To prepare for Mid-Autumn Festival, we turned to none other than the mooncake queen herself, Kristina Cho. Author of the forthcoming cookbook Mooncakes and Milk Bread: Sweet and Savory Recipes Inspired by Chinese Bakers, Kristina has dedicated herself to making, interpreting, teaching, writing about, and photographing Chinese food.
She shared a dish inspired by a family Mid-Autumn Festival tradition:
“Mid-Autumn Festival was always celebrated with a big family dinner at my grandparent's house. Before digging into mooncakes, my pau pau always made sure we ate some steamed taro in her garden while gazing up at the moon. This braised pork belly with taro was inspired by that tradition.”
Anyone else getting hungry? Okay, let’s get cooking...
Kristina’s Braised Pork Belly
- 2 lb. pork belly, cut into 2 in. pieces
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 lb. baby taro, peeled
- 2 in. knob of ginger, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup shaoxing cooking wine
- 1 tsp. coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp. white pepper
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
- 1/2 cup torn cilantro
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced, for garnish
- 4 cups cooked rice, to serve
- Fill your Perfect Pot with halfway water and bring it to a boil. Add pork and cook for 25 minutes. This removes any impurities from the pork, making a cleaner braise. Remove the pork from the water and transfer to a plate.
- Discard the water from the pot and wipe it clean. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the pork back into the pot and sear the sides until golden brown, it will sizzle and splatter so be careful!
- Add the taro, ginger, garlic, water, shaoxing cooking wine, salt, and white pepper. Give it a good stir. Bring the water to a simmer and reduce heat low. Cover with a lid and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, until the pork is very tender.
- 20 minutes before serving, in a small bowl whisk to combine 1/4 cup water, cornstarch, and dark soy sauce. Add it to the braise and stir. As the braise continues to simmer the braising liquid will thicken slightly.
- Add some cilantro and serve the pork belly and taro over rice. Garnish with green onions.