This traditional Chinese dish conveys a mystical message even in Chinese community, as it’s often cooked for women post-labour. In fact, it’s a dish that everyone, including men, can enjoy, and needless to have a fear of embarrassment. Many Chinese yumcha restaurants offer this dish with a very pricey tag. The pig’s trotters (aka pork knuckles) are so moist, tender and succulent after the slow cooking in the tasty sweetened black vinegar. The natural collagen of pig’s trotters is very good for our health too. Both of my daughter and hubby especially like the hard boiled eggs that soaked in the tasty sauce. They can finish one after another. What I have to do is to make sure they don’t over eat.
Every family has its own version of this dish. The recipe I posted here is adapted from my mother-in-law’s cooking. She used to cook this dish for her daughter and every daughter-in-laws in her family, including me of course. Lucky me, I could learn from her in person during my travel back to Hong Kong. Hope you’d enjoy this dish as much as I do. A side note, my MIL only uses the Pat Chun Sweetened Vinegar（百珍甜醋）, because she loves its taste the most and doesn’t need to blend it any other kind of vinegar.
Trotters in Ginger and Sweetened Vinegar (Printable recipe)
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 120mins
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 120mins
- 730 gm pork trotter (pork hocks/pork knuckles)
- 200 gm ginger, old or young
- 2 bottles (600ml each) sweetened black vinegar (I used Pat Chun sweetened vinegar)
- 6 eggs
- Peel the ginger. Cut into smaller pieces if it’s too large. Lightly bruise the ginger with the broad side of a cleaver or chef’s knife. Cook over low heat on a wok or fry pan without any oil. (This cooking method is called “white wok” (白鑊) in Chinese, that means frying without any oil.) By doing so, help the ginger dries up the water inside as much as possible. Make sure not to burn the ginger though. When the ginger looks dry, add a bit of oil, fry the ginger until aromatic. Set aside.
- Use a large clay pot or a casserole (Don’t use cast iron or metal ones though, not suitable for cooking vinegar.) Pour in the vinegar. Cook over medium heat and bring it to boil. Add the ginger. When it boils again, reduce heat to low and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Cover and store at a cool and shady place, the vinegar and ginger will keep longer. Or place in a fridge, let the ginger absorb the flavour. You need to cook the ginger vinegar and bring it to a boil once a week, then let cool. If the vinegar is not polluted, it could last for 4 to 5 weeks, long enough to sustain for consuming during confinement period.
- Rinse and clean the pork trotters/hocks, remove any hairs if any. Blanch in boiling water for about 20 minutes to remove any impurities and blood. Drain well. Set aside.
- Remove ginger vinegar from fridge. Place at room temperature for a while. Then cook and bring it to a boil. Add the pig’s trotters. When it boils, reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the pork becomes tender.
- While cooking the pork, prepare hard boiled eggs: Place eggs and water in a saucepan, the water should cover the eggs. Turn on the heat, cook the eggs on medium heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 6 minutes. Drain out the eggs with a slotted spoon and immediately transfer to a bowl of very cold water. Leave to cool completely. Shell the eggs.
- Transfer the eggs to the ginger vinegar. When it boils again. Turn off the heat. Let the eggs soak in the vinegar until turned brown on surface. Done. Serve hot.
- The amount of ginger used here was quite small compared to an ordinary confinement one as I just cooked this to ease our craving. You could adjust the amount of ginger and pork to your preference. It’s very flexible.
- Make sure the vinegar cover all the ingredients, so get a clay pot or casserole in the right size.
- The traditional way of making this confinement dish for women is to use old ginger. That said, old ginger is good for helping women to expel wind from abdomen and get speedy recovery from giving birth. However, the woody, fiberous texture of old ginger is quite tough, not an enjoyment to eat for some people. Thus, if you don’t cook it as a confinement dish, just like me, use young ginger. You’ll enjoy the less hot taste and tender texture of young ginger more.
- Braised Pig's Trotters in Sweetened Vinegar Recipe (猪脚醋) from Tastes of Home
- Pork Trotters in Black Vinegar 猪脚醋 from Table for 2 or More