Tag Archives: pork

Soy and Star Anise Braised Pork


Soy and anise braised porkSoy and anise braised pork

This soy and anise pork has been worth the wait, though – here, belly pork is braised in a deeply fragrant and savoury sauce until it’s so tender that it positively melts in the mouth.

Star anise is a beautiful, flower-shaped spice from a Chinese evergreen; it’s an entirely different species of plant from European anise, although it has a similar flavour. It’s one of the aromatics used in five-spice powder, and has a warm, intensely fragrant taste. There’s been something of a shortage of the spice in recent years because an acid found in star anise is used in making Tamiflu, the anti-influenza drug. Happily for the cooks among you (and those with flu), drugs companies have since started to synthesise shikimic acid, so star anise is back on the shelves again. The Chinese use it as an indigestion remedy – you can try it yourself by releasing a seed from the woody star and chewing it after a meal if you feel you’ve overindulged.

This recipe capitalises on the affinity star anise has for rich meats like pork. Belly pork is one of my favourite cuts of meat (you can find some more recipes for belly pork here) – it’s flavourful, has brilliant texture, and the fat gives it a wonderful unctuous quality as it bastes itself from within. To serve four with rice and a stir-fried vegetable, you’ll need:

1 kg pork belly
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
2 tablespoons lard or flavourless oil
5 cloves garlic
6 shallots
4 flowers of star anise
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons salt
250 ml pork or chicken stock

Using a very sharp knife or a Chinese cleaver, chop the pork into strips about 1.5 cm thick. (Do not remove the skin, which will become deliciously melting when cooked.) Mix one tablespoon of the soy sauce with the honey and five-spice powder in a bowl, and marinade the sliced pork in the mixture for an hour.

Chop the garlic and shallots very finely. Heat the lard to a high temperature in a thick-bottomed pan with a close-fitting lid, and fry the garlic, shallots, star anise and brown sugar together until they begin to turn gold. Turn the heat down to medium, add the pork to the pan with its marinade, and fry until the meat is coloured on all sides.

Pour over the chicken stock, and add the salt and the rest of the soy sauce. Bring the mixture to the boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, cover and continue to simmer for two hours, turning the meat every now and then. If the sauce seems to be reducing and thickening, add a little water.

This is one of those recipes which is even better left to cool, refrigerated, and then reheated the next day.

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Kadios, Baboy, Lanka – KBL (Beans, pork, jackfruit)



The “Kadios” are black beans. If you’re not from Iloilo or the Visayas, you may not recognize this.  The “Langka” is jackfruit, raw and green, for the purpose of this recipe. Since there is no raw and green fresh jackfruit in my part of the world, I used the canned ones imported from Thailand (available at all oriental stores).
Which brings me to an important point – this recipe is intended for those in the U.S. or other parts of the world who don’t have access to a cook or ingredients.
Ingredients: (good for a family of 3 to 4, good for lunch, dinner and lunch the next day)
about 3/4 cup of Kadios. (Look for it in the frozen section. If you are in L.A., Florida, or Las Vegas, I heard they have fresh ones.)
beef shanks meat – about 2 to 3 pounds (sliced into desired sizes)
a can of young green, jackfruit (use fresh if you have, again, lucky you)
soy sauce, vinegar, salt to taste
3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 ginger (about a thumb-size, crushed as well)
1 medium-sized tomato (sliced into pieces)
1 medium-sized onion (sliced as well)
vegetable oil
(optional) lemon grass (tanglad)
(very optional) pechay (baby bokchoy)
– Soak the kadios in cold water overnight. This will rehydrate the beans. (they were dehydrated to preserve them to start with). Get rid of the floating ones.
– In a pressure cooker, together with the re-hydrated beans, add about 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. After 15 to 20 minutes of that dreaded pressure-cooker “hissing” sound, turn the fire off.
– In a separate pot or pan, put the garlic and ginger in about 3 tablespoons of hot oil. When they turn light brown, add the tomatoes and onions. Sweat the onions out a little, then add the meat (include the bones), about 3 tbsp (maybe more) of soy sauce, 3 tbsp (maybe more) of vinegar and salt to taste. You can adjust to your own taste later. Mix and cover for a good 5 minutes. The smell is very tempting at this point.
– Open that pressure-cooker with the kadios in it and add the just-sauteed meat. Add more water if necessary (kun gusto mo damu’ sabaw), put cover, turn the fire on and let it “hiss” for another 15 to 20 minutes. (If you’re using pork, remember that pork needs a shorter time to tenderize, you may want to shorten the time, or skip this step altogether.)
– After 15 to 20 minutes, turn off fire, and let hissing sound subside. You may transfer the pressure-cooker contents (the meat and beans now tenderized) if you wish to a regular pot. Bring to a boil again and add the “langka” (for about 5 minutes). Add the tanglad for its incredible aroma. Add more salt to taste.
– Add several pieces of pechay leaves if you want. To make it healthier (you wish). But you don’t have to.
– Get the rice, the soda and sleep afterwards…
With your humble donation you can support our website to provide FREE recipes and our educational outreach activities to the community.

