Happy Bastille Day everyone! Sadly I didn’t have a blue bowl to serve this in, but this pork and fermented tofu recipe traditionally adds a dash of red to your table, and is best served with some white rice. It is also traditionally made with pork belly, as you need a fattier cut to make this tender, but this way of cooking it combines frying and steaming, and results in nice and juicy meat with pork cheeks – and is not as slow to cook as other recipes using pork cheeks.
The fermented tofu can also be replaced with soy sauce and normal tofu if you really can’t get hold of it, although of course the taste won’t be the same, but the pork cheeks will still be tender with the fry then steam method! This recipe works with the red version of fermented tofu, which is what gives the meat that lovely red colour at the end. It takes around 2 minutes to prep, followed by 5 minutes of active cooking time, then 45 minutes in the steamer.
4 pork cheeks
2 slices of ginger
1 tbsp of sugar
Tiny dash of salt
2 tbsps of shaoxing rice wine
1 tsp of soy sauce
3 pieces of red fermented tofu with sauce
You’ll also need cooking oil (olive oil) to start the frying pan.
Step 1: cut the pork cheeks into cubes with roughly 1 inch sides and set aside.
Step 2: half the two slices of ginger. Add some oil into a frying pan, allow the oil to heat up for around 30s on high heat and add in the ginger.
Step 3: once the ginger starts to sizzle, add the pork into the pan. Stir, then add in the sugar and salt. Keep stirring.
Step 4: once the outsides are a little brown, add in the rice wine and soy sauce. Keep stirring. The pork should be producing some juice with the salt and soy sauce present, so the pan shouldn’t be dry at this stage. If it looks very dry, then add the smallest dash of water.
Step 5: once the outsides look cooked, add the fermented tofu and stir well until the pork seems evenly coated with the colour form the tofu.
Step 6: remove the pork from the frying pan into a bowl, then boil some water to start a pan for steaming. Place the bowl in the steamer and leave steaming on low heat for 45 minutes. Remove and it’s ready to serve!
The steaming process should leave the meat soft and also produce a lot of juice, which can be spooned over the rice (a bit like a curry). You can choose to garnish it with a little spring onion for a dash of green, but the flavours are quite complex already, so I prefer to leave it as it is. You can also try it with other cuts of pork – let me know how you get on!Follow @blenderbasil