Mei Cai Kou Rou, also called Pork Belly with Preserved Vegetables is a Chinese dish of steamed pork belly over preserved mustard served on a sweet savoury thick sauce.
- 750 g whole slab boneless pork belly
- 2 slices ginger about 1/8-inch thick, 2 inches long (0.3 cm thick/5cm long)
- 2 pcs star anise
- 2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 150 g dried preserved mustard greens
- 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing Wine
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp cornstarch, combined with 1 tbsp water
- Place preserved mustard greens in a large bowl, add water until of the vegetables are submerged. Let it soak for 6 to 8 hours.
- In a colander pour the mustard greens to drain the water, rinse in running tap water multiple times until all the sand and dirt has been rinsed off. Fully drain then set aside.
- Prepare a pot over a stove top in high heat, put pork belly slab flat on the bottom with skin side up, pour water until pork is submerged. Add ginger slices and star anise then bring it to a boil, once boiling lower heat to medium low and let it simmer for 35 minutes.
- Remove the pork from the pot then set it aside, let it cool for 10 minutes.
- Prepare a large wok, place over high heat and once the wok starts to smoke add a small amount of oil just to cover the surface. Let the oil smoke then once it does brown the pork belly slab skin side first, followed by the other sides.
- Now that the pork is browned lower the heat to medium, add the 2 tsp of dark soy sauce and 1 tbsp of water then coat the pork on all sides. Turn of the heat the let the pork cool down and rest on the wok, leave it for 30 minutes.
- Once pork belly has cooled down, remove the pork from the wok then slice the pork into ½-inch thick slices. Arrange the pork slices on a bottom of a shallow heat-proof bowl. Set it aside.
- Using the same wok, add 1 tbsp oil and the sugar, cook in medium heat until sugar has caramelised.
- Add the ginger then cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the drained preserved vegetables, stir until the caramelised sugar is evenly distributed.
- Pour the remaining Preserved Vegetables ingredients, give it another mix then bring it to boil then turn the heat off.
- Place the preserved vegetable mixture on top of the pork belly, covering the whole surface of the bowl hiding the pork beneath. Place bowl in a steamer then steam for 90 minutes.
- Remove bowl from the steamer, pour the liquid that was accumulated into the bowl into the same wok, around 3/4 cups. Add the dissolved cornstarch then mix.
- Turn back the heat on then thicken the sauce over medium heat.
- Cover the bowl of pork with your serving plate then flip it over onto the plate. Pour thickened sauce over the dish then serve.