So often, braising is a half-day cooking process. A way to tenderize less expensive, tough meats.
Not this time. Making this pork recipe takes much less time as tenderloin (as you would expect from the name) is already tender. The ingredients in the braising liquid make a great sauce when the pork is cooked. All the usual suspects for Chinese cooking are in the ingredient list, as well as star anise.
Star anise is a seed pod, star-shaped and licorice-flavoured. It’s one of the ingredients in five spice powder and adds a lovely flavour to this dish.
Round up the usual suspects.
Start by cooking the grated ginger in the sesame oil.
Sherry, soy, hoisin and sugar make the braising liquid.
Braising liquid with star anise and garlic added.
Add the pork to the simmering liquid.
Put the lid on and let it cook for five minutes. Turn the meat every five minutes.
Meanwhile, grab some bok choy. Slice them in half and wash off the dirt.
Get some chow mein noodles and let them soak in boiling water for five minutes, then drain them.
When the pork is cooked, take it out of the liquid and let it rest.
While the meat was resting, I boiled down the braising liquid. I cheated the recipe a bit by adding a scant teaspoon of cornstarch to 1/4 cup of cold water which was stirred into the liquid. This sped up the thickening.
After the sauce has boiled down, slice the meat.
Chinese Simmered Star Anise Pork.
From Flavours by Donna Hay, with modifications.
Chinese Simmered Star Anise Pork
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon shredded ginger
1 cup Chinese cooking wine or sherry
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 star anise
4 pork filets, trimmed
scant teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water
Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan over low heat. Add the shredded ginger and cook for 1 minute, then add the cooking wine, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sugar and star anise and allow to simmer. Add the pork to the pan and cover. Cook for 5 minutes each side or until the pork is tender.
Remove the pork from the pan and set aside. Add the cornstarch to the water, mix, then pour into the liquid. Allow the sauce to continue simmering until it has reduced and thickened. To serve, slice the pork and place in a serving bowl. Spoon over the sauce from the frying pan and serve with rice and steamed greens.