Red braised pork (红烧肉 hongshao rou)
Deliciously tender, packed with flavour and so easy to make
  1. Cut the pork into 2cm long strips, then cut each strip into 2.5cm pieces.
  2. Heat your wok over a medium flame. Add 2 tablespoon oil and the ginger slices and cook, stirring for 20-30 seconds.
  3. Add the pork and stir-fry until sealed and golden. Transfer the pork to a bowl and discard the oil. Wipe out the wok using paper towels.
  4. Pour ½ cup water into the wok. Add the lump sugar and stir it around. When it’s slightly dissolved add 1 tablespoon of oil and keep stirring over medium heat, allowing it to dissolve and caramelise. As soon as it’s a deep amber colour pour in about 1 cup boiling water. Keep stirring for about 20 seconds, then pour the sugar water into a small bowl. Set aside.
  5. With the heat on low, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok. Add the shallots and bay leaves and lightly fry for half a minute. Add the oyster er sauce, tboth soy sauces, Shaoxing wine and the sugar water. Return the pork to the liquid and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the salt, chicken powder and pepper. Cover and simmer gently for 90 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid. Most of the liquid should be simmered away. Discard the ginger and bay leaves. Pour ½ tablespoon Sichuan pepper oil around the meat, give it a good toss, garnish with sliced spring onions and serve.
Recipe Notes

Shaoxing wine, lump sugar and Sichuan pepper oil can be found in good Asian grocers. If you can get it, buy Hua Diao, as it’s the best Shaoxing yellow wine.