Thursday 29 November 2018

Recipe review: Black Vinegar Pork Trotter - a dish to keep me warm and buzzing

This dish in Malaysia is called 'tu kah chor' (Hokkien: pig leg vinegar) / 'chu kiok zhou' (Cantonese: pig trotter vinegar). Randomly found at chinese economy rice eateries, roadside pushcarts or more commonly bak kut teh kopitiam and usually served on selected days of the week. 

This Cantonese cuisine is filled with collagen as the broth thickens with sweet nutritious porky-vinegary-sesame fragrance. The richness keeps me fueled for days. 

Otherwise known as black vinegar pork trotter. Best had over steamed white rice. It's made with  ingredients that regulate the body temp keeping internal warmth.

Here's the formula/recipe for a happy Asian tummy; Bliss = (Cold days + )*Vinegar

Prep & Lessons:
1. Pork - best to balance between trotters which gives the gelatin layer and meatier parts to soak in gelatin. To be par-boiled to rid scum and blood. Rinse pork.

2. Ginger - while scumming pork, clean the ginger by scraping off skin with spoon.  Next, bruise it by pounding or sliced. Sautee with sesame oil til fragrant. Add pork to fry in flavour.
3. Add sweet black vinegar. Rule of thumb is ratio 1:1 vinegar to water. Add to taste:
- sugar (rock sugar or palm sugar but ordinary countertop sugar is fine too)
- light soy sauce (optional)
- dried chilli & mushrooms (optional)
- hard-boiled eggs (optional to add during the last hour. Egg will toughen like jerky if left long in the stew)
4. Substitute sweet black vinegar with the easily sourced China's Zhenjiang Vinegar and sweet black sauce. Instead of plain water, the earlier boiled liquid (pork broth) can be added back per suggested ratio.

5. I used a Crock-Pot for 30mins high, 2hrs low. I like thia dish cooked through with gelatinous soft bones. When cooking vinegar, use cookware made of glass, clay or ceramic. Cookware made of cast iron, metal, aluminium and non-stick material are unsuitable for cooking acidic dishes. The acid eats into the metal.

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