Brine For Pork

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Pork Belly Mantou

Pork Belly Mantou


Makes about 10


  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • scant 1¼ cups (275ml) warm water
  • 1oz (30g) superfine (caster) sugar
  • 4 cups (500g) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil


  • 1lb 2oz (500g) pork belly in one piece
  • 1½ tbsp superfine (caster) sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 thick slice fresh ginger, peeled
  • a piece of cassia bark (or a small cinnamon stick) 2 scallions (spring onions), cut into several pieces 2 star anise
  • 1½ tbsp dark soy sauce
  • scant ¼ cups (50ml) chinese rice (cooking) wine (shaoxing rice wine) 1¼ cups (300ml) vegetable broth (stock) or water
  • thinly sliced scallions (spring onions), to serve


  1. To make the mantou, mix the yeast with the warm water and a pinch or so of the sugar and set aside to activate
  2. Once activated, mix with the remaining sugar and al the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl to form a smooth dough
  3. Knead for about 10 minutes (this is much easier in an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment)
  4. Shape the dough into a bal , place it in a clean oiled bowl, then cover with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size
  5. Once risen, gently punch down (knock back) the dough and knead again for a few minutes, then return it to the bowl, cover, and let stand in a warm place for 20 minutes
  6. Rol out the dough to form a long, thin rectangle that is roughly 28 x 6in (71 x 15cm)-don’t fret, this is just approximate
  7. Rol up the dough (from a long side) into a long log and then cut into about 10 smal lengths, each about 3in (7 long
  8. Fil a saucepan with cold water for steaming
  9. Line the steamer with cheesecloth (muslin) or wax (greaseproof) paper and place a few of the mantou on top (don’t be tempted to add more than 3 or 4 as they wil expand during steaming)
  10. Cover and steam for 20 minutes, then turn off the heat and let them steam for another 2 minutes
  11. Do not remove the lid until the end of the cooking time
  12. Remove the steamed mantou to a plate and repeat with the other mantou
  13. Once they are al cooked, they can then be reheated in the steamer
  14. Meanwhile, to make the red cooked pork, place the pork belly in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil
  15. Simmer for about 20 minutes, skimming off the scum that rises to the surface
  16. Remove the pork from the pan and let cool
  17. Discard the cooking water
  18. When cool enough to handle, cut the pork into bite-sized chunks
  19. In a wok over a medium-high heat, melt the sugar with the vegetable oil
  20. After a couple of minutes, once the sugar has begun to caramelize, add the pork (take care, it may spit) and stir to coat
  21. Keep stir-frying this for about 5 minutes
  22. Add al the other ingredients to the wok and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, stirring frequently
  23. At the end of this time, remove the cover, remove, and discard the ginger slice, cassia bark, and star anise, then reduce the sauce until it is thick and glossy, coating the meat
  24. Reheat the steamed mantou in the steamer
  25. Serve the red cooked pork in the split mantou, topped with some finely shredded scal ions (spring onions)

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