This delicious dish is named for Su Dongpo, a famous poet, statesman, and gourmet of the Song Dynasty, a combination of talents not uncommon in Chinese history. I certainly admire him for his many culinary skills, and especially for inventing this savoury dish. Dong Po pork is a house speciality in several restaurants in Hangzhou since Su Dongpo was a governor of the city. Gentle, long, slow simmering renders the meat into a melting, buttery, tender gastronomic experience. The cut used is pork belly, referred to as “five-flowered” pork in Chinese. There seem to be many versions of this popular dish in restaurants throughout China, but my favourite is this one in which the skin is first browned; in addition, simmering the pork in a whole piece keeps the meat moist. Although this is a time-consuming preparation, it is relatively simple, and it reheats well. It is wonderful served with plain rice and stir-fried vegetables.
Blanch the bacon in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and blot thoroughly dry with kitchen paper.
Heat a wok or large frying pan until hot. Add the oil, turn down the heat, add the fresh bacon, skin side down. Slowly brown the skin until it is golden and crispy. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the meat and wipe off any excess fat with kitchen paper.
Cut the onions into
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