Cindy Thomas, February 16, 2016
How about some French Chinese cooking?! These two recipes are part of the Weekends in a French Kitchen cooking project and come from Mimi Thorisson’s cookbook. These are Mimi’s French take on some Chinese recipes. A cooking adventure for sure!
I wasn’t able to locate the pork shank the recipe calls for so I used a bone-in pork shoulder roast instead. After briefly blanching the roast in salted water, it is patted dry and then coated in some caramelized sugar in a wok. I found this step really interesting. It was basically candy coating the roast!
Next comes all the aromatics….fresh ginger, garlic, cloves, shallots, fennel seeds, star anise, orange peel and cinnamon sticks.
Sesame oil, dark and light soy sauce, worcestershire and something called Shaoxing wine (which I found at an asian market) are added. The pork roast is added to the pot with the addition of enough water to allow the liquid to cover the roast.
This cooks together for about 3 hours. Once the roast is done, it’s removed from the pot and the liquid is cooked a bit more. The Hong Shao pork is served in it’s broth with a bit of fresh cilantro. It was tender and had subtle flavors from the spices it cooked in. We ate this with steamed rice.
Tea eggs were a fun addition to this meal. I had never heard of this preparation of eggs! It reminded me of making Easter eggs. First the eggs are hard boiled.
Next, the eggs are cracked all over with the back of a spoon.
The eggs are then boiled and simmered in a wonderful mix of tea leaves, soy sauce, star anise, cinnamon stick and brown sugar with plenty of water.
They simmer for three hours and can be eaten right away or soaked in the refrigerator overnight. We tried them both ways. The egg I tried immediately really didn’t have much flavor beyond the usual hard boiled egg. After soaking for about 24 hours in the fridge, they were much more flavorful and colorful.
My favorite thing about these two dishes happened to be how they played together the next day in a ramen dish. I was disappointed that the broth from the pork seemed less intensely flavored than I expected. I think I would try adding less water the next time I make it. I reduced the broth on the stove top by about half. Then I used the broth to make a ramen dish including chunks of the Hong Shao pork and some vegetables and of course the tea eggs. It was a wonderful dish! My whole family loved it.
This recipe can be found in Mimi Thorisson’s cookbook: A Kitchen in France
If you’re interested in joining the Weekends in a French Kitchen group or just want to see how the other members of the group fared with this recipe check out this link: WIFK