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Hung Shao Pork

1 lb lean belly pork strips, cleaned and chopped
4 tablespoons light soy
2 tablespoons tamari
splash oyster sauce
one-inch piece root ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1 teaspoon sechzuan peppercorns, dry fried
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup sherry
pinch MSG, optional

Stir-fry ginger and garlic in a big casserole dish. Place pork in,
skin down. Add everything else and a couple of cups of water.
Cover and simmer over a very low heat for an hour. Turn the pork
over. Simmer again for an hour. Fish the meat out and put it in
a bowl. Reduce sauce a bit, taste, and add more soy/oyster sauce
if you think it's needed. Strain through a sieve, pour over meat
and enjoy.

I like to leave the meat, covered with the sauce, in the fridge
for at least 24 hours before eating; the flavours intensify to a
surprising extent. (It's also easier to remove fat from the top
at this stage, when it's set.) Serve with rice; it's also good in
sandwiches. (The cold sauce turns into a delicious jelly.)

Notes: This is a traditional Chinese one-pot dish we've eaten in
my family for years, which is very simple to prepare. You can
leave out the Szechuan peppercorns if you can't get hold of them.

Other cheap cuts of pork are also good; try the hock. And leave
the skin on; it goes gelatinous and delicious.


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