Braised pork is a popular and essential dish during the Lunar New Year in Vietnam. It is known for its rich flavor and beautiful dark brown color, making it a true representation of the festival. To create a delicious and appetizing pot of braised pork, follow these tips to ensure that it is never boring.
1Choosing the meat
When it comes to braised pork, the first and most important ingredient is the meat itself. To achieve a delicious pot of pork that suits your taste, choose the meat carefully. Thigh meat and butt meat are commonly preferred due to their thickness and lower fat content. Lean meat, fatty belly meat, thin skin, and quick-to-cook meat can contribute to a tender and less appealing dish. For the best results, opt for loin and pulled rib cuts, which still have some cartilage, plenty of fatty meat, and are enjoyable for the whole family. If you prefer fat, choose the part near the skin. For lean meat, choose the rib part. This guarantees a delicious and never boring outcome.
2Soak in ice water after boiling the meat
About five to ten minutes before the meat is fully cooked, prepare a bowl of ice water with plenty of ice. Remove the meat from the pot and immediately submerge it in the ice water. By doing this, the fatty part of the meat will not be greasy (especially with industrially raised pork). Pork fat tends to float to the surface when cooled, making it easy to remove with a spoon. This process enhances the overall flavor of the meat, resulting in a firmer and visually appealing dish.
3Fry the meat before braising
Frying the pork belly before braising allows you to utilize the fat from the meat while reducing its greasiness. After boiling and soaking the meat, transfer it to a non-stick pan and fry it over medium heat until both sides turn golden. No cooking oil is necessary as the fat from the pork belly will be released, resulting in a less greasy dish.
4Braise the meat with other ingredients
While braised pork is already delicious when combined with eggs, it can become even more flavorful and interesting with the addition of vegetables such as turnips, carrots, and bamboo shoots. Another option to change the taste is to braise the meat with coconut. Adjust the seasoning while braising to achieve the desired taste. Instead of using white sugar, try brown sugar for a sweet and refreshing flavor that doesn’t feel greasy. It will also give the braised pork a visually appealing natural yellow color. Selected spices like pepper and soy sauce (soybean paste) can further enhance the taste, especially the spicy and pungent aroma of pepper. These tips will help you create an incredibly delicious braised pork dish, perfect for a refreshing meal or a cold day during the Lunar New Year.
5Serve with accompanying dishes
Eating braised pork as a standalone dish can be heavy and high in protein. To balance the meal and provide sufficient nutrients, serve it with various accompanying vegetables such as pickled mustard greens, pickled baby eggplants, or a plate of boiled vegetables. Vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals, and their addition helps reduce the heaviness of the braised pork. This prevents feelings of bloating and improves digestion, especially when consuming high amounts of protein and fat.
With the information provided in this article, you can create braised pork that is never boring and always delicious for the upcoming Lunar New Year. Don’t wait any longer! Start cooking this mouth-watering dish right away!