Soy Sauce Braised Pork Trotters
Often discarded at the butcher’s in North America as being unfit for human consumption, pork trotters are a delicacy in Asia. Browned then slow cooked, Chinese soy sauce braised pork trotters are sticky, gelatinous and delicious.Is it a main dish or an appetizer? Treat it as both. You can even enjoy it as a snack.
- 3 kilograms pork trotters
- ¼ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
- 2 pieces cloves
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 half-inch piece cinnamon bark
- 6 cloves garlic lightly pounded
- 3 shallots cut into halves
- 1 two-inch knob ginger
- 3 to 4 bird’s eye chilies plus more to garnish
- ¼ cup dark soy sauce
- ¼ cup light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- finely sliced scallions to garnish
- 6 hard-boiled eggs to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Rinse, scrub and rinse the pork trotters. If there are visible hairs, burn them with a kitchen torch. Rub dry with a kitchen towel.
- Lay the pork trotters in a single layer on a baking tray. Roast at 400F until browned and caramelized.
- Dump the browned pork trotters into a large pot. Cover with water and start heating.
- Meanwhile, in an oil-free pan, lightly toast the Szhechuan peppercorns, cloves, fennel seeds, star anise and cinnamon bark.
- Dump the toasted spices into the pot with the pork trotters along with the garlic, shallots, ginger and chilies.
- Pour in the soy sauces and stir in the sugar.
- Bring everything to a gentle boil then lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer the pork trotters for two-and-a-half to three hours or until very tender (literally falling off the bones) and the sauce has reduced.
- To serve, scoop out the pork trotters and move to a serving bowl. Strain the broth (it's optional) and pour over the trotters.
- Garnish with scallions, chilies and hard-boiled eggs.
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