Steamed Pork with Mui Choi

Steamed Pork with Mui Choi

Steamed Pork with Mui Choi originated in the Huizhou area of Guangdong Province on China's south coast. It is a popular home-cooked meal among the Hakka of Guangdong and has a venerable place in China's food culture. During the Qin (221-207 B.C.) and Han (206 B.C. - A.D. 220) dynasties there was a migration from the Central Plains area to Huizhou. They claimed wasteland for farming and became known as "Hakka." Hakka cuisine tends to be fatty, salty, well cooked, and closely related to their lifestyle and standard of living.

Mui Choi, a kind of pickled cabbage, is a traditional specialty of Huizhou. It is considered a healthy product because of its bright color, aroma, and sweet and refreshing taste. The origin of Steamed Pork with Mui Choi is attributed to Su Dongpo (1037-1101), a renowned scholar and painter-calligrapher from the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127).

At the age of 59, Su Dongpo was demoted to Lingnan, the area south of Wuling which Huizhou is part of. On one occasion when he had guests for dinner he cooked far too much Dongpo Pork and there was much left over when they had finished eating. But being frugal, Su told his cook to stew the leftover pork with pickles for another meal instead of throwing it out. Su was blown away the moment he tasted the new dish. The pork was so tender that it could have melted in his mouth. The cook had tried his best to perfect the dish and found that Mui Choi was the perfect complement to the meat. Together, they had created Steamed Pork with Mui Choi.

Make it yourself:

The ingredients of this dish are pork belly, Mui Choi, fermented black bean, soy cheese, sugar, Sichuan pepper wine, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and caltrop starch.

1. Blanch the pork belly until it turns white. Coat the skin with soy sauce.

2. Deep-fry the pork belly, remove and drain. When it is cool, cut it into slices 8 cm x 4 cm x 0.5 cm. Place the slices in a bowl, arrange them in the shape of a windmill.

3. Put the fermented black bean, garlic and soy cheese in a bowl, mix and grind them into a paste, then add Sichuan pepper wine, salt, sugar, ginger, to make the seasoning.

4. Pour the seasoning over the pork. Steam it in a steamer for 40 minutes.

5. Clean the Mui Choi, cut it into pieces 3 cm x 1 cm. Mix them with sugar and soy sauce. Put them on the pork, and then steam the pork for another five minutes. Place the bowl upside down on a deep plate, and remove the bowl. Bring the original juice to the boil, add caltrop starch dissolved in water to make a thin sauce, and pour the sauce over the pork. Serve.

The dish made in this way will be brightly colored, sticky, tender, and covered in a delicious sauce.

Where to eat:

1. Kong Yiji Restaurant

Add: Second floor, affiliated Building of Sinochem Building, A-2, Fuxingmenwai Street, Xicheng District, Beijing

Tel: 010-68568801

2. Juyuan Restaurant

Add: Central Garden, Jiangnan Central Dam, Meizhou City, Guangdong Province

Tel: 0753-2284698 0753-2526938

3. Shuxuan Restaurant

Add: Shangpai Longfeng Road, Huicheng District, Huizhou City, Guangdong Province

Tel: 0752-2675989