This is a favourite dish on the family table of my friend
Red roast pork is a typical Shanghai dish that became quite popular in Taiwan. It is not usually found in Cantonese households, or in restaurants whose fare characterizes the kind of Chinese-American cooking we know in the US. The fleshy and robust pork shoulder is braised for hours until it is meltingly tender. Ask your butcher for a piece with both the bone and rind on the meat. In
It is interesting that their original recipe called for white wine, a cooking ingredient that is unusual in Chinese cuisine. The traditional Shaoxing rice wine was until recently quite expensive and hard to obtain. However, here I have followed the Chinese method and used Shaoxing rice wine, which is indeed a wonderful ingredient.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add the pork shoulder. When it comes to the boil again, skim, reduce the heat and simmer gently, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
Place the star anise, cinnamon, cumin seeds, dried chillies and tangerine peel in
Add the blanched pork shoulder and bring back to a simmer, partially covered, skimming all the while. Now cover the pot tightly and continue to simmer gently for 3 hours, until the pork fat and rind are very soft and tender.
Cut the Chinese leaves into 5 cm (
Skim off all the fat and reduce the liquid in the pot to a syrup. Serve with the pork.
© 1998 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.