The “Kadios” are black beans. If you’re not from Iloilo or the Visayas, you may not recognize this.  The “Langka” is jackfruit, raw and green, for the purpose of this recipe. Since there is no raw and green fresh jackfruit in my part of the world, I used the canned ones imported from Thailand (available at all oriental stores).

Which brings me to an important point – this recipe is intended for those in the U.S. or other parts of the world who don’t have access to a cook or ingredients.

Ingredients: (good for a family of 3 to 4, good for lunch, dinner and lunch the next day)

about 3/4 cup of Kadios. (Look for it in the frozen section. If you are in L.A., Florida, or Las Vegas, I heard they have fresh ones.)

beef shanks meat – about 2 to 3 pounds (sliced into desired sizes)

a can of young green, jackfruit (use fresh if you have, again, lucky you)

soy sauce, vinegar, salt to taste

3 cloves of garlic (crushed)

1 ginger (about a thumb-size, crushed as well)

1 medium-sized tomato (sliced into pieces)

1 medium-sized onion (sliced as well)

vegetable oil

(optional) lemon grass (tanglad)

(very optional) pechay (baby bokchoy)

– Soak the kadios in cold water overnight. This will rehydrate the beans. (they were dehydrated to preserve them to start with). Get rid of the floating ones.

– In a pressure cooker, together with the re-hydrated beans, add about 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. After 15 to 20 minutes of that dreaded pressure-cooker “hissing” sound, turn the fire off.

– In a separate pot or pan, put the garlic and ginger in about 3 tablespoons of hot oil. When they turn light brown, add the tomatoes and onions. Sweat the onions out a little, then add the meat (include the bones), about 3 tbsp (maybe more) of soy sauce, 3 tbsp (maybe more) of vinegar and salt to taste. You can adjust to your own taste later. Mix and cover for a good 5 minutes. The smell is very tempting at this point.

– Open that pressure-cooker with the kadios in it and add the just-sauteed meat. Add more water if necessary (kun gusto mo damu’ sabaw), put cover, turn the fire on and let it “hiss” for another 15 to 20 minutes. (If you’re using pork, remember that pork needs a shorter time to tenderize, you may want to shorten the time, or skip this step altogether.)

– After 15 to 20 minutes, turn off fire, and let hissing sound subside. You may transfer the pressure-cooker contents (the meat and beans now tenderized) if you wish to a regular pot. Bring to a boil again and add the “langka” (for about 5 minutes). Add the tanglad for its incredible aroma. Add more salt to taste.

– Add several pieces of pechay leaves if you want. To make it healthier (you wish). But you don’t have to.

– Get the rice, the soda and sleep afterwards…

With your humble donation you can support our website to provide FREE recipes and our educational outreach activities to the community.


Thank you very much.