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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vinegar Pork Knuckle , a confinement food

Almost everything inside can be consumed, from the meat to the ginger
Recently , I have become the kitchen lady at the activity center in Bukit Merah.  I am on the monthly roster but already  there have been requests what I should be contributing next month. That, not from the activity members but fellow volunteers. And why not ? They labour  even more than me and deserve some form of perks every now and then.

But when they requested for pork knuckle vinegar, it got me scratching my head.  Someone has mismatched this dish with the wrong kitchen lady. Even so, I shall rise up to the challenge.

And so I ran to my cleaner lady who is a traditional Hokkien. The vinegar used in this case is Dog brand, 'the best' in the market, as recommended by  her.  She should know  best since she cooks the dish as a confinement nourishment for all her daughter in laws.

I use a mixture of old and young ginger so that I can have the complex 'taste' and eat it as well. Vinegar ginger is the latest favorite: firm, juicy and infused with the taste of pork, dark sugar and top vinegar. Not to mention the pork : succulent meat falling off the bones, gelatinous skin that melts in the mouth.

Just describing it sends my salivary glands into overdrive.

Here's what I did with a front hock of a pig :

For 3.

1 front pig hock, chopped to chunks, void of bristles.
1 small bottle of chinese vinegar, Dog brand, or any good quality vinegar. Balsamic vinegar will be a good substitue.
1 old ginger, peeled, sliced across the grain. Ditto the young ginger.
2 T black sugar, 3 T if you are worried about the sourness.

Parboil hock. Drain. Flush hock with tap water to cool and firm flesh.
Fry ginger in oil until fragrant.
Add hock / trotters / knuckle. Cook uncovered.
Add sugar, vinegar.

Once it boils, transfer to a slow cooker. Set on high.
Add a little water to submerge hock.
Cook for 2 hours. Serve hot with plain rice.

Don't dump the pot of yummy vinegar yet! Toss some noodles with the vinegar, top it with scallions and it is good to go. I would do the same thing for fish too. Delicious !

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