Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Braised Pork Knuckle With Chinese Black Vinegar 酸辣豬腳醋

If there is one dish that can transport me back home, this has to be it!! This is my ultimate comfort food; the wonderful aroma that one could smell from miles away, the sweet, sour and hot sticky sauce and meltingly tender meat, not to forget the garlic gloves so sweet and tender after the long braising.
There are many versions of pork knuckles braised with black vinegar and I'm always partial to one that I grew up with of course :). Very few ingredients are needed and very little work has to be done too, you basically put everything in a pot cover it and leave it for a few hours and you'll have the most beautiful dish for lunch or dinner.  All you need is a side dish of stir fry Asian greens and plenty of steamed rice to go with it.
I am using mainly leg meat here as the other tummies are not big fans of pork skin; but I always add some knuckles in since I love the wonderful soft and gelatinous texture of the skin after the long cooking,  and it adds that sticky consistency to the sauce which every good stew should possess!
P.S don't be alarmed by the amount of garlic used, they will turn into pockets of sweet garlic puree!!

serves 6 as part of a Chinese meal;
you'll need;
1 kg pork knuckle meat  and 1 knuckle, cut into 4 pieces  (or use 4 knuckles cut into 4 pieces each)
3 bulbs of garlic, separated
12 dried chilies, soaked and seeded
1/2 cup of Chinkiang black vinegar
1/2 cup of light soy
1/4 cup of Chinese dark caramel sauce
3/4 cup of rock sugar
3 tbs of cooking oil
water or stock

dark caramel sauce

Blanch pork pieces

In a heavy bottom pot, saute garlic and dried chilies til lightly brown.

Add in pork pieces and fry for 5 minutes, seasoning can be added by this stage.

Add enough water to cover the pork pieces and simmer for 3 hours.

After 3 hours, the meat should be very tender, the sauce thick and sticky. Remove the layer of fat from the sauce if you wish.

Serve it with plenty of steamed rice and just a simple Asian greens.


  1. Oh my gosh....this dish looks absolutely fabulous. I really miss it. I'm drooling over it...makes me so hungry now. I'd eat a lot of rice just with this dish. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I'm getting hungry already...please quickly share some of this with me.

  3. Oh this looks so good! Mum cooked this without the chillies but I think I'll like the extra heat!!

  4. Yummy!!! Where can I get the leg meat without the skin? I've tasted a similar dish in Malaysia but without the chilies.

  5. aah! I can get the smell from here. :)

    Looks good.

  6. 好香呀!!飯要多兩碗!!

  7. I like your added chillies version! I'm glad you still add a few pieces of knuckles with skin and bones into the stew!!

  8. It's fabulous, I love so much meat which simmes a long time and this colour !!!
    And above all I love chilis

  9. A definite comforting winter dish! I love pork knuckles!

  10. Mary,
    You must make a big pot too!

    Absolutely!!! :)

    KL girl in MELB ,
    Thanks! I'm sure her version is very tasty too!

    Mary G,
    Try the Vietnamese butcher, they called it leg muscle haha!

    Abhilash Pillai ,
    Thanks!!!! :)


    Thanks! I only just realised how delicious the skins are haha!

    Thanks! Give it a try!! :)

    Absolutely! We had it when the weather was fairly cool last week :)

  11. Wonderful looking dish, I like the added chillies! :)

  12. This looks good! I like eating the gelatinous bits too! :)

  13. It looks like our 豬腳薑/薑醋 in Hong Kong, it's for pregnant women to eat after giving birth. It's without chilli.

  14. Am drooling..Maybe I should try this with some beef.(Never made pork at home) Oh boy ! I got to learn so much from you..Following you to catch up with all the mouthwatering Chinese recipes from you :D

  15. Ju (The Little Teochew),
    Thanks! still trying to learn from everyone :)

    Thanks! Yeah the background heat is wonderful!

    Thanks! I'm glad there are people like me out there that like the best part!!

    Yeah we make that at home too but this version is more like a stew :)

    Thanks for following my blog :) Try to get oxtail or osso buco if you are using beef :)

  16. Wow! This looks so succulent and delicious!

  17. Drooling ... drooling ... drooling ...

  18. WOW! told to visit your blog by a friend and this is just amazing, so many delicious recipes!! Will be back soon!

  19. That looks scrumptious and and appetizing!!I am sure tastes as good.

  20. my mom use to make this for me... miss it... and i agree.. skin and gelatinous texture is a must... yuummmm.... maybe i should try making it myself =)

  21. I imagine how sweet and delicious this might be.. Yummy!

  22. Oh my gosh this looks so good. It looks so rich and delicious....I can almost smell it's goodness!

  23. Pork flavorful. I cannot say that I have ever eaten pork knuckle but, I know that I would really enjoy it.

  24. Harriet from CarltonDecember 17, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    Looks absolutely to die for! Still can't believe it is so simple to make too. Thanks for the photo of the caramel sauce, I would have been completely lost otherwise :)

  25. Oh, my goodness! The braised pork knuckles are yummy. Haven't eaten them for ages!
    In the good old days, we could have them only when somebody we knew had got newborns. Now, we can cook and eat whenever we want. ^0^

  26. Fresh Local and Best ,
    Thanks :)

    Go find some soon!

    Haha you'll have to make some soon :)

    Please visit anytime and tell your friends about the blog too!

    kothiyavunu ,
    Thanks! :)

    and this blog,
    Please try and let me know :)

    Thanks you should try too haha!

    Thanks! it is so simple to make too.

    it is definitely worth a try!

    Thanks! Do ask if you have any questions.

    Thanks! I'm the same I just make it whenever I feel like it! :)

    Thanks! It is indeed :)

    Thanks! Please try making it!

  27. Yummy stew you have there! I love dishes like this, just leave it bubbling away while you are on to other things. Cheers mate!

  28. Oh Yum! Yum! I've never tried the chili version, good one!

  29. fitzboy,
    Thanks, you are absolutely right :)

    Thanks and give it a try!

  30. What a hearty dish using such under rated cuts! love it!

  31. Made this for tonights dinner, to delectable to wait till dinner, tried a bit and ooohhhhh what a taste sensation, melt in the mouth. Love your blog it is definitely the best!!!!

  32. rosa ,
    Haha try to cook some!

    CW ,
    It is very hearty indeed!

    gadewind ,
    I am so please to hear that!!!

  33. Your dishes is superb! You are a really good cook. Sorry I have a question, I couldn't find the dark caramel sauce in the Asian market. Is there any other substitute for it?


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