Recipe courtesy of Easy Living
Braising in soy sauce is a common Chinese method, giving the meat a distinct colour and flavour. The braising liquid also makes a delicious sauce.
Serves: 6 Prep time: 25 mins Cook time: 2 hours Cals per serving: 369 Fat: 24g
Ingredients: 1.5kg (3 lb) pork belly, with skin; 150ml (6 fl oz) light soy sauce; 4 tblsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry; 2 whole star anise; 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled; 6 spring onions, roughly chopped; 4 slices ginger, 4 mm thick; 1 tblsp demerara or light brown sugar; pinch of dried chilli flakes; 600-700ml (20-24 fl oz) chicken stock or water
Step One: Blanch the pork in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for about 5 minutes. Rinse the pork and, when it’s cool enough to handle, cut the belly into 5cm lengths.
Step Two: Put the pork pieces in a large saucepan or casserole dish and add the soy sauce, rice wine, star anise, garlic, spring onion, ginger, sugar, chilli flakes and enough stock or water to just cover the meat. Bring slowly to the boil over a low heat, cover and simmer very gently for about 2 hours, turning the meet occasionally.
Step Three: Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside. Skim any fat off the top of the sauce, then simmer the liquid over a high heat until it has thickened a little. Taste to check and stop simmering if sauce becomes too strongly flavoured. Return the pork pieces to the sauce and heat through. If you want to crisp the skin, place the pork pieces skin side up under a hot grill until crisp and bubbling. Serve the pork belly with sauce with noodles and extra sliced spring onions or steamed Chinese vegetables.
Tip: You can follow the recipe using chicken or duck. Just use leg pieces (with the thigh attached) and braise for about 45 minutes or until tender.
Serves: 4; Prep: 20 min; Cook: 45 min
Plum sauce and lemon juice give the pork a delicious sweet and sour taste. Serve with sesame flavour noodles for an exotic touch.
Ingredients: 1 lemon; 3 cloves garlic, peeled; 1 lb / 450g pork fillet; 2 tbsp/30ml plum sauce; 9oz / 250g egg noodles; 1 tbsp/15ml sesame oil; 6 spring onions, chopped; 2 tbsp/30ml chopped fresh parsley.
Preheat oven to Mark 6 / 400oF / 200oC. Remove the lemon peel in strips with a potato peeler, taking care to avoid the white and bitter pith. Cut the strips in half. Cut the garlic into slivers. Cut deep slits into the pork fillet at random intervals, and insert the lemon peel and garlic, pushing them well in. Brush the fillet generously with the plum sauce and roast for 40 minutes or until the meat is tender.
Prepare the noodles according to packet instructions, then pour over the sesame oil and add the spring onions and parsley. Remove the cooked fillet from the roasting pan, add the noodles, toss in the cooking juices and then replace the fillet on top. Serve immediately.
Serves: 4; Prep: 10 mins; Cook: 15 mins; Cals per portion: 270
Strips of beef in a sweet and sour sauce – better than a takeaway any day!
Ingredients: 1 lb/450g steak, suitable for grilling or frying; 1 tbsp/15ml sunflower oil; 2 sticks celery, sliced; 1 green pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced; 1 red pepper, deseeded, and thinly sliced; 4oz/125g large flat mushrooms, thinly sliced; 1 tsp/5ml salt; 1 tsp/5ml sugar; 1 tbsp/15ml tomato puree; 1 tbsp/15ml dark soy sauce; 1 tbsp/15ml cornflour; 1 tbsp/15ml vinegar; 4oz/125g mangetout
- Cut the beef into thin strips. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry beef for 4-5 minutes. Add celery, peppers and mushrooms and fry for 3 minutes. Stir in salt, sugar, puree and soy sauce.
- Blend the cornflour with the vinegar and stir into the pan. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly until it thickens. Add the mangetout and heat through for 1 minute. Serve immediately.
- Tip: Rump steak is best for stir frys, other more economical cuts which are equally suitable for this dish are silverside or topside.
A recipe by Gary Rhodes
Wok to it with this tasty, Chinese-style stir-fry and rice dish.
This is a great recipe that takes hardly any preparation. And, apart from the fresh ginger, you’ll probably find all the ingredients in your kitchen cupboard. Boiled rice is ideal for the sweet and sour rice dish and I like to use pork tenderloin or fillet – when cubed or cut into strips, both these cuts fry quickly. Vegetarians can use mushrooms, peppers and courgettes instead of pork. Anything goes!
Ingredients: Sweet & Sour Rice: Olive oil, for frying; 1 onion, chopped; 2 tsp brown sugar; 2 tblsp malt vinegar; 1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce; ¼ tsp Tabasco sauce; 1 dsp tomato ketchup; 1 x 14oz (400g) tin chopped tomatoes; salt, black pepper; 4 fresh tomatoes, optional; 12oz – 1 lb (350-450g) boiled rice.
Pork: 1 – 1 ½ lb (450-675g) pork tenderloin or fillet; 2 tblsp olive oil; 1 garlic clove, crushed; 1 tsp freshly chopped ginger
- To make the sweet and sour rice, heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion for a few minutes. Take care that it doesn’t brown. Add the brown sugar and the malt vinegar and bring to the boil. Add the Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces.
- Stir in the tomato ketchup and tinned tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Make sure you add all the juice from the tinned tomatoes, as it helps create the sauce. Simmer until the liquid thickens and it has reduced in volume by about one-third. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- If you are using the fresh tomatoes, blanch, skin and dice them. Add them to the sauce at this stage. Add the boiled rice to the sauce and check seasoning. Put to one side in a warm place.
- Season the pork with salt and pepper and cut it into cubes or strips. Heat the olive oil in a wok or frying pan until it’s very hot. Add the pork, garlic and ginger. Fry on a high flame until the pork is well coloured and tender. To serve, dish out the rice on to plates and place a portion of the pork on top of each.
- Tip: If you add a splash of soy sauce and a pinch of caster cane sugar at the end of the cooking time, this gives the pork and rice even more of an authentic Chinese flavour.