, 2022

This stew, cosy with the aromas of shiitake, warming spices and the caramel of dark soy, is an all-time favourite of ours. Long, slow simmering turns cubes of pork belly into jewel-like, meltingly tender nuggets and fills the house with warmth - it's just perfect on a cold winter's night, though in all honesty we love it year-round.

1 kg pork belly (with skin)

75g light soy sauce

50g dark soy sauce

35g sugar

2 bay leaves

2-3 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

1 pinch coriander seeds

1 black cardamom (optional)

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger (peeled and smashed with the flat side of a knife)

2 spring onions

6 pieces dried shiitake

10 bean curd knots

Cut the pork belly into inch-sized pieces. Brown in a medium saucepan in a single layer, working in batches if necessary, until the meat is caramelised.

After the pork belly is nice and brown, add the rest of the ingredients, except the tofu knots, and pour over enough water to fully cover everything. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to medium. Skim off any impurities with a ladle, then simmer, topping up with water if it drops below the meat, til very tender, around ninety minutes. Add the bean curd knots and simmer for an additional twenty minutes.

Before serving, reduce the liquid til it's thick and syrupy, and check the seasoning. If you want, you can pick out the larger spices before serving, piping hot.

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