Twice Cooked Melting Pork

Regular readers of this blog will know that last year I discovered the cookbook by Gok Wan and was converted to cooking simple Chinese dishes at home through his wonderful recipes. For new readers – welcome! – do check out this book if you get a chance. I know he’s …er…”famous” for fashion advice and you may be dubious (I certainly was) but take my word for it, it’s a great book.

Twice Cooked Melting Pork (8)

This one was recommended to me by best pal Maria and I’m so glad I took her advice. The original recipe calls for Belly of Pork, I used a boned shoulder joint. Just as tasty, perhaps a little less moist than the belly (less fat) but perfect nonetheless. It take a little while to prepare as there are two stages, but it’s not complicated and is a great dish to part prepare ahead, then finish off in the oven when you are ready to eat.

In the book it is called “Poppa Wan’s Show Stopping Twice Cooked Melting Pork” – it’s a recipe of his father’s. So cheers Mr Wan, we loved it!

Ingredients to serve 4 generously

  • 500ml rice wine or dry sherry (I used about 250ml of dry sherry and 4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar as I didn’t have rice wine) plus water
  • 2 star anise
  • A 5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and bruised
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and bruised
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 1.25kg pork belly (rind left on but unscored) I used 1kg boned pork shoulder joint

For the glaze – 4 tablespoons of runny honey mixed with 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce

Place all the ingredients except those for the glaze into a deep pan and add enough extra water to cover the meat generously. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 ½ hours (until the meat is very tender and cool enough to handle.

Twice Cooked Melting Pork (5)

Preheat oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6. Remove the pork from the liquid and place onto a board. Remove the top layer of skin and place onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Pour the marinade over (it will be runny) and cook for 20-30 minutes, basting frequently.

Place onto a serving dish and cut into slices or chunks. I served ours with mushroom and ginger rice and steamed pak choi. Wonderful and enough left over for sandwiches the next day…but more of them another time!


61 thoughts on “Twice Cooked Melting Pork

  1. It looks absolutely sumptuous! I must still have my “breakfast head” on, Tanya, because for Gok Wan I read Ken Hom! You can see where I’m coming from, can’t you? And I do have a Ken Hom cookbook somewhere 🙂

    1. The recipe didn’t but being a Frugal Girl (and loving the rind) I didn’t throw the skin away and crisped it up and we enjoyed it a little nibbles with a glass of wine!

  2. I had a boned shoulder joint last Sunday – I didn’t do anything like your recipe, but I did marinate some leftover slices in Teriyaki sauce and fry them last night. I can imagine how delicious your pork was 😉

  3. Melting pork….that just makes me want some! Pork belly is too fatty for my taste, but I love the looks of this shoulder…one of my favorite cuts. What beautiful color this pork dish has, and it really doesn’t look too hard to make. I’ll bet the sandwiches are pretty awesome, too!

    1. It was such a good one to prepare as you could boil it the day before then it only takes a short while in the oven when you want to prepare the meal…and it was amazing cold too!

  4. That looks fabulous and it really looks like it will melt in your mouth. Pork belly is so good! Thanks for the book recommendation too! I’m always looking for easy ways to get into cuisine that’s more foreign to me.

  5. I was past dubious…I was actively in the “no WAY José” camp (pun fully intended) when it came to Gok Wan. I had seen advertisements for his undress the large ladies show and fool them into thinking that they were gorgeous by baffling them with your bulls#@t routine and was actively twitchy whenever Mr Wan appeared BUT I was at a loose end (waiting for something on the telly) and decided to watch one of his cooking shows and was instantly smitten with the man. Gok is an enigma. So much so, that Australia hired him to do a series of television commercials for Target. Pity he looked like a fish out of water the poor man and he seems to have been hurried off with a no doubt HUGE pay packet for his embarrassment ;). I think poor Gok just wasn’t ready for us Aussies in any way, shape or form ;). I saw this recipe but as an active card carrying vegan I figured I probably shouldn’t make this for my tea.

    I have had many run ins with my fellow vegans over my occasional use of honey, my using the same frypan to cook my dinner as I used to cook Steve’s buttery/meaty dinner in and my refusal to segregate a section of the bbq to cook my food on when a family bbq eventuates… add into the equation my favourite docs (that I bought for $5 for a market stall brand spanking new and soon learned that I had to wear them in and most of my heel skin “blood sweat and tears” have gone into that process so there is no WAY I am going to stop wearing them now!!!) and aside from these transgressions I still hold the roosters while Steve cuts off their heads. I am skating on the thin line between “vegan” and “traitorous biotch!!!” but cooking and eating this unctuous Gok creation would result in rabid hoards with torches at dusk and narf7 would be dragged off and hung from the neck until dead I fear if I even attempted to try to pass this by as vegan kosher. Pity really, it looks BLOODY AMAZING!!! 🙂

    1. God I love your comments! I am so with you on Gok. I had moved to Spain when he started his fashion programmes and my rather well endowed (like me 😦 ) god daughter used to rave about him and his talking about “bangers” for (I think) boobs! Eeek, didn’t like the sound of him at all. But then last year I was at best pal’s house and she had his book and I really liked the simplicity of his recipes (some are veggie but probably not vegan as they use fish sauces…actually probably not veggie either if I think about it) and then at a car boot sale I spotted the book for a couple of pounds and that was it…I’ve made lots of his recipes and they’ve all been winners!

