09 March, 2011

Braised pork shoulder - ignore the fat

Do you like kong bak? The sinful layers of fat that melt in your mouth in a sweet yet savory sauce. Delicious! Just ignore what your doctor said about avoiding too much fat.

There are many recipes online for fancier versions that definitely do better in the looks department (think tying the meat chunks with pandan leaves to keep the shape) but also take a lot more time. However, being a mum (working or not) means there may be certain things one has to foresake for the sake (pun not intended) of sanity – so I am forced to choose ease over appearance.

The recipe I have is dead easy and a perfect 1 pot dish (minimal washing!) which makes me one happy camper. The meat is succulent and tender and the sauce goes great with rice too. The dish keeps well overnight and when I heated it up in the microwave the next day, the fat just melted in my mouth. I must say I now know what to blame for the expanding waistline!

Braised pork shoulder
0.5kg pork shoulder with skin intact
½ red onion diced
1 garlic bulb peeled
2 tbs Shaoxing wine
1 cup dark soya sauce
1 cup light soya sauce
4 pieces of rock sugar
1 tsp five spice powder

  1. Scald the pork shoulder with boiling water and blanch into ice cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Remove the hair from the pork shoulder skin.
  3. Using a pot that would fit the meat, sautee the garlic (whole cloves) and red onions gently until fragrant.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients into the pot including the chunk of pork shoulder.
  5. Add enough water to cover the meat and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn the fire down and simmer for 1 – 2 hours.
  6. Serve with green vegetables and rice (To assuage the guilt.)
  1. Scalding helps to make the hairs more apparent and easier to remove. Furthermore, it is supposed to help remove some of the smell. (I can't really tell)
  2. Avoid using a pot too big as it would require more water to cook the meat and dilute the flavors.
  3. You can hard boil an egg (or eggs) and shell them. Then pop them in with the meat when simmering to get very tasty eggs that children love!

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