Tending the Inner Pig


In my younger days in LA, my brother and I ate a lot of pork, at least three to four times a week, making up for lost time for when we were children.  Now I cook pork only once or twice a month at the most.  There is a traditional Shanghainese dish called Hong Shao Rou — Red Braised Pork.  It reminds me of happiness and contentment as I knew it as a child.  It reminds me of Chinese New Year when we would always cook this braised pork in a large clay pot.  You can take the girl out of Shanghai, but not Shanghai out of the girl.




1/2 cup cooking wine

1/4 cup light soy sauce 

1/4 dark soy sauce (or you can use all light soy sauce)

3/4 – 1 cup water (you may not use all of it)

2 to 1 1/2 pounds pork shank

4 boiled eggs (optional)

1/4 cherry tomato (optional)

1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

8 cloves garlic, bashed

2 inch cube peeled ginger, bashed

2 star anise

1 tbsp. brown sugar or molasses

1 tbsp. canola oil


Heat the oil in a wok on high.

Put in peppercorns, garlic, ginger, star anise, sauté for a minute. 

Add cut pork shank to be seared at all sides. 

Add soy sauce, wine, water and sugar and turn the fire to low.

Cover and stew for 2 hours.  Adjust taste by adding a little more water or soy sauce.

Eat it with brown rice.

3 thoughts on “Tending the Inner Pig

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