Pork is stewed slowly for hours in sweet, tangy juices to enhance the flavor and tenderize the meat in this traditional Taiwanese entree, a treat that is generally reserved for special occasions.
Stewed pork hock is often served on birthdays, especially on the birthdays of elders. Serving the stewed pork with noodles (“mi-swa” in Taiwanese) symbolizes longevity. Eating pork hock is also believed to ward off bad luck and attract good fortune.
- 2 to 3 lbs of pork hock, cut into 1 ½ to 2 inches sections
- 5 slices ginger
- 8 pieces garlic cloves
- 2 sticks of green onion, cut into 2 inches sections
- 2 Tbsp. cooking oil
- 2 star anise pieces
- 1 tsp. pepper corn
- ¼ tsp. five-spice-powder
- ½ cup of soy sauce
- ½ cup rice wine
- ¼ cup sugar or rock sugar
- 1 can chicken broth plus 1 cup of water (or 3 cups of water)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the pork hock pieces into the pot and cook for about two minutes. Remove the pieces from the hot water and rinse them in water.
- Heat two tablespoons of cooking oil in a stew pot and sauté ginger, garlic and green onion until fragrant.
- Add pork hock to the stew pot and stir and cook for about two minutes.
- Add all of the seasonings listed above and bring the contents of the stew pot to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and continue cooking for one hour or until the meat is tender, but not too soft.
- Make six to eight servings. If you wish, you can serve the pork with thin noodles. This festive traditional dish is served on birthdays and other celebrations in Taiwan.
Reserving The Sauce
The thick gravy left over from stewing the meat is often used as a sauce for noodles or reserved for other uses. You can use it as a savory cooking sauce for dry bamboo, bean curd or other dishes.
Rice Cooker Prep
If you do not wish to prepare this dish over a stove, you can also use a traditional Tatung rice cooker to prepare this dish.