To tell you the truth what I’ve been up to lately…holding the Voyager book (Book 3 of Outlander series) by Diana Gabaldon and unable (or I should say unwilling) to put it down until the clock striked midnight and even then, I continued to read until it’s 1 am in the morning. YES…Outlander. The obsession started after I watched season 1 and 2 of Outlander series. I am just not capable of waiting until season 3 is out next year. So, I must read the book!!! The book is seriously addicting! good GOD! I barely do much of baking or cooking up storms at the kitchen because of that ha ! But I still manage to sneak in some photo shoot session in between here and there.
So, because I don’t want to spend too much time at the kitchen this week (when I can use that time to read the book), I’ve been cooking “easy” one-pot type dish. This braised pork with bamboo shoots is one of my favorite that my mom often made. Easy and feed the whole family. No one complained (in fact they love this dish). The pork is usually browned and saute with other spices and then slowly cooked until it is tender and the overall dish has a brown caramel color. Most Chinese like to use pork belly for this particular dish as well. Needless to say, that pork belly literally melt in your mouth. I used pork shoulder/pork butt for this recipe. They are great for braising as they still have some fat that won’t make the meat dry and tough. Definitely steer clear from pork loin. Not the right cut for this dish.
We are apparently no pandas, but I loved to use bamboo shoots in some of my braised meat dishes. I think it just works great. They have that slight crunch and absorb flavors nicely.
Braised pork with bamboo shoots (4-6 servings)
- 3 lbs pork shoulder/butt cut into bite size cubes
- 6 shallots peeled
- 1 thumb-size of ginger
- 5 cloves garlic sliced
- 2 Tbsp of cooking oil
- 1 Tbsp fermented soy bean paste or use 1 Tbsp of brown miso paste
- 1 whole star anise rinse with water and pat dry
- 15 oz canned bamboo shoots slices or in my case strips or use whatever shapes you like
- 2-3 dried red chili optional
- 4 Tbsp of dark soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp of soy sauce
- 2 large potatoes peeled, quartered and submerge in water until ready to use to prevent them from turning black
- Salt to taste
- 4 hard-boiled eggs peeled
- Coriander leaves
I usually like to prepare this the day before:
Process the shallots, ginger, and garlic to a smooth paste with a little bit of water to help get it going if necessary
Preheat about 2 Tbsp of oil in a large pot. Brown the meat (batch by batch) in the pot until they have a nice brown. The meat won't be cooked yet at this point. We just want the nice brown color. Remove from the pot. Add another 1 Tbsp of oil if necessary to the same pot. Add in the shallots paste, soy bean paste, star anise and stir fry until the aroma rises, about 3 minutes. Add in the pork cubes, bamboo shoots, and dried chili. Drizzle in both soy sauce and add in water just until it almost submerge everything inside the pork and bring it to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer covered with lid until the pork is tender, this may take about 45 minutes or longer. 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add in the potatoes and let them cooked until soft but not mushy. Remove from heat and put the hard-boiled eggs in and let it submerge in the liquid and it will take up some of the brownish color
If you prepare this for the next day, place the pot inside the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them. The flavor will develop even more and the egg will get a much darker brown. You can also remove some of the extra fat that has solidify due to refrigeration. Leave some on for flavor though. Reheat it on stove top when you are read to serve
Serve warm and garnish with coriander leaves just before serving