- Pork (300 grams)
- Green onion (3 medium)
- Ginger (50 grams)
- Soy sauce (100 ml)
- Vinegar (preferably from Zhenjiang, China, 300ml)
- Brown sugar (40 grams)
- Oil (500 ml)
- Preheat the wok with all of oil and add the cut up, 1-3 inch pork pieces. They should be completely submerged in the oil in order to deep fry them until they are colored but not too dark. Note that this requires a strong flame and should take only around a minute, as the objective is to create a crispy outer layer and a tender inner section.
- Empty the oil from the wok and put the pork aside for the moment. Take the green onion and the block of ginger as a whole – no additional oil required this time! Just don’t wipe or wash your wok in between the steps; it will stay just oily enough for this to work.
- Sauté the onions and the ginger lightly, and then add the pork back into the mix, frying them together. After a minute or so, pour the soy sauce on them, and don’t be alarmed if it catches fire at first; this explosive element is essential for the ingredients to be able to absorb all the additives properly. You can shake the wok around – that’s why thin-and-light is important, so this is easy to do – to make sure the distribution is even, and then add half of the vinegar, the salt and brown sugar in that order. This will create a sticky sauce that should attach itself to the pork evenly, so stir the dish at this time to facilitate that process.
- Once all of the pork pieces are covered in a thick layer, add water in incremental steps. You should not douse the whole thing at once! Use a ladle to add the water step-by-step, until the entire dish is immersed. Then, add the rest of the Zhenjiang vinegar, and let it simmer for about 90 minutes.
- During that time, you can add a little more vinegar as you see fit, as it is wont to evaporate quicker than the water. 90 minutes should be just about enough for all the water to evaporate, leaving the meat nicely cooked and covered in a mouthwatering sauce.
- This is a wok-dish, and it is best prepared using a wok; a thin-and-light, Asian-style wok to be precise. However, if you don’t have one, you can use a deeper pan as well.
- It is best served on cast iron plates, against which the flaming red meat clashes magnificently. Sprinkle it with some greenery to round out a presentation even a master chef would be proud of!
- You could technically use a pressure cooker as well, but if you give the traditional method a go, you’ll realize that there really is just no comparison if you want truly authentic flavors and the satisfaction of having created a traditional Asian dish.