Chinese Red Cooked Pigs Feet
Today I made a true Asian food adventure and prepared Chinese red cooked pigs feet for lunch! My girlfriend commented that there was some hair left on the feet when we ate them, I replied “just eat it”. Obviously it is a good idea to check this before cooking, you can always burn away the hair. OMG, so much talk about hair already and I have not even started to go through the recipe.
I was fortunate enough to get my hands on some pigs feet at christmas. Pigs feet are included on the menu for christmas in Sweden, at least if you are old-school. So, I happily bought myself a pack and have had them stored in the freezer since then.
I have had pigs feet before, in a restaurant in Stockholm. I believe that it was the sweet black vinegar and ginger version, however, I decided to make a red cooked version at home. Basically, the recipe is the standard for red cooking – you boil the meat, fry it in some nice aromatics and let it simmer for some hours until you get a nice intense dark sauce.
Let us go through the steps. OMG if you are vegan then please leave now because it is quite disgusting.
You need some feet from the creature that goes by the name pig. You also need some salt and ginger. Add water to a pan and let it heat up until it boils. Add the salt, ginger and meat. I also added some Chinese Hua Tiao Chiew Rice Wine at the beginning. Let it simmer away for about 90 minutes, I watched an episode of Mad Men and had a game of HoN while the feet were boiling away.
The boiling in ginger, salt and wine is to get rid of impurities in the meat. You will find that many Chinese recipes begin with boiling the meat in some sort of liquid for a while to get rid of the blood and stuff.
After an hour or so, the water turns cloudy and it really does look awful.
Remove the feet from the water and rinse under cold water. Discard the bone in the middle and cut each foot into about 3-4 pieces. Here is a picture before I separated the feet. They look totally retarded.
Start preparing the other ingredients. For the dish I use dried bean curd, this adds some nice texture. I really like this product, soak it in water for about 20 minutes and add to woks, soups or stews. If you are going to cook it for a longer period of time it is wise to deep-fry it oil for some seconds before you soak it in water. This will help it not fall apart later on.
Mix the sauce. For this you need salt, brown sugar, Kimlan Light Soy Sauce, Koon Chun Hoisin Sauce, Lee Kum Kee Premium Dark Soy Sauce, Maekrua Oyster Sauce and Wan Fang Hong Fu Lu Red Fermented Tofu. The red colour comes from this product, I use the one in the picture below.
You also need a lot of other stuff for the dish. In the picture you can see (from top left) rock sugar, spring onions, dried liquorice, cinnamon, Sichuan skyward-pointing chili pepper, star anise, Sichuan pepper, garlic and ginger.
Soak some dried Chinese mushrooms in warm water for about 20 minutes, discard the stems but keep the water.
Now you should have everything prepared for the dish. Add the sugar and spices to the pan and fry in hot oil for a couple of minutes. Add the feet and stir for a while. Add the dried bean curd and chinese mushrooms and the soaking water. Add the sauce mixture and let simmer under a lid for an hour or so. Before serving, thicken the sauce with cold water and corn starch. Serve with rice and enjoy bitches!