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Dong Po pork is one of my favourite things to eat. There are a couple of preliminary steps to ensure that the skin in the finished dish it is soft and melting.

First blanch the pork in some boiling water for ten minutes to remove some of the impurities and set the flesh a little.

Remove and pat dry before frying the skin in a wok or skillet on a moderate heat till the skin is evenly brown all over, you can if it’s more convenient deep-fry the whole piece instead. If this isn’t done then the skin will be too chewy, it should be very soft and delicate.

If you find that your piece is curling up, either cut into smaller pieces or make deep slashes into the flesh side. It is better for presentation purposes that the pork is as flat as possible.

Now the pork is ready to be braised. Choose a suitable sized pot that is just big enough to hold the pork and line the bottom with spring onion and slices of ginger. Place your pork on this bed of aromatics then add the braising liquor. For the size of pork you see in the photo (approx 1lb), I use 100ml of Shaosing wine, 75ml each of light and dark Soy Sauce, 100g of Yellow Rock Sugar, one whole star anise and just enough water to barely cover the meat (do not dilute the mixture too much). Simmer gently, covered, for three to four hours. Turn occasionally, but be careful near the end as the meat will be very soft. To serve, let it cool a little before slicing, then pour the strained braising liquid over the meat.

The meat should be sliced almost but not quite all the way through. When you dig in with your chopsticks to take a piece then the meat should be so soft that the chunks should pull away easily.

Of course as with any braised dish it will taste better the next day. You can slice it much more easily when it’s completely cool and you can skim the fat off too. Simply steam the pork on the serving plate and finish with some of the liquor warmed through.

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