Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Chairman Mao's Red-Braised Pork

[Photograph: fuchsiadunlop.com]

I've been meaning to make this recipe for at least a month. Ever since I laid eyes on Fuchsia Dunlop's Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes from Hunan Province, I've been drooling over the recipe on the book's cover: Chairman Mao's Red-Braised Pork. "Men eat it to build their brains," Chairman Mao's nephew is quoted as saying in the book.

The pork in question is pork belly, which is an added plus. Spiked with dried red chiles and star anise, it's a simple dish, not too spicy or over the top. The whole thing could be completed in under an hour—not bad for what amounted to a very authentic Chinese recipe.

Think of the dish as more of a blank slate for other flavors. Dunlop suggests adding every from water chestnuts, mushrooms, mustard greens, to spare ribs. But really, just about anything would taste good in this broth.

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