Ingredients: (Serves 2-3)
1 Onion (diced)
500g Belly Pork
1 Pack of Shiitake Mushrooms (usually around 125g)
3 Cloves of Garlic (bashed)
3 Slices of fresh Ginger
1 Egg per person
Handful of fresh Chive
4 tbs Shaoxing Wine
3 tbs Dark Soy Sauce
2 tbs Light Soy Sauce
3 tsp Brown Sugar
2 Cups of Water
2 tsp Sichuan Peppercorns
0.5 tsp Black Peppercorns
3 Star Anise
2 Sticks of Cinnamon
3 Bay Leaves
Oil for frying
1) When using belly pork the Chinese always like to blanch the meat in boiling water to "remove impurities". I don't know if this actually does anything but I tend to follow suit - it makes the dicing much easier either way. Boil the meat for a few minutes and then dice into cm lardons.
2) Add a tablespoon of oil to a heavy bottom pan and fry the Sichuan Peppercorns, Black Peppercorns and Cloves. Once fragrant, remove these spices from the oil and tie up in a cheese cloth - I find that my tea leaf infuser ball does the trick. Ultimately these are the spices that nobody really wants to bite into, but are essential to flavour the dish. Set this aside for later.
3) Add the rest of the spice ingredients to the oil and fry until fragrant once more. Add the diced onion and fry for a few minutes.
5) De-glaze the pan with the Shaoxing wine before adding the two soy sauces and the sugar. Simmer for a few minutes and then add the water.
6) Reintroduce the spices you fished out earlier in the cheese cloth and cover. Simmer on low for 2 hours stirring occasionally.
8) Serve over plain boiled rice. Fry an egg and place it on top. Drizzle some sauce from the pan over the egg and then sprinkle generously with freshly chopped chives.
Any simple steamed green will go on the side quite easily. Bok Choi is probably the vegetable of choice but broccoli or french beans work just as well.
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