braised pork leg (Hand) with red bean curd & peanuts (南乳花生炆豬手)
Further to my previous post on Wanchai Open Market, I have bought some dried shrimp roe egg noodles (蝦子麵) from this popular noodle shop. Don’t be scared by the name shrimp roe, it does not taste fishy at all, the shrimp roe sticks to the noodle and just make it more precious. If you just buy pure shrimp roe in a jar it is very expensive by weight.
How do we eat these dried noodles? You can simply cook them in boiling water for a few minutes, unwind them and served with some oyster sauce on top, mix through and eat.
Recently I have found Pig legs available in the supermarket (Manor) and this reminds me the Braised pork legs (we called it Pig hand actually) in the noodle shops, not all noodle shops can make this good, some do not cook long enough and therefore the flavor is not infused enough.
I am very satisfied with my attempt and here is the recipe to share with you. By the way, the good thing about eating pig legs is that it has a lot of collagen, very good for our skin!!!!!
- 2 pig legs (each leg cut into about 6 pieces if you do not have a cleaver at home, it’s better to ask the butcher to cut for you)
- 1 cup uncooked Chinese peanuts, soaked in hot water for 3o mins and remove skins
- 3 thick slices of ginger, peeled and bashed with the cleaver blade, this is thought to let the ginger flavor comes out better)
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 corner dried mandarin peel (果皮), soak in hot water for a while to soften, & scrape off the white inner side of the peel with a small knife
- 1 star anise
- 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (Shao Hsing)
- 600ml water (optional: add 1 tbsp chicken bouillon)
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 cube red bean curd (南乳) or 1 tbsp red bean curd paste
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce (老抽)
- 1 small piece of Chinese rock sugar (冰糖) or 2 tsp sugar
- Remove the hair on the pig legs if there is still, wash in tap water.
- In a big pan, boil some water that can cover all pig legs. Place the pig legs in the pan and let them cook at low heat for 10 mins or until they are cooked. Rinse the pig legs in tap water and drain in a colander.
- In a wok or large flat pan, turn to high heat and add in 3 tbsp cooking oil, when the oil is hot enough, add the ginger and garlic, stir for about 30 seconds. Add in the pieces of pig legs, stir fry until all sides are exposed to the heat. Adjust to medium high heat if necessary.
- When all pieces are hot enough, add in the Chinese cooking wine, you should hear the sizzling, and the wine will evaporate a little.
- Now it’s time to add the remaining ingredients, add in the peanuts, water, dark soy sauce, red bean curd, (rock) sugar star anise and mandarin peel.
- Stir to ensure the red bean curd is dissolved completely. Transfer to a deep pan. Bring to boil, cover with lid and then simmer at medium heat for at least 2 hours until the liquid is thickened and the pig legs become tender and peanuts softened. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking.
- Towards the end of cooking, skim off as much oil as you can.
- Serve the pig legs and sauce with the noodles you desire such as Chinese egg noodles (thin or thick version) or rice noodles.
Preserved Red Bean Curd
- Step 2 is critical, it is like blanching vegetables, in Chinese, we called it “flying water”. It helps to remove the scum earlier and will help to remove the meat smell, also make the sauce clearer during cooking since the scum would have gone by then.
- When the pig legs are tendered enough and the sauce is thickened, this means it’s really to serve and do not cook any longer as over-cooking will lead to sticking and burnt.
- After cooking for 2 hours, you can turn off the heat and keep the lid on, this will let it continuing cooking further and also saves energy.
- You can also cook a day in advance and eat the next day as braising dish taste even better the following day.
My other recipe using red bean curd: