Yet another adventure in pork cooking, while working my way through a whole pig. This is pig’s feet, braised in the Taiwanese style with peanuts, served atop some kind of Chinese greens that I’ve already forgotten and noodles. Few scallions scattered on top.
I haven’t really eaten a lot of pig’s feet. Like the Grilled Pig’s Heart, I was surprised how delicious this underutilized cut of pig is. It’s soft, gelatinous, and rich, much like pork belly, but with contrasting meaty textures. The truly Taiwanese style would also braise the peanuts until they’re a bit soft, but personally I prefer them toasted and sprinkled on top at the end.
Taiwanese Braised Pork Hock with Noodles
2 lbs pork hock, cut into 2 inch sections
2 stalks scallion
6 cloves garlic
3 slices of ginger
1 cup rice wine or shao xing
1 1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 t black pepper
1 star anise
1/4 t five spice powder
4 cups chicken or pork broth, or water
Blanch the pork hock pieces for about two minutes. Remove from the hot water, rinse, and set aside.
Heat about two tablespoons of cooking oil or lard in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Stir fry the scallion and garlic until fragrant.
Add the pork hock pieces and stir fry for another two to three minutes to lightly brown the pork hock.
Add the rest of the braising liquid ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for two hours until the meat is tender.
To serve: cook some thin white wheat noodles until just done. Divide into bowls and serve with pork hog, braising liquid thinned out with some pork broth, some blanched Asian greens of your choices, and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
Stewed pork hock with noodles is often served on birthdays or other special occasions.