YIELD: 4 servings
1 bottle dry red wine
2 cups soy sauce
2 cups water
2 cups dark brown sugar
5 pieces ginger, cut into long ¼” slices
1 head garlic, unpeeled and halved horizontally
2 bunches scallions, white part sliced into 3” lengths, green part sliced 1/8” thick
2 star anise
3 dried Thai bird chilies
2 cinnamon sticks
2-lb. pork shoulder, cut into 1” cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For watercress fried rice:
3 Tbsps. canola oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 eggs, beaten lightly
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsps. finely chopped fresh ginger
1 la chang (Chinese sausage), cut into 1/8” dice, or 4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
½ cup sliced scallions
5 cups cold cooked rice
4 cups loose watercress
2 Tbsps. soy sauce
½ tsp. white pepper
Kosher salt to taste
1. In 6-quart pressure cooker* over high heat, add wine, soy sauce and water. Bring to a boil. *If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can use same size pot, place over high heat and cook for one hour.
2. Add dark brown sugar, ginger, garlic, white part of scallions, star anise, Thai bird chilies, and cinnamon sticks. Stir to dissolve sugar.
3. Season pork lightly with salt and pepper and add pork to pot. If liquid doesn’t cover pork, add more water. Lock lid in place and bring to high pressure and cook for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let pressure release naturally.
4. Carefully remove lid, tilting away from you to avoid any excess steam. With slotted spoon, remove pork to platter. Glaze pork with braising liquid, garnish with scallion greens.
5. For watercress fried rice: Heat wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and sesame oil and swirl to coat pan. When oil shimmers, add eggs, which will puff up. Allow to set, about 5 seconds, and using wok spatula or similar tool, push sides of egg mass toward center to allow uncooked egg to reach pan and solidify. Flip mass, allow to set, about 5 seconds, and slide onto dish; do not overcook. With edge of spatula, break eggs into small pieces. Set aside.
6. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. of oil to wok and swirl to coat pan. When oil shimmers, add garlic and ginger and stir-fry until soft, about 2 minutes. Add la chang, scallions, rice and watercress and toss thoroughly until heated through. Add soy sauce, pepper and reserved eggs and toss. Check for correct seasonings and add salt if necessary, transfer to platter. Serve immediately with red roast pork shoulder.
Photo and recipe: Ming Tsai/B&W Quality Growers