Hong Shao Rou

This definitely isn’t the first time I’ve posted a photo of this Hunanese dish. But the reason I post about it, and cook it, so much is because it has got to be one of my all time favourite things to eat. The slow cooking makes the fatty cubes of pork belly wonderfully soft, so that they melt in your mouth. And each cube has soaked up and become swollen with such rich, heady flavours, a potent mixture of sweet wine and soy sauce with hints of the ginger and a slight buzz of chilli. This all sort of seeps out of each piece to delight you when you eat it. The sauce alongside the meat could be bottled up on its own and sold, because scooped onto pearly grains of plain white rice it turns them into something magnificent. But couple these flavours with the textured cubes of meat and you have something truly amazing. I used Fuchsia Dunlop’s recipe to make this dish, and find it works perfectly. Her writing about the origins and story behind it is also well worth reading.

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