Belly Pork Casserole with Chinese Mushrooms

  • 11/2 kg belly pork, boneless but still with the skin
  • 50g dried Chinese black mushrooms
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger about 11/2 inches long
  • 11/4 litres water
  • 600ml Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 150ml light soy sauce
  • 50ml dark soy sauce
  • 150g sugar
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 dried red chili peppers
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 whole spring onions
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Cut the unpeeled ginger into 6 equal sized slices, then place them along with the water and the rice wine in a large casserole. Bring to a boil then place the belly pork in the casserole, simmer for 45 minutes, skimming continuously. Add the soy sauces, sugar, star anise, cinnamon, chili peppers, garlic, spring onions and salt. Seal the casserole and cook for 1 1/2-2 hours until the pork is nice and tender.

While the pork is cooking, soak the mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes, drain and press the rest of the water out. Remove and discard the stems but leave the tops whole. When the pork is tender, add the mushrooms and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Remove the pork from the casserole a let it cool slightly, cut into thin slices and serve on pre-warmed plates dressed with the mushrooms and some of the sauce from the casserole.

  • Yields: 6-8 portions
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