How to make Gan Kou Rou (Dry-Braised Pork) and the recipes of Gan Kou Rou (Dry-Braised Pork)

Gan Kou Rou (Dry-Braised Pork)

[Main Ingredients and Seasonings]
Pork belly… 500g
Shaoxing wine… 15g
Dried shrimp… 50g
Honey… 15g
Spring onion (cut into segments)… 15g
Garlic cloves… 10g
Ginger slices… 10g
Peanut oil… 1000g
Dried shrimp… 4 pieces

[Cooking Instructions]

  1. Select a piece of pork belly about 10 cm wide, scrape and wash it clean. Parboil in a pot of boiling water until 80% cooked, then remove and immediately spread a layer of honey on the skin. Let it air dry. Chop the dried shrimp into small pieces.
  2. Heat peanut oil in a wok over high heat until 80% hot. Place the pork belly (skin side down) coated with honey into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove and soak in hot water until softened, then let it cool. Place the pork belly skin side down on a cutting board, make a vertical cut through the center, then make horizontal cuts 1.65 cm apart, cutting through just to the skin. Flip the pork belly over and align the cuts underneath, lightly score the skin with a knife to create a pattern, and trim the edges neatly. Steam the dried shrimp until fully cooked.
  3. Arrange the prepared pork belly (skin side down) in a large bowl. Fill the incisions with chopped dried shrimp, then add spring onion segments, ginger slices, garlic cloves, and Shaoxing wine. Steam until the pork belly is tender and fully cooked. Remove the spring onion, ginger, and garlic, then invert onto a large plate to serve. Garnish the dish with steamed dried shrimp around the edges.

[Key Techniques]

  1. Choose pork belly with thin skin, thick layers of fat, and fresh, white meat. Coating with honey and achieving the right color during frying are critical steps. Too much honey can darken the skin after frying, while too little may result in an unsatisfactory color. Apply honey thinly and evenly while the pork is still warm and moist.
  2. Select dried shrimp that are lightly salted, large, whole, without adhering skin, no yellow shrimp brains, no hollowed shells, and have a yellow-white or light red-yellow color, ensuring they are flavorful.

[Flavor Characteristics]
“Gan Kou Rou” is a famous dish in Shanxi cuisine known for its unique flavor achieved without adding salt, relying solely on the natural saltiness of dried shrimp infused into the meat. The dish combines the umami of pork with the seafood essence of shrimp, offering a rich and long-lasting taste experience. The appearance is golden-red with a glossy sheen, the meat is tender with the skin intact, and there is no excessive sauce or thickening agent. It is a dish that delights both the palate and the eyes.

Enjoy cooking this delightful dish!

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