Braised Winter Bamboo Shoot with Pork Belly and Dry Shiitake Mushroom

红烧冬笋五花肉

Published: November 3, 2018

I bought an unpeeled bamboo shoot, just like those giant pandas have! It wasn’t commonly seen here in Hong Kong, usually what I can obtain here are those peeled, blanched or packed in the supermarket. Bamboo shoots are usually harvested during spring and winter. Spring bamboo shoots are tender and sweet. And winter ones are crispy and a bit bitter, they need a good blanch in salty water. If it’s spring bamboo shoot I would probably fry it with shrimp or make light soup. But it is late autumn now, I would make a rich dish with it. I am going to braise it with pork belly, and also add some dry Shiitake mushroom in.

Serve 3-4

Ingredients –
Bamboo shoot, 1, about 600g, and 350g after being peeled;
Pork belly, 400g;
Dry mini Shiitake mushroom, 50g, soaked for three hours till tender, optional;
Ginger, 20g, cut into thick slices;
Garlic, 6 cloves;
Star anise, 1;
Cassia bark, 1;
Dark soy sauce, 2tbsp;
Light soy sauce, 4tbsp;
Shaoxing rice wine, 3tbsp;
Brown sugar, 3tbsp;
Salt.

How to do –
1. Peel the bamboo shoot and cut off tough parts, then cut into big chunks;

2. Blanch the bamboo shoot chunks in plenty of boiling water with 1tbsp of salt. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes in medium heat. Drain and soak them in water and set aside;

3. Blench the pork belly in boiling water for a few minutes till they are cooked. Drain and set aside. Cut them into big cubes when they cool down a little bit;

4. In a cast iron casserole, add 1tbsp of oil in hot pot, add in the pork cubes and fry till they turn golden brown double-sided. Pork belly would release quite a lot of fat so no need to put much oil in;
5. Add in ginger, garlic, spices and mushrooms, fry with the pork till fragrant. Keep in medium heat otherwise the spices would easily get burnt;

6. Mix the soy sauces, Shaoxing rice wine and sugar, and pour the mixture into the pot, keep frying and mix well;
7. Add some water in the pot till the ingredients are just covered. Lid on and cook for 10 minutes in medium heat. Have a taste and seasoning with salt or sugar;
8. Add the bamboo shoot in and mix well. Lid on again and simmer for half an hour in medium heat;

9. Open the lid and reduce the sauce in high heat;
10. Heat off, sprinkle a pinch of chopped spring onion and serve with the pot.

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