Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Recipe: Braised pork knuckle with sea cucumber

Sea cucumber 海参 is another popular ingredient during Chinese New Year as it is a homonym for happiness ("hoi sum"). Sea cucumber itself has no taste, so it needs to be braised with a flavorful sauce so that it absorbs all the flavours from the braising. It can be paired with pork belly or pork knuckle.

As usual, we get our sea cucumber from Eu Yan Sang, which has been pre-soaked and ready for cooking. The country of origin for the sea cucumber is Mauritius, priced at RM120 per 700g. I cut it into thick chunks for more bite and cooked it for 30 minutes, so that it retains its chewy texture.

Braised pork knuckle with sea cucumber


When I was younger, I did not like eating pork knuckle since I found it too fatty for my liking (young age = always wanting to look slim). Nowadays, I would eat anything as long as it is delicious and have learnt to appreciate pork knuckle... maybe that also explains my expanding waistline ;P

Pork knuckle, also known as ham hock consists of mostly skin, tendons and ligaments, with just a  little meat. It is braised for a long time (usually 2 hours) until the skin is springy to the bite. Do not overcook it or else the skin will become soft and mushy. I like the gelatinous tendons too. When buying pork knuckle (we usually go for the 猪手) at the market, ask your butcher to chop it into large chunks for you.

The sea cucumber is added in towards the end, for it to soak up all the lovely braising sauce. This is a popular Hokkien dish, which my Grandma always prepares during CNY reunion dinner.



If you have any leftovers, you can serve it with longevity noodles 寿面(which also represent longevity and long life) for lunch the following day. The braising sauce goes extremely well with noodles, and you can even top it with a poached egg.





Braised pork knuckle with sea cucumber
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2 1/4 hours
Serves 6

Ingredients
1.8 kg pork knuckle, large chunks
1 garlic bulb, minced
1 inch ginger, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tbsp of cooking oil
6-8 large dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked for 1 hour
500g sea cucumber, cut into 1 x 2 inch strips
Water, enough to cover the pork knuckle

For marination
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp ginger wine
1 tbsp sesame oil

Seasoning
Light soy sauce, to taste
2 tbsp dark soy sauce (for colour)

To garnish
Red chilli, cut into thin strips
Spring onion, chopped finely


1. Place the pork knuckle into a container and marinate with the soy sauce, ginger wine and sesame oil for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. This is to infuse the flavours into the pork knuckle.

2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned.

3. Add the pork knuckle and mushrooms, and cook for 2 minutes until the meat is browned slightly. Then, add enough water to cover the pork knuckle, dark soy sauce and about 2 tbsp of soy sauce. Braise for 1 1/2 hours on low heat .

4. Add in the sea cucumber and cook for a further 30 minutes. Season with more light soy sauce if required (to taste).

5. Remove from heat. Skim off excess oil. Garnish and serve immediately with boiled rice.You can also serve with this 寿面 (longevity noodles), the gravy goes very well with the noodles.





*Recipe for braised pork belly with sea cucumber can be found here.

* I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover.

31 comments:

  1. Ooo this would be a certain favorite for me. Sheer succulence! :D

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    1. We very rarely eat sea cucumber, except during CNY so this is a real treat for us :)

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  2. Dear, I'm very impressed by a young lady like you know how to cook & appreciate this dish, haha! Like how you serve it with some noodles and the egg, love the egg! William and I are weird, we don't know how to appreciate this good stuffs and when my MIL cooked it and asked us to eat, we just shake our head, haha!

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    1. Hi Jessie, I only learn to appreciate pork knuckle in the last 2 years. Before this, I won't touch it... cos I always think if I eat too much of the skin it will make me FAT haha!!

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  3. I love this! Pork knuckle is a favourite and I do love sea cucumber, love the chewy chewy springy texture. Must try your recipe soon :)

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    1. Both also chewy springy texture :) Double goodness!

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  4. Wonderful!
    Everything looks so good

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  5. I used to dislike sea cucumber when I was young, and now I love it. :) Your braised pork knuckle with sea cucumber looks wonderful. Must be soooo good with the noodles. :P

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    1. Hi Amy, we sometimes cook a very big pot of this so we know for sure we are going to have leftovers for the next day. The braising sauce is super nice the next day since it has got a chance to develop further :)

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  6. i eat and LOVE everything in that pot! Great for skin yo! haha

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    1. Haha yes! That's what I tell myself... collagen not fat;D

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  7. I remember eating this for the first time at a Chinese NY dinner! It was delicious. And hehe I have the same issue with eating pork knuckle and belly and an expanding waistline :P

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    Replies
    1. Hehe I'm sure our husbands will still love us despite us growing a lil wider ;)

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  8. Though we are not pork eaters, the dish looks pretty wholesome and healthy to me!!

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    1. Hehe not very healthy but definitely delicious! :D

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  9. That bowl of noodles look really good...

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    1. Yes esp with the braising sauce... mmm yum.

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  10. Give me sea cucumber anytime & I'll finish it!

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    1. Surprisingly a lot of ppl dont like sea cucumber but I really love it too! :D

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  11. Don't think we'll have pork knuckles for Chinese New Year. Would have to use hands an dcan get kinds messy.... Love it with sambal belacan.

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    Replies
    1. It does take a bit of work to eat, but we love it nonetheless. A must-have during CNY reunion.

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  12. A very sinful dish but I do love the skin! A little bit once a while won't hurt la!

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  13. Looks delicious!!
    If you have a minute, please check out my blog and follow me if you liked it. I'll appreciate it so much! Thanks!
    www.francescainthekitchen.blogspot.com

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  14. Yen , very ho sek dish :D The pork knuckle itself looks really good ! Nothing makes me drool than noodles with runny egg and stewed pork knuckle lol

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  15. Hi Yen,
    Looks so delicious! I love pork knuckle, in fact, most pork parts! I would spoon for the pork knuckle more than the sea cucumber, though I do love eating the hoi sum too! Yummy dish!
    Wish you and your family Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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  16. Tomorrow I going to cook this dish too! Yum yum .,
    Wishing you a happy CNY and Huat Ah!

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  17. tons of collagen, i bet that you're gonna younger then by consuming this dish regularly...
    what a tasty and tricky recipe,
    i just soaked my sea cucumber and can't wait to try this recipe....

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