Shanghai Hong Shao Pork Hock
Nelson: Hong Shao Pork Hock is one of the most famous Shanghai dishes. My mom cooks a great one, so I have endeavored to learn from her. Hong Shao (紅燒), or literally translated as red cooked/braised. Basically it is using soy sauce to braise your meat. In this case a pork knuckle/hock. These cuts can be huge and you get a lot of meat as a result, but it's not expensive at least.
Here are the basic ingredients. Taro is optional, but the basic ones of soy sauce, dark soy sauce, cooking wine, start anise, rock sugar, ginger and green onion are essential. After lightly frying the meat, I just put these ingredients together with some water and let it cook for a few hours. Not quite sure on the exact proportion, but I suppose do it to taste.
|Here is is in the middle of cooking where I have turned it over. Not sure if I'm supposed to do that, but the liquid didn't cover everything and I didn't want to overcook half of it. You can see how dark the sauce is and it is getting reduced. And since it's a long slow cook, the meat becomes so soft and tender.|
|Here is the final result. I reduced it too much and the taro really thickened the sauce almost too much. Hardboiled eggs go great in this dish and can be added near the end. I don't have a picture of the inside, but the meat is very tender with a strong sweet and salty taste that conveys a deep depth of flavour. It's delicious. Thanks mom!|
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