These braised pork feet are moist, tender and flavourful. They are braised in a slightly sweet and savory master sauce until the skin and meat fall from the bone.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Author: Maggie Zhu
- 2 (1 kilograms / 2 pounds) pork feet , each one chopped into 6 pieces (Purchase here)
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger , thickly sliced
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger , coarsely smashed (*see footnote 1)
- 1/2 cup white part of scallion (or green onion)
- 3 to 5 chili peppers , dried (*see footnote 2)
- 1 and 1/2 star anise
- 3 cloves
- 1 tablespoon crystal sugar (or white sugar)
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons Chinese Shaoxing wine (or Japanese sake)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Place pork feet and ginger slices in a large pot and add water to cover pork feet. Bring the water to a boil and continue boiling for about 3 minutes. Discard water and wash pork feet carefully.
- Add pork feet into pressure cooker and add water until the pork is covered completely. Cook over high heat until rated pressure has been reached. Turn to lowest heat and cook at rated pressure for 15 minutes. (*see footnote 3)
- After releasing pressure naturally, transfer pork feet to a wok (or dutch oven). Transfer pork broth from pressure cooker to wok until it almost covers the pork. Add the rest of the ingredients into wok and turn to high heat. After bringing the broth to a boil, reduce to low heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Stir pork feet every 10 minutes to avoid burning on the bottom. Stir more often toward the end of braising, after the sauce has thickened. Add water during the braising process if the broth becomes thick while the pork is still tough. If the pork turns very soft but the sauce is still thin, turn to medium heat and boil uncovered. Reduce sauce until desired thickness.
- To cook without a pressure cooker, skip step 2 and add boiled pork, water and all ingredients into a wok or a dutch oven. Add water until it covers pork and boil for around 2 hours. If the water level becomes too low while pork is still though, add warm water, 1 to 2 cups at a time, and continue braising.
- To smash ginger, place peeled ginger on a cutting board, lay a wide knife on top of ginger and use palm to press against the knife to smash the ginger. No need to cut ginger.
- Add 3 peppers for a mild spiciness or 5 for a hotter dish. If the sauce turns too spicy, add more sugar to balance the heat at the end of braising.
- To shorten the braising time, I used a pressure cooker. Either an electronic or stove top pressure is OK. Every pressure cooker is different. You might need to shorten / prolong cooking time according to your cooker’s specifications. If your pressure cooker has a user manual and happens to indicate a cooking time for pork, you could follow that recommendation for this recipe.