Crisp sweet and sour pork hock

"How do I recreate Mr Wong's fabulous pork hock?"
Sam Sharp, Kensington, NSW

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You'll need

For deep-frying: vegetable oil To serve: fried shallots, thinly sliced spring onions and long red chillies, coriander, and steamed rice   Red-cooked pork hocks 200 ml each Shaoxing wine and soy sauce 60 gm rock sugar, crushed (see note) 25 gm (5cm piece) ginger, coarsely chopped 5 star anise 1 piece cassia bark 2 spring onions, coarsely chopped 3 pork hocks (about 3kg)   Sweet and sour sauce ½ onion, coarsely chopped 3 small garlic cloves 15 gm ginger, coarsely chopped 25 ml fish sauce 250 gm caster sugar 75 ml Chinese red vinegar 50 gm Chinese yellow soy paste (huangjiang) 75 ml tomato sauce


  • 01
  • For red-cooked pork hocks, bring ingredients except pork hocks and 4.5 litres water to the boil in a stockpot. Add hocks, reduce heat to low and simmer until hocks are soft and gelatinous (5 hours). Place hocks on a tray. When cool enough remove bones and knuckle, trying not to break up the meat and skin. Discard bones and stock.
  • 02
  • Line a 5cm-deep 20cm x 30cm tray with baking paper and spread pork evenly in tray. Top with a sheet of baking paper, then another tray to fit inside the first, weight with food cans and refrigerate overnight to set.
  • 03
  • For sweet and sour sauce, blend onion, garlic and ginger in a small food processor to a fine paste, using some fish sauce to blend if necessary. Set aside. Stir sugar and 100ml water in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat to dissolve, brush edges with a wet pastry brush to remove sugar crystals and cook without stirring until light caramel (5-6 minutes). Add remaining ingredients and reserved paste and simmer to a thick glaze (2-3 minutes). Makes about 2 cups. Sauce will keep refrigerated for a month.
  • 04
  • Cut pressed pork into 2cm cubes. Heat oil in a large wok or deep-fryer to 180C and deep-fry 10 pieces of pork at a time, loosening them from the bottom with a metal spatula, until crisp and golden (2-3 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit). Drain on paper towels, then toss in sweet and sour sauce (about ½ cup) and serve scattered with fried shallots, spring onion, chilli and coriander alongside steamed rice.

Note Start this recipe a day ahead to press the pork. Rock sugar and yellow soy paste are available from Chinese supermarkets. 

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Sep 2015

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