Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Layered Meat (Chiu Chow Chinese Piggy's Ears)

Frugality is a Chinese thing and the same goes with its usage of every part of a specific ingredient in its cooking. In Hong Kong and China, there are eateries which specializes in catering in one or limited types of animal only, using up every part of the anatomy to create mouthwatering dishes that kind of blinded the gross parts from the consumers. Although I am not an adventurous person, my palate for certain things begs to differ. As long as something is not poisonous, not scary to the eyes and mind, cooked and tested, I can eat it. And of course, presentation is everything.

My father in law makes this Pig's ear dish every year when he comes to visit. From my search of its origin, it is noted amongst the Chinese Chiu Chow cuisine. And the Cantonese kind of adopted this dish as their own, where you can easily locate these interesting swirls of chewy and crunchy goodness at any Chinatown eateries that sells the ubiquitous roast pork and chicken that hangs at the front counter.

The main secret to this addictive and appetite teaser is the sauce that cooks the pig's ears. It just won't do with the usual soy sauce as there are certain spice and herbs added to this special Marinade Sauce that gives the meat the pungentness that complements its taste. Nothing is complicated about this dish except for the tying up of the ears, which is required to form the swirls. After twisting and turning the twine around 4 ears, I believe pigs are stubborn animals!


3 or 4 pig's ears


3.5 cups water

1/2 cup of Marinade Sauce (Lee Kum Kee brand)

1/4 cup light soy sauce

1-1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce

1-1/2 tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 star anise

2 thumbsize knob of ginger

5 leaves of scallion

Dipping Sauce:

6 cloves of grated garlic

1 tbsp vinegar


1) Clean and wash the ears. Roll up each piece of ear from the pointed corner & randomly tie the twine around each, going in a circular motion from one end to another end.

2)Boil the ears in water for 15 minutes to soften it and cleanse the smell. Discard water and drain the ears and leave the twine intact.

3)Put all the sauce ingredients into a large simmering pot and add in the ears and simmer on low heat for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, depending on the number of ears.

4)Remove from sauce and rinse for 10 seconds with cold water and let cool. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour as this dish is served cold.

5)Cut the twine and slice to 1.5 cm slices and arrange on plate.

6)Prepare the dipping sauce by adding the vinegar to the garlic.

Serves: 4 persons


Agnes said...

PUNYA SEDAPPPPP!!!!! :DDD Finally I can add a comment for you xD

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

ate pig's ears when a kid but now can't eat them..thinking of the ear wax...but i rmber it being crunchy, tasty actually!

Ling said...

Very impressed that you actually ate pig's ear - more so than that you have cooked it. This should go well with beer - just in time for Euro 08!

clara said...

Just found your blog via a pinterest pin for the sweet potato bao. I am looking forward to trying your recipes! When I was little my mother made the pig ears occasionally and I loved them. My mom has passed, and I regretfully didn't get her recipes for the sticky rice wrapped in the leaves and other recipes so it is so nice to have a recipe from a fellow Hakka to try. Thank you!