When you find a good recipe, you stick with it, don’t you? This has been a family favourite since the marriage of Mr and Mrs British Hygge Jem… in other words, since I married my Handsome Solicitor and we set up together. I learned to cook through reading and slavishly following Delia Smith recipes. Now I take a far more relaxed approach to recipes and (except for baking) switch them around to suit myself.
This recipe actually doesn’t get switched around that much, just fiddled with according to what I have in the box and what I forgot to put on the shopping list that week. It’s a favourite, and goes beautifully with some green vegetables stir fried with soy sauce and plain boiled basmati rice. Having said that, I’ve also had it with noodles and I rather suspect Number 2 Son prefers his with chips.
Hung Shao Pork; makes enough for 5 people
6-8 strips (approx 5 inches long) of belly pork, cubed. That’s between 800gm to 1kg
4tbsp soy sauce (dark)
1 des spoon chopped fresh ginger or 1tsp dry ground ginger
1 star anise, whole
2 inches cinnamon stick, in shreds
1 tsp caster sugar
**Instead of the ginger, star anise and cinnamon, I very often substitute 2 heaped tsp of Chinese 5 spice powder**
Put the pork, skin side down, in a large frying pan with a good lid.
Sprinkle soy sauce and 1tbsp of water around.
Add the spices or 5 spice powder.
Heat to a simmer and then turn the heat down, cover and cook gently for 45 minutes.
Turn the pork over, sprinkle with the sugar and 2tbsp water (add extra soy sauce if you like) then cover and cook for another 45 minutes.
You can cook this in advance and reheat gently in a pan, if required.
Serve with boiled rice or noodles and a green vegetable stir fry.
It takes some time, because you’re cooking with belly pork, but the skin and fat dissolve into a glorious rib-sticking sauce around the meat which will be soft, tender and fall apart as you touch it.
Belly pork has the advantage, mostly, of being a cheaper cut of meat. It’s also tasty and quite adaptable. We love it straight roasted with leeks and gravy. But that’s for another day.
Now, to business. Will you be here again tomorrow? I am launching a new day: International Hygge Day. Can you believe there isn’t one already? Put 28th February in your diary this year and every year.
For the inaugural International Hygge day I am going to make lemon drizzle cake, wear my slippers to work and donate to Shelter. Start thinking: what could you do to spread the Hygge?
Come back tomorrow for some new ideas, and don’t forget if you’re new, say Hi below and come and find me all over the net on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. And if you think a little virtual hygge is what you need, then pop over to The Hygge Nook. We never turn anyone away. And if you’d like to keep me independent and free from sponsorship, why not consider a small donation to keep me in candles? It’s easy if you have a Paypal account, just go to paypal.me/HyggeJem and treat me to a coffee as a reward for writing the blog….