A family recipe from Jeremy Pang for Chinese New Year
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp vegetable oil
600g pork belly piece
For the sauce:
1 cube of fermented red tofu (plus 1 tbsp of fermented tofu liquid)
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinkiang black rice vinegar
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
First make the sauce. Put the fermented tofu and liquid into a small bowl or ramekin and crush it with the base of the tsp to form a paste, then mix together with the dark soy sauce, black vinegar, sugar and sesame oil.
Hard-boil the eggs and then peel them. Once peeled, cut three small lines vertically into each egg while keeping them whole (this allows the sauce to soak through the eggs while they are braising).
Finely chop the garlic and set it aside. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Add the garlic to the pot and cook, stirring for 30 secs until lightly browned. Add the sauce and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the pork belly to the pan and sear on all sides, ensuring the skin is well-sealed and golden brown.
Once seared, add the pork to the saucepan skin-side down and baste well with the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook, continuing to baste as you do so, for 5-6 mins. The sauce should caramelise, reduce and cling to the pork during this process.
Once the sauce is thick and coating the meat well, turn the pork skin-side up and pour over enough hot water (approx 450ml) to cover it completely. Stir everything together well, cover with a lid and leave to simmer over a low heat for 1 hour 30 mins, turning the pork occasionally, until it is soft, succulent and full of colour.
Remove the lid, add the eggs to the braising liquid and continue simmering for a further 30 mins, turning the eggs every 10 mins to ensure they absorb the sauce evenly. Arrange on a large platter and serve.
Recipe: Jeremy Pang
Image: Martin Poole