The Hokkiens, including my family usually serve pork knuckle with sea cucumber (recipe here) during CNY. I read in an article last week that Hakka households serve pork knuckle cooked with black vinegar 猪脚醋 during reunion dinners, which in the dialect means "soaring high". Though I've never had it before during CNY, this was one of my favorite things to eat during confinement (confinement is the 30-day period an Asian woman undergoes after giving birth).
Pork knuckle / trotters with black vinegar 猪脚醋
To cook this dish, you can use either pork knuckle or pig's trotters (I love pig trotters, as they're more gelatinous- yummy!), which is simmered with water, old ginger, gula melaka (palm sugar) and vinegar. How long you cook it depends on how you like the texture - for us, we like the pork trotters to be soft with a slight bite and melting layers of gelatinous fat within. It is best to set it aside for 4-5 hours for the flavours to develop before serving. You can always cook a big pot, and eat it over a few meals - the flavours just get better and better!
I simply love the combination of sweet and tangy flavours of the braising sauce (yup, you can drink it all) - so appetizing! I'm so happy that my mum taught me how to cook this chu kiok cho 猪脚醋 dish. Thanks mum!
Pork knuckle/trotters with black vinegar 猪脚醋
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
1kg pork knuckle or trotters
320g old ginger, sliced and bruised
400ml spiced vinegar
135g gula melaka (palm sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
1. In a large pot over medium heat, place the water, old ginger and gula melaka and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
We use Yuen Chun Cap Datuk spiced vinegar (cuka hitam) when we make this dish.
2. In a separate pot, bring a pot of water to the boil, then blanch the pork for about 5 minutes. This is to remove any impurities from the pork.
3. Add the pork and salt to the pot (from Step 1) and simmer over low heat for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from heat and set aside for 4-5 hours for flavours to develop/infuse.
4. Before serving, heat over medium low heat for about 30 minutes.
Note: Use old ginger for this dish as it tastes better with a strong gingery taste.
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