Savory and Spicy Pork Skin Jelly

中文版菜谱:水晶皮冻

DSC_2346 2 copy.jpg

Can you think of other ways to enjoy pork skin besides pork rinds?  I can!  You can braise it; or put it into soup; or make dumplings with it.  One of my favorite ways is to make savory and spicy pork skin jelly. 

It is firmer, meatier, and a bit more al dente than regular jelly.  Does it sound a little less bizarre now? O(∩_∩)O~

DSC_2205 2 copy.jpg
DSC_2313 2 copy.jpg

It is quite easy to make; just a few simple steps.  But it takes time to clean pork skin and wait for it to set at the end.

 

Ingredients:

2 pounds of pork skin (available in Asian grocery stores. I actually used only about 1 1/4 pounds)
3 to 4 quarts of water plus extra for cleaning
2 tablespoon rice cooking wine
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 large piece of ginger root, sliced
salt to taste

Spice bag:

2 to 3 star anises
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
1 black cardamom pod
2 to 3 pieces dried ginger
4 to 5 dried chili peppers , cut into small pieces
1 to 2 bay leaves
1 small piece of cinnamon stick

 

Spicy dressing:

Chili oil
soy sauce
vinegar
salt
sugar
minced garlic
chopped green onion
sesame oil

 

Directions:

2 packages of pork skin yield a lot of jelly.  If you are planning to try just a little bit before deciding like it or not, reduce the amount to half or even to a quarter of what I use here.

Rinse the pork skins well under running water and boil in the pot for a couple minutes.

DSC_2076 2 copy.jpg

Rinse again.  With a sharp kitchen knife, remove any excess pork fat attaching to the skins.  Make sure to remove them all.  The texture of jelly depends on it.  If too much fat remains in the soup, the jelly will become greasy and won’t taste as good either.

DSC_2077 2 copy.jpg

Cut into little strips

DSC_2083 2 copy.jpg

Gather all the spices in a piece of coffee filter paper.  Tie it up.

DSC_2095 2 copy.jpg

Add water and spice bag to a cast iron pot.  I use a Le Creuset 4 1/4 soup pot.  It is one of my favorite pots in the kitchen.  It does great job in stewing, braising, and soup making.  I love it so much that I bought two of them, one in yellow color and the other one in red.

DSC_2099 2 copy.jpg

Cook over high heat until water boils.  Reduce the heat to simmer for 45 to 60 minutes or until pork skin becomes very tender.  Add rice cooking wine, salt and ground white pepper to taste.  

Discard the spice bag and ginger slices.  Pour the pork skin broth mixture into a large glass bowl.

DSC_2112 2 copy.jpg

Wait for the broth to cool down and then refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.

Unmold it

DSC_2138 2 copy.jpg

With a sharp knife, cut the pork jelly into bite sizes.

DSC_2193 3 copy.jpg

Isn’t it beautiful?

I make dipping sauce with the pepper chili oil.  If you don’t want to make it from scratch, you can buy from Asian grocery stores.  There are dozens of different varieties to choose from.

DSC_2236 2 copy.jpg
DSC_2205 2 copy.jpg

Dipping sauce is quite simple.  It consists of chili oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil and salt.

Sprinkle with freshly chopped green onions

It tastes good on its own.  It also goes well with crunch vegetables like cucumber O(∩_∩)O~

DSC_2405 2 copy.jpg

Or like purple napa.  We see purple cabbage all the time, but it is the first time I see purple napa