Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Hui Guo Pork (Back to the Pot Pork)
Yes, another chinese pork and pepper dish, but this one was MUCH different. The peppers were a little spicy, the sauce was a little spicy. It was not overpowering at all, and had a cumulative effect on the spice, so by the time you finished, you had a nice little spice burn going in your mouth. It was very good.
Pork bellies are basically uncured bacon in large slabs. There are quite a few steps to this, and I do recommend if you can get the porkbellies with skin on, it DOES make a difference in the flavor.
The other caution I have is look at the Hot Bean Paste VERY CAREFULLY. I ended up buying a store brand of it b/c it did not contain wheat...we went thru SEVERAL AISLES of bean and pepper pastes before we found one without wheat. The one we ended up with was made by the store we went to and was fresh. VERY GOOD. There are recipes for Hot bean paste in chinese cookbooks, so you can make your own, but it does take a long time.
Spicy Pork Belly & Peppers
4 lbs Pork Bellies with skins
5 or 6 Korean Green Peppers (look like an Italian Sweet Pepper or a Cubano)
2 Tbs Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Hot bean paste (see note above!)
Salt to taste
Bring a large pot of water to boiling. While it's boiling cut pork bellies into 1/2 lb portions. Scrape the skin with the back of the knife to remove any hair or dirt. For now, leave skin and fat in tact.
Also, cut peppers, remove seeds, and cut in long thin strips (julliene)
Once water is boiling, place pork bellies in the water for about 5 minutes. This step is to wash and cleanse it. I couldn't tell if it was a "spiritual" step or just a cooking step! After about 5 minutes, pull meat out of the pot and allow to drain. Cover with foil and allow to cool for about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, cut skin and MOST (not all) of the fat off the pork. You can leave the skin. We did. BUT it is not necessary at this step. It did seem to really increase the flavor of the end product, but you don't eat the skin, we all kind of had a little pile of pigskin on our plates when done.
Slice the pork meat (with some fat) into long thin strips.
Heat 3 Tbs Oil in a wok or large skillet. Add pork strips. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add peppers. Again, cook for 5 minutes. Add soy sauce, bean paste and a small sprinkling of salt. Stir until all of the meat and peppers are well coated. Remove from heat and serve over rice.
Julia is here for 4 more days and promises to cook for us again! We cannot wait!!!