1. For the sauce, put the cube of red fermented tofu and tablespoon of fermented tofu liquid into a small bowl or ramekin and crush it with the base of a teaspoon to form a paste. Mix this paste together with the dark soy sauce, Chinkiang black rice vinegar, sugar and sesame oil, and set the bowl aside for later. (Hint: If you cannot find fermented tofu, make a paste out of one of the hard-boiled egg yolks instead! The texture will thicken the sauce, much like the tofu does, giving the dish its silky finish.)
2. Next, hard-boil the eggs and then peel them. Once peeled, cut three small lines vertically into each egg while keeping them whole (this allows the sauce to soak through the eggs while they are braising).
3. Finely chop the garlic and set it aside.
4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Add the garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds until lightly browned. Add the sauce and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
5. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the pork belly piece to the pan and sear on all sides,
ensuring the skin is well-sealed and golden brown.
6. Once seared, add the pork to the saucepan skin-side down and baste well with the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook, continuing to baste as you do so, for 5–6 minutes.The sauce should caramelise, reduce and cling to the pork during this process.
7. Once the sauce is thick and coating the meat well, turn the pork skin-side up and pour over enough hot water to cover it completely. Stir everything together well, cover with a lid and leave to simmer over a low heat for 1 1⁄2 hours, turning the pork occasionally, until it is soft, succulent and full of colour.
8. Remove the lid, add the eggs to the braising liquid and continue simmering with the lid off for a further 30 minutes, turning the eggs every 10 minutes to ensure they absorb the sauce evenly. Arrange on a large platter, garnished with coriander, and serve.
How To Make Braised Pork Belly
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