      Why can’t vegans eat honey…please explain, I need to understand. I get the leather thing and the bbq thing (I may have to report you miss narf) but I don’t understand the honey thing. Are the worker bees being exploited? What about beeswax candles? You are my vegan oracle…and I love you for it 🙂

      1. Harnessing anything (exploited) for food is apparently a big no-no in the vegan world. Commercial bee keeping robs bees of the food (honey) that they store away for their natural cycles (feeding the queen etc.) There are quite a few vegans that actually eat honey. I am of the outlook that if you have a few well fed cows that you milk (not taking all of the milk, leaving enough for the calf) and a few chooks that fossick around under your fruit trees eating insects and pests (dig up your plants, wreak havoc on your veggie patch, hide their eggs in blackberries, go clucky and come out with 100 babies when you haven’t gotten an egg in weeks and are feeding an ever exponentially growing flock for sweet bugger all…) that there is nothing wrong with using eggs and milk so long as you aren’t exploiting the animals that you get them from. I guess that makes me a bad vegan but a realist? I don’t eat eggs or drink milk myself but I can’t, for the life of me, see anything wrong with doing so if nothing got killed or put out in the process?! I know that there are quite a few vegans that eat honey. I think it might be an “ethics” debate to be honest but I don’t eat it as it costs 4 arms and 6 legs and I only have 2 of each otherwise I would slather myself in it and bath in cow’s milk and honey and turn myself into the Serendipity Farm equivalent of Cleopatra 😉

        I have most cleverly avoided being drummed out (AGAIN) of the vegan confraternity when it comes to bbq’s. I make little alfoil (PLEASE don’t tell me that alfoil isn’t vegan…) boxes and put them onto the bbq in the middle of the meaty feast and my veggies/tofu/etc. cook happily along with the rest of my family’s food. I hate to be excluded through my desire to remain thinner than the door frame and somewhat accountable for my actions on this planet (note…only “somewhat” 😉 ). My docs are not negotiable. Tear me a new “A” but I think that they are comprised of more narf skin than cow skin thanks to me having to wear the swine’s in and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous pain for the privilege of pretending that I, too, was in the U.K. when Punk arrived. I live MOST vicariously through Steve’s re-telling of his exploits at the time 🙂

        I am MOST honoured to be your vegan oracle and am working on a tofu version of this dish. I reckon that if I get some tofu, wrap it in tofu skin (Yuba), dip the lot in some kind of unctuous (fish sauce free) sauce for about a year…dry it off on biodegradable brown fibre filled recycled kitchen towel…get a VAT of extra virgin olive oil (I know…it will burn as soon as it hits about 20 degrees but whatchagonnado… ALL the best greenies push olive oil…) and slowly lower my tofu “beast” into the bubbling cauldron of hot smoking (black smoking if it’s extra virgin 😉 ) oil until it has finished spitting its coating all over the kitchen and anyone in the immediate vicinity and has turned into a crispy fried delight I should be able to approximate it to the max. Let’s face it, you could take just about anything, fry it, and it’s YUM! Don’t say I haven’t learned something from Ms’ Chica through reading her posts and back posts! (I must like you a lot…I just added “Chica” to my spell check dictionary 😉 )

      2. Fabukous explanation and it sounds ot me that you have the right balance between sticking by your principles and life choices and making it work in the world you live in and with those around you. Wish I could send you some of our olive oil – I use it to cook my chips and it doesn’t smoke (thankfully). Glad your spell check knows the word Chica now 🙂

      3. Best you can’t send me your olive oil because I would probably drink it from a glass, dunk an entire loaf of good sourdough bread in it and end up bilious and in hospital for my greed :(. The scourge of the narf is her propensity to gluttony…I LOVE being a glutton! 😉

      4. I adore olive oil and love to sniff it as I pour it out of the bottle. Sad but true. And we gluttons are tucked away in pantries snarfing the chockie bickies the world over. Nigella allowed us to come out of the pantry (so to speak) but now that she has skinnified down who will speak for the glutton?!!! I am NOT going to start snorting white powder in order to keep a trim bum…unless it is that fizzy sherbet that Bill imbibed in that Goodies episode in order to give him enlightenment 😉 I am all for THAT kind of white powder :). Heres to we gluttons and bollocks to the health brigade that would have us only eating kale…not that there is anything wrong with kale per-se, just that it tastes a whole LOT better covered in butter and black pepper is all!

      5. ..or olive oil and lemon juice! Hear hear…and you can’t cook without slurping and tasting as you go along either…and that’s ALWAYS fun 🙂

  6. That pork looks amazing in your photo – I love Gok (and you of course!!). I’m doing Poppa Wan’s honey-glazed char siu pork loin tonight………’s been marinading since yesterday afternoon – YUM!! xx

  7. This looks delicious, and I’m sure Gok’s book would be good, he knows what he is talking about. I am not very experienced in Chinese cooking, but recently bought Fuschia Dunlop’s Every Grain of Rice, which has given me a lot of fine new recipes.

    1. Have just looked up Fuschia Dunlop – what an interesting person and now I want her book! Can recommend Gok’s book to as his recipes taste delicious and authentic without lots of complicated ingredients and they are mostly prepared quite quickly!

  8. The ingredients sound perfect, but even better when I consider the ease of the process! Sounds simply ideal in combination. I will steal this one, likely substituting stick cinnamon and/or cloves for the anise (not a favorite flavor here); it sounds delectable!

  9. This sounds so good, Tanya, and I’m almost positive I’ve a pork shoulder in the freezer. It was intended for the grinder but I think it’s destiny just change. While reading your post, all I could think of was the sandwiches that I’d make with the leftovers. I should have known that your mind would go there, too. I get they were wonderful!
    I’m so glad this post survived the completely unexplained “mass delete” within my inbox. 😉

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