Last weekend I accomplished one of the biggest tasks in my life, both in pragmatic sense and on a grander scale. I got married to the man who has supported me spiritually and emotionally through the past four years. An entire year of wedding planning in the works has boiled down to one beautiful memorable day that passed too soon. Now that I can say goodbye to wedding planning forever and say hello to my new life as a wife, it almost seems too surreal to believe.
Only six days into married life, I have already caught myself accidentally letting “fiance” slip through my lips when I refer to my husband, I have had multiple people come up to me and ask if I’m changing my last name now, I have to constantly remind myself when I Skype with Y and his parents that I need to address my in-laws as mother and father (it’s a tradition in Chinese culture). And last but not the least, I have an outpouring of Facebook and instagram photos to sort through and download.
Perhaps, my favorite part of post-wedding phase is opening gifts. I realize that might sound vain to you, but I meant opening the cards that came with the gifts. To see friends and family’s well wishes and intimate congratulations written on paper is so endearing to us. It reminds us that though sometimes we might feel alone with the hustle and bustle of a fast-paced life, we are surrounded by people we love and care about, and they are the face that give meaning to a lot that life has to offer. And of course, it was also quite nice to open the gifts and count the checks too… just kidding!
I’m sorry that in the whirlwind of wedding extravaganza, I have neglected blogging until now. But the recipe that I’m about to introduce to you is one that is well worth the wait. Pig trotter is another one of those animal body parts that Chinese people happily gobble down, while others look on incredulously. My mom used to make this red braised pig trotter dish for me and claim that eating fatty pig skin will make my skin glow beautifully. Myths aside, this is one of the richer Chinese dishes that are typically eaten in the presence of guests or during Chinese New Year celebration. In the frenzy of pre-wedding preparations, I made pig trotters just so that I have a chance to boost the glow in my skin, just to cover all my bases. So here you go!
Braised Five Spices Pig Trotters
- 2 pig feet, cleaved into 6 pieces each
- 1 chunk of ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 chunk of ginger, grated
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 3-4 dry chili peppers
- 2 star anise
- 2 cloves
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
- salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place pork feet and ginger slices in the pot and boil for 3 minutes. Discard the water and ginger. Rinse the pork feet under cold water carefully.
In a large wok or dutch oven, add pig feet and all the ingredients. Add water until it almost covers the pig feet. Bring the wok to a boil then simmer on low heat for 2.5 hours. Meat should be very tender by the end.
If sauce has not thickened at the end of 2 hours, turn up heat to medium and braise while uncovered for 10 minutes until sauce thickens. Enjoy over rice!