I have to admit - I got the inspiration to make this dish because of an advertisement I heard on Yes 933FM on MERadio (an iphone application which allows me to listen to Singapore radio stations). I googled and this recipe from 'Eating China' seems to most authentic (in terms of number of steps and details), but it also put me off a bit because of the number of steps! I finally tried it, and I was happy with the results, but it is definitely not something you want to put on a busy schedule. How does it taste? Surprisingly like the Maling brand of canned braised pork, but of course better!
500g pork belly
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon tea leaves
2 stalks spring onions
4 cm of fresh, young ginger, peeled and sliced lengthways into matchstick widths
200g broccoli, cut into small florets
1 cup water
5 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
5 slices old ginger
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons yellow wine (e.g. Shaoxing wine)
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons sugar
For thickening the sauce (add towards the end): 1 teaspoon corn flour, 1 tablespoon water, stirred well before use
- You may want to tie the pork like a present with a piece of string as some recipes might advise you too, the reason being that when you blanch the pork, they will expand and might lose it's shape. I did not and went ahead to blanch the pork in a pot of boiling water. Discard the water.
- Put pork back in pot and cover with water again. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Heat a wok and add sauce ingredients. Mix well and bring to a boil. Add pork and cook each surface for a few minutes over a medium heat. Remove pork and drain well. Pour remaining sauce into a small saucepan and set aside.
- Clean and drain wok. Heat vegetable oil to a medium heat. Fry pork on all sides until it is well browned, making sure skin side is a little crispy. Be careful that the oil might splash at this stage.
- Steep tea leaves in hot water for a couple of minutes, remove and set aside. Place pork in pot of water again–topping up water if necessary. Add tea leaves and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Place scallion stalks on bottom of a steamer. Transfer pork to steamer. Steam for 2 hours, turning pork after 1 hour. Replenish the water in the steamer during this period, topping up with hot water if necessary.
- Add broccoli to steamer for final 5 minutes of cooking time.
- Remove pork to a serving dish and arrange broccoli around it. Reheat sauce in saucepan, adding and stirring in thickener. Pour over pork and serve.