Introduction: Pork Trotters in Vinegar and Ginger Stew

About: I am passionate about anything and everything engineering and physics. I am interested in much of chemistry and biology and I enjoy most art and craft + cooking and baking. I have completed my bachelor's in me…

My grandmother cooks the best Chinese dishes (Cantonese and Hakka), but one of the crowning jewels in her cook book is the Pork Trotters in Vinegar Stew, a recipe she has passed to my mother and I will share her recipe with world here.
Pork Trotters in Vinegar Stew has many variants, I find that some are too sweet and some are too swour, but grandma's recipe is a family favorite.
Traditionally, cooking in these parts of the world has always been an art of approximating ratios, thus you will be seeing me use the word "about" quite often when referring to quantity.

Lets get started!.

Gather the Ingredients

  • 100 ml black vinegar
  • 1 Pork Leg (front or hind, about 2 lb)
  • 300 – 400g of old ginger root
  • Sufficient ice cubes (to chill pork trotter and egg)
  • 200g of black beans (optional but recommended)
  • 6 eggs (optional but recommended)
  • Additional seasonings to taste eg. Salt, sugar, oyster sauce, thick soya sauce and soya sauce.

Step 1: Prepare the Vinegar Ginger Soup Base

The Vinegar Ginger soup base is what holds everything together, its also the foundation which the other ingredients build on :

  1. Use a spoon to scrap of the ginger's skin under running water.
  2. Cut ginger into big pieces of about 1” by 2”.
  3. Put ginger blocks into the Crock Pot and black beans if you choose to add it in (Preparation instructions behind)
  4. Pour boil water into Crock Pot till ¾ full.
    (About 1.5L )
  5. Turn on and set the heat to low.
  6. Add in Black Vinegar
    (About 100ml )
  7. Let it simmer for 2-3 hours depending on how soft you wanted the ginger to be.
    The ginger soup is ready to cook the pork trotters, are you?

Step 2: Prepare Eggs (optional)

    Eggs are one of the most versatile food most of us have access to, it goes well with the stew especially when serving. I recommend dousing rice with the stew the mash up the egg and mix with the rice.
    Basically prepare peeled hard boiled eggs (not so hard its rubber)

    • Clean the eggs.
    • Put the eggs into a medium pot that is about 1/4 filled with water.
    • Bring the water to boil then turn the fire to low for 5 minutes
    • Prepare a bowl of ice cold water.
    • Remove the eggs and tap slightly to break its shell.
    • Immediately soaking in the bowl of ice water.
      (This way the egg shells can be removed easily, and leaves a smooth hard boiled egg).
    • Peel the shells.
    • Put aside to be used.

    Step 3: Prepare the Pork Trotter Part 1

      Remember to cut up your pork trotters into nice chunky bits

      1. Bring 2.5L pot of water to boil.
      2. Pour hot water over the pork trotters to clean it.
      3. Add 2 table spoons of salt.
      4. Scrub the pork trotters with salt and rinse under running water.
        (This is to take away the layer of dirt and remove the meaty odour).
      5. Drain the pork trotters and transfer to boiling water.
      6. Continue to boil for 1-2 minutes, stirred well to ensure pork trotters are evenly heated.
      7. Prepare a big basin of ice water with salt.
      8. Remove the pork trotters and quickly cool in ice cold water.
        (This is to create the lovely bouncy texture of the dish that many love).
      9. Drain the pork trotters and set aside for the next step.

      Step 4: Prepare the Pork Trotter Part 2

      1. After the ginger and vinegar base has been cooked for 2-3 hours at low heat.
      2. Add in the pork trotters.
      3. Turn the heat to high and give the stew a good stir every hour or so to ensure even cooking.
      4. Cook for about 3 – 4 hours in the crock pot
      5. Add in the eggs at the last half an hour.
      6. Add in seasoning to taste
      7. Serve and enjoy!
        (Best served piping hot, especially on a cold night)

      The seasoning we used are:

      • 1 table sppon of oyster sauce
      • 1 table spoon of thick soya souce,
      • 2 table spoons of thin soya sauce,
      • 4 table spoons of vinegar,
      • 1 table spoon of sugar

      Step 5: Storage Instructions

      Step 6: Prepare the Black Beans (optional)

      If you absolutely love beans make sure add in the black beans, they go very well together. The black beans give the dish a subtle but rich roasted flavor and aroma. Apologies for not having any pictures, we did not have any black beans on hand.

      1. Use small fire to roast the black beans for about 20 minutes.
      2. Stir consistently until it smells fragrant.
      3. Soak the black bean in clean water.
      4. Leave it over night.
      5. Drain and its ready to be cooked together with the ginger root in the next step.
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