BRAISED PORK BELLY AND ARROWHEAD ROOT: CANTONESE STYLE
As you might expect, my partner is a huge fan of pig belly recipes, and this Cantonese style braised pork belly is no exception—it’s little bit like our Red Cooked Pork, but together with the fermented bean curd and the arrowhead root’s particular flavor.
We had a tradition of eating arrowhead root at Chinese New Year when we were newlyweds. According to the Cantonese tradition of “helping” you have boys, I had no idea why they lived there. Given that we had two girls, I’m not sure how trustworthy that advice was.
Aside from my mother-in-shattered law’s dreams, this braised pork belly with Chinese arrowhead is an excellent Cantonese-style pig belly dish. Arrowhead is being sold in Asian markets for the first time, so hurry if you want to try it!
In the winter, I’ve only seen them once or twice a year. I can’t locate them at any other time of year, even in cans. If you can’t find them, you can use potatoes instead (especially if you don’t care about having sons) because their texture is similar to potatoes and water chestnuts.
- 2 pounds of pork belly
- 10 pcs. Of arrowhead roots (or 2 – 3 large potatoes)
- 2 tbsp. of oil
- 2/3 oz. of rock sugar (20g)
- 2 pieces of red fermented bean curd
- 1/4 cup of shaoxing wine
- 1 ½ tsp. of dark soy sauce
- 5 cups of water
- Large slices of pork belly (0.75″ x 1.5″) should be cut. Blanch the beef in a large pot of simmering water until it turns opaque. Wash well and put it away.
- Peel off the arrowhead roots. To remove the outer layer, just cut the top and bottom of the cucumber and peel it. To prevent oxidation, immediately drop each peeled root into a dish of cold water. Before cutting the potatoes into 1 1/2-inch cube, you’ll need to peel them (they take less time to cook than the arrowhead).
- The arrowhead roots should be cut in half when you’re ready to boil them. Add the rock sugar to the heated oil in a wok over low heat. Slowly pour in the fermented bean curd/liquid and let it melt. Stir for a few seconds. Add the pork belly and arrowroots that have been blanched now (if using potatoes, do not add them yet).
- Mix everything on a medium-low heat setting. Pour in the shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, and 2 cups of water. Cover the pan after mixing everything. Add water and bring to a boil.
- It’s best to check on the pot every 5 to 10 minutes. Add a cup of water at a time, then re-tighten the lid. The pork should be fork-tender and the sauce thick enough to cover it. I cooked the pork and arrowhead root in 5 cups of water for around 1 hour and 15 minutes in my instance. After about 45 minutes of simmering, remove the pork from the heat, add the potatoes and toss them in.
- For perfectly tender pork, uncover and increase the heat to medium-high in a wok, but make sure that there is still a lot of liquid in the pan. Cook over low heat, stirring regularly until the sauce thickens and resembles gravy.