There are many different ways to prepare this dish. You can add vegetables to accompany this dish, including carrots, taro and potatoes, but for this recipe I used something a bit more unique; lotus root.
People often ask me how to cook different Chinese vegetables and one of the Chinese vegetables I can asked more often about is lotus root. It seems like a lot of people have no idea what kind of Chinese vegetables this and even less of an idea what to do with it.
So for this reason, I have tried to include different ways of preparing lotus root in both my blog and also in my cookbooks.
Lotus root is a super food in both Chinese medicine and cuisine. Chinese people believe lotus root can improve your digestive system, help blood circulation, improve energy and help with anti-aging. It’s also high in fiber. Some Chinese people also believe lotus root juice is very good for getting rid of hangovers.
I simply like lotus root because of both the taste and texture of it. Nowadays, it’s much easier to get hold of lotus root outside of the East. You can usually find lotus root in Chinese/Asian supermarkets in their fresh produce fridge section.
You can serve this delicious dish with some hot rice and different kinds of green vegetables. I didn’t use a lot of water to cook this dish with, but if you think it’s a little bit dry while cooking, you can add more water.
You can also use a slow cooker to finish cooking this dish but it naturally takes a longer time to cook. Typically with a slow cooker, if you cook at a high heat it will take roughly 6 hours to cook. This can vary depending on the brand of your slow cooker but please check with your slow cooker provider or the cooking instructions provided with it for advice.
Red Cooked Pork Belly with Lotus Root
- 1 kg pork belly (slice into 1.5cm thick slices)
- 700 g lotus root
- 2 Spring Onions (slice)
- 2 slices ginger
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 star anise
- 2 slices licorice root
- 1 chenpi
- 500 ml water
- 6 Sugar snap peas (just a handful and not an exact amount)
Marinade for pork belly
- 3 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2.5 tbsp demerara sugar (or rock sugar)
- 3 tbsp Rice Wine (or shaoxing rice wine)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Salt (to taste)
- Slice the pork belly into 1.5 cm thick slices and marinade with light soy sauce and dark soy sauce for at least 30 minutes. Don’t discard the soy sauce left over from marinating the pork.
- Wash and peel the lotus root and slice it into 2 cm thick slice and cut each slice it into quarters.
- Peel garlic and leave aside.
- Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan or skillet. Pan fry the pork belly until both sides of the pork belly are golden brown. Leave aside.
- Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok and stir-fry spring onion, ginger, garlic and all the spices until it’s aroma.
- Add the sugar into step 5 and turn down the fire to medium-low heat and gently stir until the sugar starts melting.
- Once the sugar has melted add the pork belly back in and mix evenly. This allows the sugar to coat the pork all over.
- Add all the seasonings and the left over soy sauce into step 7. Gently stir and mix evenly.
- Transfer everything from step 8 (pork belly, sauce and spice) to a stock pot and add lotus root and water. Bring it to a boil first and let it boil for a couple minutes then simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours. Add more water if it’s too dry and check it a couple times while simmering, just in case the sauce dies out. If you decide to cut the pork into different shapes, for example big cubes, the simmer time might increase. So please be aware of this.
- You can garnish with some blanched sugar snap peas or snow peas. Serve with some cooked rice.