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Pork Belly with Potatoes
China - Zhejiang (East)

3 main  
2-3/4 hrs  
This very flavorful dish is "red cooked". That means it's cooked in a soy sauce broth. Little of the broth goes to the plate as sauce, but can be replenished and used again for the next red cooked dish, building complexity over time.

Pork Belly (1)  
Ginger Root
Rice Wine (2)
Potatoes (3)
-- Broth
Rice Wine (2)
Soy Sauce, light
Soy Sauce, dark  
Sugar (4)
Prep   -   (1-1/2 hrs - 20 min work)
  1. Slice PORK BELLY into 1/2 inch slices. Cut the slices crosswise 1/2 inch wide and fully across so nearly every piece has skin at one end. Place in a saucepan with water to cover and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Pour out into a clean sink and rinse thoroughly, discarding water. Drain well.
  2. Slice GINGER very thin and cut into narrow shreds.
  3. Mix Ginger and Pork Belly with Rice Wine. Let marinate for at least 1 hour, turning over now and then.
  4. Peel POTATOES and slice 1/2 inch thick. Cut slices into convenient pieces. Hold in cold water until needed.
  5. Mix together all Broth items.
RUN   -   (1-1/4 hrs - 15 min work)
  1. Drain Pork Belly. The marinade can be drained into the broth as it is compatible.
  2. In a wok or spacious sauté pan, heat 2 T Oil until it begins to shimmer (390°F). Stir in 1/2 the Pork and fry stirring over hot flame for about 4 minutes. You will see just a little browning. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon and drain. Repeat with the other half of the Pork.
  3. Pour out the Oil, there will be more than you started with. You can use it to fry eggs or something.
  4. Return all Pork to the pan along with Potatoes. Fry stirring over high heat for about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in Broth. Bring to a simmer and simmer covered for about 40 minutes.
  6. Strain out solids. Return some broth to the Pork and Potatoes as sauce. Save the rest for future red cooked dishes.
  7. Serve hot with plenty of steamed long grain rice.
  1. Pork Belly:   This is the stuff bacon is make out of, but fresh, not cured. It is easily available in the meat department of markets serving Asian communities, often in trays precut to slices 1/2 inch thick, but it can be much cheaper as a whole slab from the service counter. It is almost always used skin-on. It may also be available in markets serving Latino and Eastern European communities. For details see our Pork Belly page.
  2. Rice Wine:   Use a good, drinkable Chinese rice wine, not that horrid salted "cooking" version. If you don't have this, use a Dry Sherry. Sake is made from rice but is not considered a good substitute. For details see our Chinese Rice Wine page.
  3. Potatoes:   White Rose work well here. "Yukon Gold" type potatoes must be avoided as they will disintegrate into mush when cooked this long. For details see our Potatoes page.
  4. Sugar:   In keeping with Asian tastes, the pattern recipe calls for 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar. My taste doesn't run that sweet, and I consider sugar a Great Evil, so I use rather little or none at all. Adjust to your preference.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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