Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Braised sea cucumbers with pork knuckle

1 pork knuckle ( 1.2 kg)
200-250g sea cucumbers
20 dried mushroom ( soaked )
2 bulbs of garlic
6 pcs shallot ( cut into thin slices)
2-inch piece old ginger ( flatten with back of knife)
5 stalks of spring onion
50g rock sugar
2 tbsp light soya sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp shao xing wine
1 tbsp black vinegar
4 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp cooking oil

To clean sea cucumbers takes a few days. Therefore you have to plan at least 5-6 days ahead:
1. Wash the sea cucumbers and put them into a big pot.
2. Pour into the pot enough water to immerse the sea cucumbers and bring to boil. Do not stir and leave to cool naturally. Keep in the fridge and let them soak overnight. Make sure the water is free from oil.
3. Take the pot of sea cucumbers out from the fridge the next morning. Pour away the water and fill the pot with fresh water. Bring to boil and leave to cool..... and back to fridge..... i.e repeat step 2.
4. On the 3rd day, just feel and see if the sea cucumbers are soft enough for you to slice/cut them open using knife or scissors. If not repeat step 2 for one more day.
5. When sea cucumbers have become soften, cut them lengthwise and clean off entrails (using a teaspoon to "scrape" ).

6. Wash the sea cucumbers thoroughly after cleaning.
7. Boil them again with 1-inch ginger (crushed). Drain away the water.
8. The sea cucumbers are now ready for you to cook or you may cool them and keep in freezer for future use.

1. Heat up 2 tbsp oil in saucepan, put in the sea cucumbers and ginger and stir fry until almost dry. Add in the rice wine and stir fry for further 1-2 minutes. Dish up and set aside.

2. Heat up 4 tbsp oil in saucepan and stir-fry shallot until golden brown.
3. Put in the pork knuckle, mushroom, salt, light soya sauce, dark soya sauce and stir fry for 5 minutes. Add in 1 1/2 cup water and bring to boil.

4. Now put in the sea cucumbers with ginger, garlic, spring onion and rock sugar. Add in more hot water if necessary to make sure the pork knuckle and sea cucumbers are immersed. Bring to boil and cook over medium flame for 30 minutes and then lower the flame to simmer for 1 1/2 -2 hours.
5. Alternatively, you may transfer it to cook in a slow cooker; cover and simmer for about 3 - 3 1/2 hours.
6. Remember to check from time to time for both cases. Stir lightly with a spatula to prevent sea cucumbers sticking to the bottom of pot. Sea cucumbers and pork knuckle would be soft and tender when cooked.

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