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Red-braised pork is a dish that in Hunan is inseparably bound up with the memory of Chairman Mao: many restaurants call it “The Mao Family’s red-braised pork.” Mao Zedong loved it, and insisted his Hunanese chefs cook it for him in Beijing. It’s a robust concoction, best eaten with plain steamed rice and simple stir-fried vegetables; the sweet, aromatic chunks of meat are irresistible.
|1||lb. pork belly (skin optional)|
|2||Tbsp. peanut oil|
|2||Tbsp. white sugar|
|1||Tbsp. Shaoxing wine|
|~||Fresh ginger (a ¾-inch piece), skin left on and sliced|
|2||dried red chiles|
|~||A small piece of cassia bark or a small cinnamon stick|
|~||Light soy sauce|
In Shaoshan, Mao’s home village, cooks traditionally leave the skin intact for maximum succulence, and cut the meat into rather large chunks, perhaps 1 1/2 inches long; I tend to make the pieces a little smaller. This recipe takes its color from caramelized sugar, which gives it a lovely reddish gloss, but many people just use dark soy sauce at home.
This content is from the book Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook by Fuchsia Dunlop.
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