Every Chinese dialect and family has its own style of cooking this dish. But no matter which style it is, it always turns out heavenly addictive and will definitely throw your diet plans out of the window for that day.
This dish has been my favourite since young. Be it those cooked by my mother or relatives, it always leaves me coming back for more whenever there is a chance.
Being all grown up now, I have decided to step up and cook this dish on my own. I have modified his dish according to my own taste buds, nutrition needs and likings and it turns out just as good.
I have used less of the herbs and spices and went down to the basic ingredients which can be easily found.
The base ingredients used are : wolfberry, red dates, sugar, garlic, ginger, soya sauce, black sweet sauce, sesame oil, 1 bowl of water, hard boiled eggs and the most important Pork Belly.
The cooking time varies for this dish to be edible in different hands. So as a rule of thumb, the average cooking time on low/medium fire would be approx’ 2-3 hours after boiling at medium/ high fire. However , I personally prefer the taste of my dish to absorb the seasonings and taste thoroughly into my pork belly. This means my garlic, ginger, red dates and wolfberry to melt into the sauce giving it a richer and thicker flavour, thus I will cook it for about 3.5 hours, switch off the fire and leaving it to soak for another 30 to 60 minutes. Thereafter, I will cook it for another 45 minutes and it is ready to be served. Boiled eggs are best to be added in the last 30 to 45 minutes of the cooking time.
The adding of red dates is optional . But if you do add it, do note that it will tend to give the dish a tad of bitterness. So you will need the balance the taste of the seasoning progressively as it is cooked. Usually I will check on it at an interval of 20 minutes on the taste and water levels. But of cus if your cooking pot is deeper, you may adjust the checking intervals accordingly.
The dish is 101% ready to be served once the all fats on the pork belly just melts in your mouth the moment you eat it and the nice aroma fills your taste buds to nirvana. That’s just the best feeling you can get from the cut of braised pork belly.
If you have extra sauce leftover from your meal, you can keep the sauce and use it for cooking your next meal. It will taste even better and tastier in the next day or two.