1/2 Home Food

One of the best thing about being an immigrant is that you can constantly brag about food in your home country. While bragging how unbelievably different and delicious they are, you can also exaggerate the complexity of the cooking techniques for a certain dish that which in fact very simple but no body has ever heard of in this new country that you are now living in. As a Chinese who had lived in Canada, and the States and now Paris, and soon London, I have the privilege to brag with everybody food that I grew up with. Once awhile, I feel obligated to spread the greatest Chinese food culture to the world. But sometime, I just really needed that home dish to keep me going. Such as this night. I really wanted this porc belly braise dish which is the all time fave of the family on my father’s side. We called it “Kou Rou.” I don’t know the translations for that and I also don’t have the family secret recipe for it. I’ve made many different versions of “Kou Rou” myself. It’s not always fabulous but there were glorious times. This night, I just really needed some kou rou. But Chinese ingredients are no where near to find. So I made a not-real-straight-up-chinese-version of kou rou to hold my crave for the night. I replaced a lot of ingredients with what I can find here in a paris home. But also lacked A LOT of very important magics for the dish. Oh well. I did it and it reminded me of home anyway.

First put the cut up pork belly in water, add ginger slices, and cloves, bring to boil.  This process is to get rid of the bad pig smell/taste of the pork.

Drained water after boiling. Rinse under cold water and make sure no white foamy stuff sticking on the pork.

Bring pot/deep pan to high heat with a little bit of oil, sear your pork. Get them brown on the surface.

Add soy sauce, black or sweet vinegar, hot red peppers, brown sugar, a can of coke or sprite, whole cloves of garlics, dry bay leaves, 2 cloves, and ginger slices. add a little bit of water or stock till nearly covers the surface of pork.   Note that even though most of these are not what we normally would use in this dish, you can replace a thing by your creativity but the soy sauce HAS TO be right. Most of the stuff they sell in western super market are no good. Look for Lee Kum Kee brand which is more common to be in big super market. Or at least pick the one with least english on it.

Braise slowly with low heat for two to three hours. Put hard boil eggs in to absorb some juice. Don’t over cook your eggs, as always.

I intended cooked the eggs with a semi runny yolk. I did not do the best just there. But it was still orange and sticky. May be next time I will do better. Serve with rice. Hopefully next time I can find some right ingredients and make you a real version of Kou Rou!

Ok. This museum section of the post is actually a sequel of the last entry. After we visited Musee d’Art Moderne, we continued our adventure to the Palais de Tokyo, which is literally conjoins with the former. But the two museum space/interior is completely different. Almost in the most extreme contrast.  Musee d’Art Moderne has a very clean, clear, minimal space. Palais de Tokyo was very “minimal” but to an extend that it’s almost raw. The artworks houses in this museum are very contemporary. There is also a superb bookstore right at the entrance of the museum. Everything in this museum is exposed, the brick walls, the structures, the columns, and the lighting tracks. Nothing is covered or “refined.” It’s really beautifully raw. Loved it.

I would go back again if I have time. I was more excited about the space then the artworks to be honest.

That’s about it for the day. We are actually off to Berlin in…. 15 min. Just wanted to say good bye to you all. We will have fun.

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3 comments
  1. cosmicnoise said:

    hey that dish is almost the same as we do it in the Philippines…it’s called adobo (can be either chicken or pork etc). I think the only thing is we put bay leaves, whole black peppercorns and the brown sugar is a variant. i can almost imagine what your dish tastes like and I WANT SOME! ❤ xo

    • We actually use bay leaves too in the real version. Also with star anise, which I replaced with cloves. But there are a lot of home dishes in china we cook with coke! I still find it amazing today! hahah. xo from both of us!

  2. What a unique and interesting dish! Enjoy Berlin – can’t wait to read about your travels there! 🙂

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