Pig’s Trotters Braised in Black Vinegar

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Chinese Heritage Cooking

Chinese Heritage Cooking

By Christopher Tan and Amy Van

Published 2018

  • About

Although originally a Cantonese dish, this dish is now prepared across the Chinese community as a confinement staple for mothers after childbirth. The collagen and protein in the trotters and eggs nourish, the sesame oil speeds skin healing, the ginger relieves nausea and warms the body (thought to be filled with cool ‘wind’, post-partum), the vinegar warms the body and detoxes the blood. This dish tastes better a day or two after cooking. Stored refrigerated in an airtight container and only touched with clean utensils, the cooked pig’s trotters will keep for at least a week, if not longer.


  • Pig’s trotters 2
  • Old ginger 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz), peeled
  • Sesame oil 90 ml (3 fl oz / cup)
  • Black vinegar 750 ml (24 fl oz / 3 cups)
  • Water 1.75 litres (56 fl oz / 7 cups)
  • Chinese brown sugar 400 g (14⅓ oz) + more to taste
  • Hard-boiled eggs 6, shelled
  • Salt to taste


  1. Scrape skin of pig’s trotters with a sharp knife or razor blade to remove any bristles. Wash very well and pat dry. With a heavy cleaver, chop trotters into large chunks.
  2. With a cleaver, bruise ginger lightly and then slice into thick chunks.
  3. Heat sesame oil in a wok over medium heat. When hot, add ginger and stir-fry for 3–5 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly browned at the edges. Be careful not to let it burn.
  4. Scrape ginger and sesame oil into a large pot. Pour in vinegar, water and sugar. Bring to a gentle but steady simmer and adjust heat to maintain it. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, bring another pot of fresh water to the boil. Blanch trotter chunks for 1 minute, then drain well.
  6. Add trotter chunks to vinegar mixture and cover pot, leaving lid slightly ajar. Simmer for at least 2 hours, or until trotters are tender.
  7. Add hard-boiled eggs to the pot and simmer for another 30–40 minutes, until trotters are very tender, and ginger tastes sweet and candied. Adjust seasoning with more sugar and salt to taste. Serve hot.