Five Spice Braised Meat Ngo Hiang

by - 9:11 PM


"五香滷肉" can be broken down as follows:

  1. 五 (wǔ) – This means "five."
  2. 香 (xiāng) – This means "fragrant" or "aroma."
  3. 滷 (lǔ) – This word refers to "braising" or "stewing" in a sauce, often a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and spices.
  4. 肉 (ròu) – This means "meat."

So, "五香滷肉" essentially translates to "five-spice braised meat."

The dish typically involves meat, commonly pork belly or pork pieces, braised with soy sauce, sugar, and a combination of spices that give it a distinct aroma and flavour. The "five-spice" in its name refers to the Chinese five-spice powder, which is a blend of five spices: star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon (or cassia), Sichuan (or Chinese) peppercorns, and fennel seeds. This mixture gives the dish its unique and flavourful profile.

**Five-Spice Braised Meat (五香滷肉): A Taste of Tradition** Today, we're diving deep into the heart of traditional Chinese cuisine with a classic dish that's sure to warm your heart and soul - the Five-Spice Braised Meat, known as "五香滷肉" (wǔ xiāng lǔ ròu). This dish is celebrated for its rich, aromatic flavors and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness, and it's a testament to the magic of slow cooking! **Ingredients**: - 500 grams of pork belly or pork pieces, cut into bite-sized chunks - 2 tablespoons of cooking oil - 2 tablespoons of sugar - 1/4 cup of light soy sauce - 1/4 cup of dark soy sauce - 1/4 cup of rice wine (like Shaoxing wine) - 4 cups of water - 3 cloves of garlic, smashed - 1 thumb-sized ginger piece, sliced - 2-3 star anise - 1 cinnamon stick (or a piece of cassia bark) - 3-4 cloves - 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds - 1 teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorns **Instructions**: 1. **Preliminary Prep**: Begin by blanching the pork pieces in boiling water for about 3-4 minutes to remove impurities. Drain and set aside. 2. **Caramelizing**: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the sugar and let it melt, stirring occasionally until it becomes a deep amber caramel. This will give our braised pork a beautiful colour and a hint of sweetness. 3. **Braising the Pork**: Add the blanched pork pieces into the pot, ensuring they're well-coated in the caramel. Sauté for a few minutes until lightly browned. 4. **Spice Infusion**: Add in your sliced ginger, smashed garlic, and all the aromatic spices - star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, fennel seeds, and Sichuan peppercorns. Stir well to combine. 5. **Liquid Magic**: Pour in the light and dark soy sauce, rice wine, and water. The liquid should cover the pork. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. 6. **Slow Cook**: Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 1.5 - 2 hours. The pork should be tender and the flavours well-infused. Check occasionally, stirring and adding more water if necessary to ensure the meat remains submerged. 7. **Serve and Savour**: Once the pork is tender, remove from heat. Serve over steamed rice, garnishing with sliced green onions or fresh cilantro if desired. **Final Thoughts**: 五香滷肉 is a celebration of flavours, textures, and the age-old tradition of slow cooking. It's a testament to the idea that patience in cooking often yields the most flavourful rewards. Whether you're new to Chinese cooking or a seasoned pro, this dish is a must-try. The warmth of the five-spice, combined with the savoury depth of soy and the tenderness of well-braised pork, is truly a symphony of flavours. Happy cooking, everyone! And as always, stay tuned for more delicious adventures from our kitchen to yours!

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