1,000 g pork belly
150 g ginger, sliced
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon sugar
90 g large scallion, white part cut into 3-inch pieces
3 dried red chili peppers
1 teaspoon red Sichuan peppercorns
2 tablespoons Shaoxing cooking wine
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 star anise
1 1-inch piece cassia bark (or cinnamon bark)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (250 ml) water
1. Parboil — Bring a pot of water to boil. Immerse entire slab of pork belly with ginger. Remove any scum that surfaces. After five minutes, discard water and rinse meat and ginger with cold water. Slice pork belly into 1-inch cubes.
2. Braise — Heat cooking oil and sugar in a clay pot over low flame and let the sugar begin to melt. Toss in the pork pieces and ginger with scallion, chili peppers, Sichuan peppercorns and brown over high flame. Add Shaoxing wine and dark soy sauce while continuing to stir fry. Add salt, star anise, cassia bark and water. Bring to a gentle boil then simmer over lowest flame, covered for at least 2 hours. Stir occasionally.
Serves 6-8 people with a dinner serving 6-8 dishes.