Fist of Kitchen presents… Eat it: China!

Recooking "The Art of Chinese Cooking" by The Benedictine Sisters of Peking, 1956 | Remixed by Fist of Kitchen 2013

book version

Braised Pork with (or without) Bean Curd

Pork and Tofu Kitty

This is the first recipe in the book, and so the first thing we tried out. Although it was good and hearty, there were a few things that could be improved in the original recipe. Firstly, the meat isn’t browned, and it’s cooked too quickly to bring good pork flavor to the dish. It may as well be chicken or alligator. At a half-hour of cooking time, you can really only use pork loin, which I find flavorless. In the upcoming article on this dish, we’ve improved the flavor through an alternate braising method for shoulder. Secondly, the bean curd would be better not braised—it breaks up in the sauce and makes everything look lumpy and cloudy. (See picture. 20 years of Photoshop, and I can’t make that look good.) Thirdly, we would use real chicken, beef, or pork stock—not bouillon.

  • 3 c. hot water
  • 2 bouillon cubes
  • ½ tsp. Aji-no-Moto powder (MSG)
  • 2 lb. pork, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • ½ c. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. sherry
  • 3 c. sliced onions
  • c. finely ground fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch mixed in ¼ c. cold water

Mix the Aji-no-moto, bouillon and water in a dutch oven or kettle and bring to a simmer. Add pork, soy sauce, sherry, onions, ginger, garlic, and sugar. Bring to a boil and don’t cover the pot. Simmer for one half-hour or until the pork is tender. Bring back up to boiling and add the corn starch in water, stirring with a whisk until the sauce is thickened. If you’re using the bean curd, they ask you to cut it into 1×4-inch steaks and add before the cornstarch. That’s where it goes wrong—the tofu gets soft and loose, breaking up into the sauce. We would recommend that you cut it into 1-inch cubes (same size as the pork; OK, full disclosure, next time I’d lightly dust these cubes with cornstarch and deep fry them until golden, but that’s just childish). Then lightly it fold it in at the very end, and let the sauce and pork bring it to temperature. We’ll try this again starting with browning, etc. and give you a full report.

Braised Pork with or without Bean Curd, p. 3
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