Ever Heard of ZheJiang Style Chinese Preserved Mustard Braised Pork Belly?
Well, as the name says, this dish originated from Zhejiang province, China, but I find it weird that this pork belly dish does not show up much on Google Search. In fact, if you search for mei cai mei rou, (men rou means braised meat), you will only see search results with my posting.
Upon more research work, it seems that this dish has lesser popularity when searching with pinyin or English character, instead if we search with Chinese wording, I landed with plenty of search results.
Author have a say…
Often we heard of the Hakka Mei Cai Kou Rou, but in fact, in China, there is the Zhejiang style of this dish where they stew it instead of steaming it like the Hakka people. Identical ingredients usage but with the differing outcomes. The Zhejiang style of cooking this dish is stewing it and reducing the gravy to a silky consistency. This style of cooking produces much more intense and concentrate flavors. If you are to ask me which one I prefer, honestly, I love both as they both have different characteristics. Check it out and let me know which one is your preference! (Check the Hakka Mei Cai Kou Rou here!)
Source : Baidu
Braised Pork Belly with Mei Cai Recipe
- 400 g Pork Belly (with skin)
- 200 g Salted Chinese Preserved Mustard
- 4 tbsp Sugar
- 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Shao Xing Wine
- 1 clove Star Anise
- 800 ml Water
- 4 tbsp Cooking Oil
- Spring Onion (to garnish)
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- For the pork belly, blanch whole slab of pork belly for 10 minutes. Then cut into cubes of approximately 1 inch X 2 inch.
- To sear pork belly, preheat cooking oil in a pan. Turn off heat and add blanched pork belly in. Sear pork belly at medium heat and use the pan cover to protect yourself from popping hot oil. Once you have crispy edges, turn off the heat and transfer pork belly to container.
- For the Chinese preserved mustard, rinse off the salt in a bowl of water twice. Then soak in water for 2 hours or more. After soaking, remove from water and cut into uniform sizes.
- Prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- With the leftover oil from searing pork belly, add Chinese preserved mustard and pan-fry to aromatic fragrance.
- Then add sugar and caramelize at low heat.
- Switch to high heat and then as quickly as possible, add soy sauce, shao xing wine, and then water.
- Add star anise into the stew.
- Bring to a full boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Keep covered and simmer for 90 minutes.
- After 90 minutes, remove star anise and separately transfer pork belly, Chinese preserved mustard, and gravy into the container.
- With a clean plate, begin to place pork belly at the center of the plate.
- Gently place Chinese preserved mustard around the pork belly.
- Then spoon some gravy over the pork belly and in a heaping drizzle some of the gravy at the side of the plate.
- As a garnish, sprinkle some chopped spring onion and serve.