Pork Belly and Taro
Gourmet's Adventures with Ruth: Season One: Yangshuo Cooking School
- Active time:50 min
- Start to finish:2 hr
For pork belly and taro
- 1 lb boneless pork belly
- 2 cups peanut oil
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 lb taro, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
For preserved tofu sauce
- a (1-inch) piece preserved tofu
- 1 scallion, white and light green part finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- a 1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice wine (shaoxing), or dry sherry
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1 teaspoon five spice powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Put about 3 cups water in a wok. Place a small round rack over water and put pork on rack. Bring water to a boil, then cover pork and steam on medium high heat 20 minutes. Transfer pork to a plate, then rinse wok and dry thoroughly.
Fry pork and taro
Heat oil in wok over medium-high heat until it is almost smoking (about 400°F on a deep-fat thermometer). Meanwhile rub distilled vinegar over skin of pork then pat dry. Carefully slide pork, skin side down, into oil with tongs (it will not be fully submerged) and deep fry, covered until skin is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes.
Remove pork from oil with tongs and transfer to a pot of warm water to soften skin, about 10 minutes.
While pork soaks return oil to 400°F and deep fry taro slices, in batches of 6 to 8, until edges are golden, about 1 minute per batch. Transfer as fried with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and return oil to 400°F between batches.
Make preserved tofu sauce
Mash preserved tofu together with scallion, garlic, ginger, oyster sauce, rice wine, five-spice powder, sugar, pepper, and salt in a large bowl with the back of a spoon and let stand 10 minutes.
Steam pork and taro
Remove pork from warm water and transfer with tongs to a cutting board. Cut pork crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and toss with sauce in bowl.
In a dish that will fit in wok, arrange alternate slices of pork (skin side down) and taro tightly together, standing up in dish. Put about 5 cups water in wok and put rack in wok. Put dish on rack and bring water to a boil. Steam pork and taro over medium heat, covered, until tender, about 40 minutes.