Dongpo pork with bamboo shoots

Make this celebration of pork's texture and flavour for a taste of classic Hangzhou food
By Gary Rhodes
Dongpo pork with bamboo shoots
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus chilling and soaking overnight
  • Effort: hard

Ingredients

  • 250 g spring onions
  • 150 g ginger
  • 27cm x 17cm boneless pork belly, skin on, trimmed into an even rectangle
  • 300 ml shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 150 ml soy sauce
  • 50 g sugar
  • 2 tbsp red rice
  • 500 g dry bamboo shoots
  • 1 carrot
  • 500 g baby pak choi

Tips and Suggestions

the red rice gives the pork its distinctive colour.

Method

1. Put the spring onions in the bottom of a wok to create a 'bed' for the pork belly to rest on. Add the ginger, then place the pork belly on top. Turn the heat up to high, then pour over the Shaoxing rice wine and soy sauce, then add the sugar and red rice. Cover with a lid, turn the heat low and leave to braise for 30 minutes.

2. Remove the pork from the wok, reserving the cooking liquid, then place between two thick plates and place a weight on top. Leave overnight in the fridge.

3. Place the dried bamboo shoots into a bowl of water and leave to soak overnight. When soft and pliable, thinly slice and place into the wok with the reserved cooking liquor. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for one hour (top up the cooking liquid with chicken stock or water if needed).

4. Remove the pork belly from the fridge, then using a sharp knife, start slicing the pork from one end to the other until you nearly reach the other end. Turn the pork belly onto the side and continue to slice the pork, this time down the other end so you achieve one continuous slice of pork. Repeat all around the pork until you have one long slice of pork.

5. Roll the pork slice back into a rectangle shape, then slowly press the pork into a pyramid-shaped mould, layer by layer until the centre of the pork belly is in the deepest part of the mould. Fill with the bamboo shoots, packing them in tightly, cover with the mould lid and steam over a low heat for two hours.

6. Blanch the pak choi in a mixture of water, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and sugar. Arrange the pak choi in a circle on a serving plate.

7. To serve, carefully turn the dongbo pork out on top of the bed of pak choi.

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