Pork Stew with Star Anise -Thit Kho với Bông Quế

Vietnamese food

This dish is a fusion between Red cooked pork of China, Buta no Kakuni of Japan, and Thit Kho of Vietnamese.  Any cut of pork is ok to use but skin and fatty part like belly or shoulders, butt, etc. giving the body to the sauce. Cut pork into small cubes helps the pork cooked faster in 1/2 to 1 hours.  Slowly long cook about 2 hours or longer help flavor developed which need larger (2-3 in)  pork cubes and larger amount of pork.  The dish will get better flavor the next days.  I am not a fan of adding large amount of spirit or wine but 1-2 Tbs of Sake or Mirin/Season rice wine will add the depth to the flavor. Serve this dish with cooked rice or baguette. Use a pot that small enough so pork can be arranged into at least one or more layer at bottom, .  Th

Make 4 servings in multiple coursed meal, double recipes for left over.

1 lb pork belly or shoulder, cut into 1/2-2/3 in. cubes
1 Tbs vegetable oil
2 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/4 small yellow onion or 1-2 Asian shallot, coarsely chopped

1 thick slice of ginger, see picture,coarsely chopped or mashed or julienned

1 tsp dark soy sauce
2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs regular soy sauce
1 Tbs fish sauce
1 Tbs Mirin (optional)
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/16 tsp cinnamon
2 star anise
1-2 small red hot Thai pepper, seeded
2 green onion, cut into 2 in. length and slice one white part thinly lengthwise

In a medium sauce pan (1.5 or 2 quarts is ideal) heating oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion or shallot and ginger.  Stir until fragrant and few light brown spots noted.  Add pork cubes, make a quick stir for pork coated.  Add dark soy sauce, stir again to coat pork with it.  Add the rest of ingredients except julienned white part of green onion.  Stir to combine all ingredients together, arrange pork cubes into a dense layer if possible.  Low the heat down to simmering /medium low, cover tightly.  The sauce is produced while cooking will cover the meat.  Stirring occasionally, until pork cooked through and soft tender about 20-30 minutes for small cubes and 45 minutes -1 hours for larger cubes.  Remove star anise before serve.

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