Today is Chinese New Year and it is the Year of the Dragon! When I was little, my best friend was Chinese and I went with her family to celebrate in Chinatown for a couple of years in a row. I absoluely loved it for two reasons. I received tons of money in a beautiful red and gold envelope and I got to eat some food that has stayed with me until this day.
In celebration of The Year of The Dragon, I give you a recipe for Char siu Pork ( by way of Rick Stein!). I do like to cook this for the Chinese New Year each year. Partly in memory of the celebrations I remember so clearly spent in a noisy and chaotic office in Soho, looking down on the parades in amazement and partly so the children can learn a little about another culture and it’s traditions.
Food is such a good way to educate children about other countries and what they traditionally eat. As a result, they do completely LOVE Chinese food. After a trip to Wing Yip for Dim Sum , being the only Western family in there, they also got a little taste of what it feels like to enter into another culture and have people look at you with curiosity.
So for our Sunday lunch we had Chinese red roast pork, stir fried pak choi and rice . I got a huge belly pork so that we can have some cold in rolls with shredded letuce, hoi sin and a little cucumber & spring onion. I will try out some dough for these amazing pork buns and post soon.
新年快乐 Gong Hey Fat Choy ~ Happy New (Chinese) Year
Ingredients :- Serves 1 family with leftovers
Recipe adapted from Rick Stein’s “Far Eastern Odyssey”
1.5 kilo boneless pork belly in one piece with the skin not scored
100ml dark soy sauce
A large piece of ginger finely grated
5 cloves of garlic finely grated
1tbsp five spice powder
1tbsp Chinese rice wine
2tsp red food colouring
Get a large roasting tray and grate the ginger and garlic straight into it.
Add the soy sauce, honey, five spice, red food colouring and rice wine.
Stir to combine.
Place the belly pork into the tray flesh side down.
Leave to marinade preferably overnight, if not, for at least 8 hours.
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees.
Pierce the skin of the pork and rub with oil and a little salt.
Put the pork skin side up on a roasting rack.
Place some boiling hot water in the roasting tin then place in the oven to roast for 2 hours.(water will need to be topped up every so often)
The pork really benefits from being left in the marinade overnight. I have done it without the overnight marinading and the difference is significant in how tender and flavoursome the meat is. It is so good you will keep going back for more!