It's about time that Dave and I showcased something out of this cookbook. Fuchsia Dunlop's Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook on Hunan cooking is a staple in our household; a gift that keeps on giving. Not suited for a non-fat diet, this particular recipe really was a favorite of Chairman Mao's - he apparently insisted that all his personal chefs know the recipe and prepare it often. You can find it in many Chinese restaurants specializing in Hunan cooking, or you can ask for it by its Chinese name, "Mao Shi Hong Shao Rou". The star anise and chilis were really aromatic, making it difficult to wait the 45 minutes for it to simmer! We served it over basmati rice and paired it with our favorite baby bok choy side dish and it was delicious!
- 1 lb. Pork Belly or Pork Spare Ribs
- 2 T Peanut Oil
- 2 T White Sugar
- 1 T Shaoxing Cooking Wine
- 3/4 oz. fresh ginger, skin left on and sliced
- 1 Star Anise
- 2 Dried Red Chilis
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- Light Soy Sauce
- 3 Green Onions, green and white parts chopped
- Plunge the pork into a pan of boiling water and simmer for 3-4 minutes until partially cooked. Remove and, when cool enough to handle, cut into bite-sized chunks. If using spare ribs, slice along the bone, leaving the bone in for additional flavor.
- Heat the oil and sugar in a wok over a gentle flame until the sugar melts, then raise the heat and stir until the melted sugar turns a rich caramel brown. Add the pork and splash in the Shaoxing wine.
- Add enough water to just cover the pork, along with the ginger, star anise, chilis and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 40-50 minutes.
- Towards the end of the cooking time, turn up the heat to reduce the sauce and season with soy sauce, salt and a littlle sugar to taste. Garnish with green onions and serve!
Sauteed Baby Bok Choy: (Serves 4)
- 1 lb. Baby Bok Choy, bottoms discarded and stems/leaves chopped in half.
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 2 T Shaoxing Wine
- 3 glugs of Peanut Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Heat a saute pan and heat the peanut oil until hot.
- Throw in the diced garlic and cook until soft.
- Add the fresh Bok Choy leaves and coast with the oil.
- Add more oil if desired, splash in the Shoaxing wine and stir in salt and peper to taste.
- Cook until Bok Choy is soft and wilted about 4-5 minutes.
- Take off the heat and enjoy!