SANDWICH COOKING GAME - COOKING FRESH MAGAZINE.
This dish is sometimes eaten by sandwich
ing a slice of the pork in a bun. The bun absorbs the oil and helps to bring out the flavour of the pork.
Origins - Westlake (??), Hang Zhou (??), Northern Song Dynasty
The famous scholar and poet Su Shi (??), alias Dong Bo (??), (1036-1101), was an upright official serving in the Court of Emperor Shen Zong (??). A conservative, he could not get along with
the then prevailing refor
mists led by Wang An Shi (???) and requested to be posted out of the capital.
From AD 1071 until the next emperor Ze Zong (??) ascended to the throne in AD 1085, he was assigned to a variety of positions in Hang Zhou (??), Mi Zhou (??), Xu Zhou (??) and Hu Zhou (??). Implicated in a political intrigue, he was imprisoned briefly and after several months, released and demoted to a minor idle dead-end post in Huang Zhou (??), located in present-day Huang Gang (??) in the province of Hu Bei (??). In Huang Zhou, he had little real duties and spent his time enjoying the sceneries, composing poetries and painting, and also cooking
. Nevertheless, as a de facto exile, he was impoverised.
Huang Zhou was an agricultural heartland and as the price of pork in the area was cheap, it was a regular feature in the diet of Su Shi. He adopted a local way of cooking
, which included adding numerous spices to stew the meat in the manner of Red Braised Pork of Huang Zhou (?????).
One day, he was cooking
pork when a friend dropped by. Switching the fire to gentle heat, he left the kitchen to play chess with
the visitor. So engrossed was he with
that he for
got the cooking. It was only at the end of the game
he suddenly recalled the pork and rushed to the kitchen. Expecting to find the pork burnt to crisp, he was surprised by the aroma when the lid of the pot was lifted. The edible pork had a rich red colour, tender crispy but not flaky with a glutinous texture without the greasy taste. Hencefor
th, it became a regular dish for himself and his guests who couldn't get enough of it.
Marvelling at his serendipitious creation, Su Shi composed a ode:
A rough translation:
Huang Zhou produces excellent pork,
the price as cheap as dirt.
The rich despise it,
the poor can't cook it well.
A slow fire,
It will be delicious in its own time.
A bowl a day,
will satisfy a man enough to forget all cares.
After being politically rehabilitated under the new emperor, Su Shi was recalled to the capital. In AD 1089, he was assigned to be the governor in Hang Zhou.
During this term in Hang Zhou, Su Shi undertook various waterworks such as clearing the reed choked waters of the Westlake and building of bridges. These improved the lives of the people and won him gratitude of the general populace.
During a New Year, knowing his taste for pork, many common folks presented him with a lot of pork and local Shao Xing wine (???(??)). With more pork than he could handle, Su Shi decided to cook the meat in his unique method and presented the food back to the people.
A folklore mentioned that a miscommunication about his instructions to his servants further improved the delicacy.
Su Shi was supposed to have told the servants to serve the pork with the wine. The servants misheard and cooked the pork with the wine. (? “?????” ??? “?????”).
It was an instant hit and with the recipe shared freely, the dish proliferated until it became served everywhere in the region. Since it had no name, the people named it after Su Shi as Dong Bo Pork.
The naming was a commercial success but ruined the career of Su Shi.
Jealous officials from the capital had longed wanted to do him in. One of Su Shi's enemies secretly toured Hang Zhou to find some fault. He discovered Dong Bo Pork was a popular dish. Twisting the facts, he reported to the Emperor that the populace of Hang Zhou hated Su Shi so much that they were eating his meat! So Su Shi must have been doing a terrible job. Hoodwinked by the menus presented as evidence, the Emperor demoted and exiled Su Shi to distant Hai Nan (??).
1000g pork (?????)
200 soya sauce (??)
50g Shao Xing wine ???(??)
10g spring onions
1. Remove the hairs and bones from the pork
2. Diced into 10 cubes
3. Boil in water for 5 minutes, remove all traces of blood
4. Rinse the meat with clear water
5. Put meat into the pot
6. Add spring onions and wine
7. Use a small fire until the pork turns red
8. Add sugar and water
9. Strong fire for 30 minutes
10. Braise with small fire (cover the pot) for about 90 minutes
11. Remove top layer of oil
Here, the meat can be kept sealed for later servings if necessary.
Reheating done by steaming for 15 minutes.
There are alternative ways of cooking, but the above lists the general steps.
Look forward to other forum members sharing their Chinese food experience or favourite recipes, especially those with interesting historical backgrounds.