Braised Pork (Chinese)

Was very excited to cook this dish today! It’s been a long while since I last cooked in, maybe a number of years, after moving back to Singapore. I used to cook it more when living overseas and trying to get my small family used to home style cooking.

Sunday night dinners are usually at my brother’s home where my sister still cooks for us as she has for the last 55 years. Because of that, I try not to cook something that will be on the Sunday dinner table.

As pork is the predominant meat used in Chinese cooking, you can substitute the meat to chicken. The thigh would be the best substitute for the pork collar. You can also use any leftover meats for braising.

My daughter loves the tofu, my husband the meat and myself everything except the meat!

Oh! Braising is different from stewing in that you use less water to cook and for a shorter period of time as compared to stewing.

I have used the traditional claypot method of braising, although the one in the picture is actually a Japanese claypot. You can use a regular stock pot or dutch oven to cook with.

Ingredients:

400g (slightly more than 0.75 lbs) pork collar

250g or 2 blocks of hard or frying tofu

2 hard boiled eggs, shelled

4 dried shitake mushrooms (no soaking needed)

1 ear black fungus, broken into chunks

handful of dried lily flowers

2 cinnamon sticks

8 cloves

2 star anise

6 garlic cloves (skin on)

1/4 cup dark soy sauce

1/2 cup light soy sauce

water (enough to cover the meat and part of the other ingredients)

Method:

  • Cut pork collar into chunks of about 4-5 cm (2″) sizes and place in the bottom of the pot.
  • Next cut each of the tofu blocks into 6 portions. Place with the pork.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Just a reminder that you do not need to pre-soak the mushrooms before cooking. Just ensure that the stalks of the mushroom is in the braising liquid.
  • Mix the soy sauces together before pouring over the other ingredients.
  • Add enough water to cover the meat and allow sufficient water to braise the other ingredients as well as cover the whole spices in it.
  • Bring to a boil before turning the heat down to simmer.
  • Simmer for about an hour for the meat to reach the ‘fall-apart’ stage and that the other ingredients are properly cooked.
  • Serve with white rice.

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