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Your favorite version of 红烧肉?


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This kind http://www.beitaichu...m/recipe/21559/ ,the meat has many 分层,so it will not taste too oil.



I see. Thanks. That looks like the kind I usually buy.


Actually I've developed the habit of telling the butcher what dish I'm planning to make when I buy meat so they can give me suggestions as to what piece might be most suitable.



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Just to point out that it should be 哥们儿好 instead of 哥儿们好。

Actually, there seems to be a lot of variation in the pronunciation, see http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=7206 (and he actually list 哥儿们 first)



gēménr (rising intonation on the second syllable, but shorter in length and not as pronounced as a regular Mandarin second tone)

gēmen(r ) (light 儿化 ["erization"])

gēmenr (speaker from Tianjin, first syllable had a low, slightly falling tone – ge[21])




gómenr (speaker from Chongqing or surrounding area; first syllable somewhere between gó and guó)




gēmen (speaker said she "didn't usually say this word" [i had to coax it out of her]; may have been overcorrecting)




I have to add one version which I once heard from a rough fellow in Beijing: gērAmon (the capital A indicates strong emphasis).

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I think I picked it up from a book called "Dirty Chinese", which is like a slang dictionary. It says 嘿,哥儿们!(hēi, gērmen!)


BTW, thanks for all the feedback. I got great tips and in the end I made a combo of everything, especially since I didn't find any 绍兴酒, so I had to buy this bottle that had a combination of soy sauce, rice wine, etc. It basically said that I just needed to braise the meat and ginger, add the sauce and water and boil it. I went my own path and parboiled the meat with ginger, cut it, braised it, added scallions, chilies, Sichuan pepper and then added the sauce with some water and then let it all cook for roughly 40 minutes with star anis, a cinnamon stalk and bay leaf. It tasted great but could easily have continued to cook for another hour and a half.

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It tasted great but could easily have continued to cook for another hour and a half.


I'm surprised by this. Were you able to find the right cut of meat? The kind that @Mindmaxd describes in post #22 with many layers of fatty marbling in between the lean?

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I'm surprised by this. Were you able to find the right cut of meat? The kind that @Mindmaxd describes in post #22 with many layers of fatty marbling in between the lean?


How come you're surprised? Yeah, the meat was the easy part. (:

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Made it this weekend from scratch. Big job and the flavor was good, but like the Original Poster, the meat turned out tough. The butcher warned me that it was too lean, but I didn't listen.


My old favorite neighborhood wet market was torn down and I now go to a new one where I don't have an established and ongoing relationship with the vendors. Makes a huge difference.


post-20301-0-29578500-1398218402_thumb.jpg  post-20301-0-03698600-1398218416_thumb.jpg

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@ChTTay -- I used the Fuscia Dunlop recipe from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes from Hunan Province. This recipe includes the par-boiling step. Will paste it below.


Modified it slightly by using rock sugar 冰糖 and adding some garlic. I also used 老抽 (dark soy sauce) instead of the light kind. I always prefer it's rich taste in a hearty dish like this.


Flavors were excellent. After having made this recipe or some close variation of it now several dozen times, I've concluded what should have been obvious all along: Selection of the meat is the most important part, in fact it is critical. When I use the right meat, it's delicious; when I don't, it's a flop.


This dish is all about the meat. Can't stress that enough for people just wanting to casually try it out.




1 pound pork belly 五花肉
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
2 pieces star anise
2 dried red chilies
1 piece cinnamon stick or cassia bark
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
Salt and sugar to taste
Scallion greens, thinly sliced, for garnish

(I added some garlic)

  1. Dunk pork belly into a pot of boiling water and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes until partially cooked. Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle. Slice into 1-inch cubes.
  2. In a wok, heat sugar and oil over low heat until the sugar melts and turns golden brown. Add pork and Shaoxing wine.
  3. Add enough water to cover the pork, along with ginger, star anise, chilis, and cinnamon/cassia. Bring liquid to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 40 to 50 minutes. Keep extra water nearby in case too much water evaporates.
  4. With 5 minutes left of cooking to go, turn up heat if liquid needs to reduce further to sauce-like consistency. Stir in soy sauce. Season to taste with salt and sugar. Transfer to serving dishes and garnish with scallion greens.


post-20301-0-36467800-1398396774_thumb.jpg post-20301-0-98492900-1398396398_thumb.jpg post-20301-0-92747300-1398396421_thumb.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Looks great! I must have missed the notification about this thread. This isn't really a summer dish but i may just make it anyway.

Do you add the cinnamon stick? Not sure i've seen that in Chinese supermarkets but the i've never really looked.

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Yep, added cinnamon bark. They call it 桂枝 or 桂枝皮 in Kunming.


