Dongpo Pork

An easy recipe for dongpo pork, pork belly slowly cooked in soy, rice wine and ginger

I have a group of friends that range from school days, through university and up to Twitter who try to get together once every four to six weeks to have dumplings. We call ourselves the Twitter Lunch Club, TLC for short, which is appropriate because sometimes emergency dumpling summits are held if one of us is in crisis.

Dongpo (think slow cooked in soy) pork w/steamed buns for #everyfuckingnight
Dongpo (think slow cooked in soy) pork w/steamed buns for #everyfuckingnight

One of the dishes we have at our favourite dumpling establishment is this pork dish, served at room temperature which is covered in this thick, sweet, addictive sauce. I can’t recall what it’s called on the menu, we sit there and reel off dish numbers to minimise delay in getting food on the table.

But I’m here to tell you I have replicated it. I’m certain it will take me a couple more goes to perfect it but sweet LORD it is good.

As with basically everything I cook it is not technically hard but this one does take time. I actually did it over two days because I realised after I’d started I’d really left my run too late.

Dongpo pork, stage 1.
Dongpo pork, stage 1.

This recipe for dongo pork (best name ever) comes from my current favourite cookbook, Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School. He won Australian Masterchef a few years back and has done so much to make Asian cookery more accessible to those of us wary of the wok.

Dongpo pork, stage 2.
Dongpo pork, stage 2.

I bought my pork belly from an Asian butcher, their pork is always far superior to what you get at a skippy* one.

The glistening jewels of dongpo pork.
The glistening jewels of dongpo pork.

Dongpo Pork
 
Sweet, earthy fatty morsels of pork belly slow cooked in soy and ginger
Author:
Cuisine: Chinese
Ingredients
  • 1kg pork belly
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ cup dark soy
  • ½ cup Shaoxing win
  • 4 tbsp yellow rock sugar (or caster sugar, which is what I used)
  • 1 tbsp Chinese tea leaves, steeped in one cup of hot water (I had Jasmine so used that, Adam says its optional)
  • 5 cm piece of ginger, peeled, sliced and bruised
  • 4 thick spring onions, cut into 5cm lengths (I didn't have any so used an onion)
  • rice or steamed buns to serve
Instructions
  1. Place the pork in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a simmer.
  2. Simmer for 10 minutes
  3. Drain, rest until cool enough to handle and then cut into 7x5cm blocks
  4. Heat the peanut oil in a wok or frypan and brown off the pork in batches (I did this in my Le Creuset)
  5. Bring the sauces, wine, sugar and tea to the boil (Adam uses a claypot but says a Dutch oven or good heavy based saucepan will work)
  6. Add the ginger and spring onions
  7. Add the pork (Adam said skin side down but mine would play fairly so I ended up just dumping it all in) and then top up with water until the pork is covered
  8. Bring to the boil then simmer for around 2 hours or until the pork is very tender (I would recommend here making sure the pork is always covered in enough liquid as some of mine dried out a bit)
  9. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and set aside
  10. Turn the heat back up and reduce to a thick glaze
  11. Pour over the pork and eat immediately with steamed buns or rice

 

You must make it immediately!

Onward.

 

* Skippy, as in Skippy the kangaroo = anglo