Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Chinese New Year

Happy Year of the Pig! The Chinese new year officially began Sunday, February 18. I was in New York City over the weekend and met up with my mom to have dinner at an auntie's house in Brooklyn. The grandfather is apparently a very good cook so we were treated to an assortment of authentic Chinese dishes such as salt-baked chicken, stewed Chinese mushrooms with abalone, and roast pork with that salty, crispy skin. The latter was Tom's favorite as he is a lover of all things pig. They didn't have one of my favorite dishes though, so my mom made it during her visit here in D.C. this week. The following is a very sketchy description of how to make it. There are no exact measures as everything is "to taste".

Braised Pork with Taro

pork belly (with skin on if desired), cubed
Chinese cooking wine
five-spice powder
soy sauce
fish sauce
vegetable oil
taro, peeled and cubed
beef broth or water

Mix first five ingredients, adding a bit of cornstarch and oil to coat the pork. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan, then saute pork until browned on all sides. Add enough beef broth or water to cover the bottom of the pan, cover, and let simmer for 1.5 hours or until the pork is tender. Add cubed taro and simmer another half hour till taro is soft enough to stick a fork through. Add more broth/water as necessary. The sauce should thicken as the taro cooks until it becomes the consistency of a sticky gravy. Serve with rice!

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