Pork trotter in black vinegar with ginger is a common dish served during confinement periods after pregnancy as it is said that the calcium in the bones and the heat from the ginger helps to revitalise and replenish nutrients in the new mother’s body. I do know of friends who serve this dish up for Chinese New Year so I guess it can be more than just a confinement dish staple.
The key ingredients are two things – ginger and vinegar. Matured ginger is used here because it imparts a stronger and more intense flavour. Forget getting tender, young buds; you need rough and tough old ginger, the kind that looks wrinkly and old. Now, while white vinegar is common in Western dishes, black vinegar on the other hand is another story altogether. It is usually made from black glutinous rice and most of the time, these bottles of dark acidic liquid come from China. And no, I wouldn’t even think about telling you that it’s okay to substitute black vinegar with normal white table vinegar because that’s just sacrilege.
One of the reasons why I made this is because Mum has been bugging me about whether the black vinegar sold here is “authentic” – I have no idea what she means by authentic since even back at home, we buy imported black vinegar. For this dish, I used the Narcissus “Yongchun Loagu” Black Vinegar which I discovered is also sold back at home (see here (under “black vinegar” category).
It turned out to be exactly how I remember it except that Mum made hers much thicker and in a claypot (I used a normal stainless steel pot) – I think I went overkill on the vinegar. She uses a whole bottle for over one kilo of meat while I just had around 600 to 800 gms of meat. Eeks. Still, I was very generous with the ginger and all. I wonder if I can keep the “stock” in the freezer for another time. 🙂
Anyway, time to go back to my sewing (thought I’d pop in and share this recipe), use some of my eye creams and moisturisers (I seriously need a full facial and such). Geh.
Pork trotter in black vinegar & ginger
Approx 800 gms pork trotter
Approx 500 gms (or more) matured ginger
650 ml black vinegar
500 gms cane sugar
1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- Boil the pork trotter to remove impurities and such for 5 to 10 minutes. Wash, drain and place aside.
- Keeping the peel on the ginger on, wash and slice into thick chunks. Fry in sesame oil until fragrant before adding in the black vinegar and sugar (adjust the sugar to taste). Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to gently boil for about an hour.
- Add the pork trotters in and lower the heat to a simmer and boil until they are soft. It’ll take about an hour. The resulting fragrance should be sweet and gingery.
- Serve hot as is or with a side serving of rice and other dishes.
** Cross-posted on the baby blog **