Chili Mustard Pickle Pork
Chili Mustard Pickle Pork

Chili Mustard Pickle Pork has its roots in the cuisine of China’s Sichuan Province and is very much a home-style (家常) dish. It combines sliced Pork Belly, cooked to a golden crispiness, with tangy Pickled Mustard Greens and the classic, umami-rich and fiery Sichuan Chili Bean Paste. It is very easy to prepare and makes for a delicious and hearty meal served over rice or noodles.

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Sweet Red-Cooked Pork with Bamboo
Sweet Red-Cooked Pork with Bamboo

Sweet Red-Cooked Pork with Bamboo is an interesting and delicious variation on the Chinese classic Twice-Cooked Pork – 回鍋肉, except that, rather than the meat being simply boiled with a few seasonings in the first cooking step, it is first ‘red-cooked’ in a Chinese Master before being later quick fried with Bamboo, Celery, and Chili Paste.

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Preserved Pork Belly and Daikon Soup
Preserved Pork Belly and Daikon Soup

Preserved Pork Belly and Daikon Soup

In this recipe, I have used homemade Chinese-Style Preserved Pork Belly, and homemade Pickled Daikon to make a soup in which the sweetness of the cured pork is offset and complemented by the sour tang of the brine-fermented vegetable. The rich Chicken Broth base is enhanced with Ginger, Shaoxing Wine, and just a hint of Chili.


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Homemade Preserved Pork Belly - 五花臘肉
Homemade Preserved Pork Belly – 五花臘肉

Homemade Preserved Pork Belly – 五花臘肉

When pork is cured by drying, it takes on a lovely sweet-taste reminiscent of golden apples. This quality is capitalized upon in the traditions of Italian Prosciutto, Spanish Jamón Serrano, and a host of other culinary specialties, including Chinese-Style Preserved Pork Belly (五花臘肉). All of these products, as with pickles, or other dried foodstuffs, were developed before the advent of refrigeration in order to preserve harvested food for later use. Nowadays, we continue the traditions because the results are so tasty and satisfying. Making Homemade Preserved Pork Belly takes a little time, but the process isn’t especially difficult, and the results are terrific.


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Dongpo Pork served with Baby Bok Choy
Dongpo Pork served with Baby Bok Choy

The classic Chinese dish, Dong Po Pork, is named after the Chinese poet Su Dongpo, who, by all accounts, loved pork belly prepared this way. The dish is an example of the Chinese technique of ‘red-cooking’ (紅燒), meaning that the main ingredients are braised in a soy sauce based cooking medium. Here, as in the classic Dongpo Pork tradition, aromatics and sugar are added for sweetness, and the slow-cooking of the fatty pork belly makes for a result that is rich, unctuous, and absolutely delicious.

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