Was talking 红烧肉 recipes with a friend yesterday and she told me that she thought the most important thing was getting the right meat, nicely layered with fat, and that the soy sauce could be light or dark or whatever and the only spice that could not be omitted was the 八角。

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It looks like it's one of those things for which English has one word and Chinese has about a billion. 桂皮、柴桂、肉桂、官桂、香桂、桂枝、桂枝皮... Clearly ingredients for cooking are China's version of street drugs (how many different words are there for MDMA?)

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  • 2 years later...

Dear Forum,


today, I, for the first time, attempted to cook this dish. I followed the recipe by Fuchsia Dunlop, that @abcdefg posted above, with one exception; I may not have cooked this dish before, but surely pork belly a lot of times, knowing that they rarely get tender after only 50 minutes, so I cooked it partly in my pressure cooker, for 22 minutes, which eqates about 70 minutes normal cooking time. So, here we go:



Pork belly, ready to be trimmed by my SmartWife.



Ingredients assembly line.



Pork belly, blanched and cut up.



Sugar, caramelizing in the oil. This is a critical step to get deep flavours.



Under pressure for 22 minutes.



After the pressure cooking, I poured it all over in the wok, and set on high to reduce. Added a small amount of soy sauce and a bay leaf in this step. After further reducing I finished it with half of the onions and some more soy sauce.



Prepped some spring onions with my CCK KF1912.



Plated on top of some dinkel wheat/spelt, since I do not eat a lot of rice.




The flavours were rich, deep and sweet. A bit to oily, so I will get leaner meat next time, since lean belly is pretty fat anyway, and the oil is still needed for caramelization. 


Next time, I will, with this recipe as a base, try some other ot Fuchsia’s variants, maybe the one with water chestnuts, but also include some other, lighter dishes—as single dish this one is a bit rich and fatty.






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18 hours ago, Kamelion said:

A bit to oily, so I will get leaner meat next time, since lean belly is pretty fat anyway, and the oil is still needed for caramelization. 


Very nice, @Kamelion. Thanks so much for posting this. I like your idea of partially precooking the meat in your pressure cooker. Next time, I will try that too. (Didn't have a pressure cooker in 2014, when I wrote the above steps; but now I do.) Definitely a good strategy for making it more tender.


About the choice of meat. Like you, I prefer it to be at least somewhat lean. Chinese, by contrast, like to be much more fat. Here's a side by side of the meat I used in April 2014 and yours just now. The butcher told me what I bought was not really appropriate at all; he said it was too high up on the side of the animal, too far towards the loin and hence not marbled well enough. But I insisted on trying it. The butcher was right and I was wrong. Mine dried out with cooking.




When I eat out with Chinese friends and we are sharing dishes of this type, I notice that they eat all the fat, whereas I tend to set aside the bites that are exclusively fat or with only a tiny bit of lean. Differences in approach; differences in eating style. This (below) is more like what I usually see suggested in recipes here (in China.) Most chefs suggest buying wuhua rou that still has the skin attached.







The best dish of hong shao rou I ever had was on a tea expedition to Anji Town 安吉县城 in northwest Zhejiang Province in quest of their famous Anji Bai Cha at its source. It was early spring, right after Qing Ming Festival, and the nights were pretty nippy; made us crave hearty fare. In addition to touring around in the tea mountains, we had taken long side-trip hikes into the huge hilly fields of tall bamboo for which the region is also justly famous.


Spectacular "seas" of bamboo -- 竹海/竹林。 Quite a few movies have been shot there, including the "sword dancing in the treetops" scenes from "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon."




A driver suggested an "underground" restaurant dedicated to the theme of Chairman Mao's favorite eats during the time of the Cultural Revolution. The name of the place was Red Star. Girl servers wore pigtails with their padded Mao jackets 棉袄 buttoned to the throat. Male staff wore tattered and patched olive gray soldier uniforms with scuffed  mid-calf boots. Revolutionary slogans and posters adorned the walls. We ate at rough-hewn wood benches instead of at proper tables. Piped in marching music.


Their hong shao rou (one of Mao's favorite foods) was the specialty of the house and we had it accompanied by a thick soup made with large bamboo shoots that had been stewed a long time in a rich broth. They left the bamboo in large irregular chunks instead of using it nicely sliced.


My group had glass after glass of fresh-picked Anji Bai Cha (a green tea despite the name.) The house also offered yellow tea, since that was reputed to be Mao's favorite variety. It's difficult stuff, and I avoided it. Food was served in metal bowls with dents and chipped enamel. Thankfully, the tea was in glasses.


Apologies for the digression. Hope you will post more recipes, Kamelion. And it was great to have a look at your fine new knife in action.

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