Hello everyone. Today, we’ll start having a food adventure, beginning with one mystic and traditional dish from ancient China made from pork, a not-so-expensive and easy-to-find ingredient in many dishes internationally. You can make tasty food just with pork as the key ingredient. 

In Louisiana, we have “Smothered Pork Chops,” whereas “Fat Back” is popular in the Southern U.S. regions. In Chinese culture, we have “Dongpo pork.” Another name for the dish is “Su Dongpo,” a dish that you will see in any Chinese restaurant.

This tasty and mystic “Dongpo pork” comes with a great story behind it and surprises foodies as the pork belly melts in their mouths. Let’s begin by watching a short video.

Here, we can see the iridescent beauty of the dish from every angle when the chef pours the silky brown sauce on the pork. It may look oily at first, but the harmony of soft fiber and spices will blow your mind. 

We’ll keep you up with how to make the dish and the key points for the tasty and juicy pork later in the video.

For now, let’s get to know some facts about its origin. 

Everything has its own starting point and story. So does this dish. 

According to the official Chinese government website, “Dongpo Pork” was created by Su Dongpo, a famed Song Dynasty poet and gastronome. 

Chinese Food Wiki shared that Su Dongpo personally led the people to rescue the city dam when there was a flood. The process lasted 77 days.

Locals wanted to thank him with pork and local rice wine (Huang Jiu), but he refused and turned the gifts into delicious stewed pork. Su Dongpo then sent the gifts back to each family in the city. 

It is the origin of the name Dongpo pork.

According to legend, Su Dongpo braised the pork first, then added the yellow wine huangjiu to make red-braised pork before slowly stewing it on low heat.

From this story, we can see values such as kindness and generosity. The villagers showed their appreciation to Su Dongpo by giving him food. In response, Su Dongpo turned the ingredients into a greater gift and gave them back to locals, showing his kindness. 

How to make Dongpo pork?

Before cooking, you’ll need pork belly, ginger, crystal sugar, bean sauce, cooking wine, water, and red dates. 

First, remember to select a thick pork belly with tight muscles to reach a better flavor. Then, cut the meat into 1.5 inches square and use a cotton string to tie a parcel knot.

After that, heat the oil in a pan over medium heat before adding the pork belly and rind down. Fry till the oil from the fat comes out little. Then, put it away for later use.

Next, get a large Chinese frying pan and tile garlic sprouts on the bottom of the pan, place a tiny bamboo pat over to prevent the pork belly from burning too much and place the cooked pork belly on the pat.

Add a spoon of water to the pan, then melt the crystal sugar over medium heat until it turns into syrup. Then, add 2 tablespoons of bean sauce, 1 cup cooking wine, and 1 cup water. Finally, turn up the heat until the water boils, then reduce to medium and cook for 60 minutes.

What is the secret of such a tasty dish?

According to Tasteaseanfood, there are nine tips for making the perfect braised pork belly.

Remember to brown the skin to add flavor; use dry frying as a technique for adding flavor and golden browning.

An excellent way to get rid of the gamey flavor of the pork is to blanch the pork in water. 

Cut the pork into 4 cm square or smaller. If the pieces are too big, the interior will not be soft. It will not absorb the taste of the boiling liquid.

In addition, tie the pork chunks together with kitchen string to keep them from falling apart during the long cooking time.

You can use aromatics to enhance the flavor. The aromatics serve as a base for the pork, preventing it from clinging to the bottom. During the long hours of stewing, the pork will fully absorb the flavor of the spring onions and ginger.

Use only high-quality soy sauce. Because there are only six ingredients in this recipe, the quality of the soy sauce is critical.

Flip the pork pieces once. This is necessary since the stew’s liquid may not completely cover the meat. To achieve consistent cooking, flip the pork chunks once.

Make use of rock sugar. The taste of rock sugar is as pure as possible. If rock sugar is unavailable, white sugar can be used.

To simmer, use low heat. Light soy sauce can become bitter when cooked over high heat, leaving an unpleasant aftertaste in the pork.

A poem from Su Dongpo called “Ode to Pork” can help you memorize these tips. It can be translated as below,

“Pork in Huangzhou is plenty

there it costs utterly lowly

The rich detest it; the poor fluff it

Slow the fire, hold the water, it comes alive when the time is right”

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.