Saturday, 21 January 2012

Pig's Trotters in Chinese Broth with Noodles

I have never bought and cooked pig's trotters before, but I certainly do love eating them. For my first foray into trotter territory, I have decided to adapt a roast pork (char sui) noodle soup recipe, which I ate in Hong Kong a couple of years ago - to rapturous delight.

Use beef bones and chicken or vegetable stock to make the broth, because I think that using pork bones and pork stock will make the finished dish a bit too... piggy. Besides, a combination of stock flavourings is very authentic to the Hong Kong one-stock-fits-all philosophy, very nicely.

Pig's trotters are a total bargain. £1.70 per kilo, makes this dish a total bargain too, at £1.50 per generous bowlful.

Serves 4


1kg pigs trotters
4 tablespoons of sunflower oil
2 tablespoons of demerara sugar
2 teaspoons of Chinese five spice powder
3 large beef bones
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 thumbs of ginger, coarsely chopped
3 whole garlic cloves
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
3 litres chicken or vegetable stock
50ml rice wine or dry sherry
50ml dark soy sauce
Pinch of black pepper
100g dried egg noodles
2 spring (salad) onions finely chopped
Handful fresh coriander, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 160c and spread the trotters with the half of the oil, Chinese five spice powder and sugar. Roast the trotters until dark in colour (2 hours approx). While the trotters are roasting, place the beef bones in a large stock pot with the rest of the oil and cook over a moderate heat until the bones slightly toast (approx 10 minutes). Add the onions, ginger, garlic and soften slightly to release their fragrance (approx 3 minutes). Add the stock, wine or sherry, star anise, pepper and cinnamon stick and boil until the trotters have finished roasting (approx 2 hours), and then strain the stock. Pour the stock back into the pot. Take the trotters out of the oven, and with a cleaver or big knife, cut them each into 4-5 pieces each. Add the trotters and the noodles to the stock and cook until the noodles are soft (approx 5 minutes). Serve the soup with a sprinkling of spring onions and fresh coriander.

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