Seriously, my family doesn’t really observe Chinese New Year. I’m 1/8th Chinese but sadly the heritage hasn’t really been passed down. But when we talk about Chinese food appreciation, now that’s another story. I’m glad that the food culture is pretty much part of Filipino cuisine. It’s so pervasive that lechon (charcoal roasted pig) is in fact Chinese, but most definitely Filipino as well. (Yes, that’s why it’s more fun in the Philippines)
But since I’m practically in the kitchen and infront of my laptop most of the time, I’d like to honor my 1/8th by joining the festivities all around the world as people, Chinese or not, celebrate the year of the Dragon through food, festivities and everything in between.
I’ve already tried making a few Chinese dishes a while back (Five Spice Stew, Sweet and Sour and Fried Pork), and here I go again with another equally satisfying pork dish. What’s with me and pork, you may ask?
We go back around 16 years ago, when I was a scrawny little child with weak lungs who loved loved loved okra, malunggay and all the other vegetables conceivable.
Apart from really effective medication from the doctor that helped me gain weight and allay my asthma attacks, my mom just happened to introduce another important player in my eventual food pyramid: BACON. I have never looked back since. Ok, I still appreciate most vegetables (including ampalaya/bitter melon mind you), but as for okra, well, we’re not friends.
Pork has always been part of my diet. I don’t intend to stop my love affair, but maybe because I’m not getting any younger (says the 20 year old), I intend to lessen the consumption and offset indulgence with running/jogging (which I sorely miss).
Like I said, there’s nothing wrong with indulging. Peking pork…is indulgent. It reminds me of sweet and sour, it’s just that the former has a deeper and spicier flavor. It’s a perfect way to ring in another year because pork is a symbol for prosperity/abundance. It’s also a perfect weekend dish, so you won’t have to wait for Chinese New Year to enjoy it.
Peking Pork (serves 6 – 8; adapted from Rasa Malaysia)
- 2 kg pork belly or chops, cut into 4-inch long slices
- Oil for deep frying
- 3 eggs
- 5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
- 3 teaspoons iodized salt
- ½ cup tomato/banana ketchup
- 2 teaspoons chili oil
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 6 tablespoons vinegar
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- a pinch of Chinese Five Spice powder
- 4 tablespoons water
Garnish: onion rings, chopped green onions (white and green part), chopped chives (optional)
- Pound pork slices with the back of a kitchen knife until tender. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix the breading ingredients, add in pork slices, mix well, and marinade for at least 30 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan, mix the sauce ingredients. Adjust the taste to your preference. Set sauce mixture aside.
- Heat a large wok with enough oil. In batches, deep-fry pork slices for 5 – 10 minutes, or until color changes to golden brown on both sides and slightly crispy. Once cooked, remove from heat and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Set aside.
- Bring sauce to a quick boil, add deep-fried pork (you may do this in batches), and stir until all the meat is well coated with sauce. When ready to serve, sprinkle the pork with chopped chives, onion rings and scallions. Serve over a bowl of hot steamed rice. Enjoy!