Hmong Caramelised Red Braised Pork (Nqaij Qab Zib)

  • 1.5 Kg (3 lb) pork belly.
  • 2 Tbsp of oil.
  • 2 ½ Tbsp of mushroom soy sauce for meat, and another 2 Tbsp for eggs. Then 1/8 cup for later.
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped.
  • 1 Tbsp of garlic cloves smashed.
  • 3/4 Tbsp of cinnamon.
  • 1 Tbsp of salt or more for taste.
  • 1galangal piece.
  • 5 cm (2 in) ginger.
  • 2 whole lemongrass stalks, bruised and cut into 10 cm (4 in) pieces.
  • 3 Tbsp oil.
  • 1 & 3/4 slabs of rock sugar.
  • 8 eggs, more or less if desire.
  • 2 cups of water.
  • 1/2 Tbsp of MSG (optional).
  1. Cut meat into thin finger length pieces and marinate in a mixture of 2 Tbsp of mushroom soy sauce and ½ tsp of cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. 
  2. Boil the eggs. When cooked, run them under cold water and allow them to sit in cold water for a few minutes before peeling. 
  3. Marinate the eggs in 2 Tbsp of mushroom soy sauce.
  4. Into an ample saucepan add 2 Tbsp of oil heat this and add the marinated meat and sear these for 10 minutes with turning.
  5. Add 2 cups of water, 2 Tbsp mushroom soy and 1½ chunks of the rock sugar, galangal, ginger, cinnamon and onion. (MSG if desired).  Cover and on a low heat allow to cook for approx 2 hours. Stir at 15 minute intervals.
  6. After the 2 hours is completed, add the eggs and mix as gently as possible to not break the eggs. Cover with lid
  7. Cook for another hour or until the fatty part of the meat is soft and jelly like. Mix every 15 minutes as well. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Cinnamon is a crucial ingredient.
  8. Cool and refrigerate overnight. The next day remove the solidified excess fat. Re-heat and serve with rice.