I remember one Christmas when my mother decided to cook the Chinese ham for Christmas Day. The ham was soaked for a couple of days in several changes of water, then it was simmered in pineapple juice and brown sugar. When it was cooked, the skin was peeled off and the fat sprinkled with sugar. An iron spatula called a plancha was heated in the fire, then pressed firmly on the sugared fat to caramelize the ham. This was an old-fashioned method developed in rural areas where there were no large ovens in people’s homes to finish the ham. If you are serving this at a Christmas party, the ham will be a dramatic centerpiece and will be delicious and moist straight from the oven when the glaze is fresh. Leftover ham was what I always looked forward to. I would fry the ham slices in butter, sprinkle some sugar, and squeeze some orange juice on it and let it caramelize.
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