Steamed pork belly with rice powder scented with five spices ( 粉蒸肉,fen zheng rou) was the finale dish served on my Chinese New Year Eve Feast table. It’s a No.1 banquet dish for Hubei people who are good at steaming foods. This dish does not only belong to Hubei but also its neighboring provinces, such as Sichuan, Jiangxi.
Just as the name tells, rice powder plays a key role in spicing up pork belly. A Taiwan-produced rice powder is used here. It’s the only brand available in Philadelphia. (See the picture above). The ingredients are listed on the package: rice, cinnamon, aniseed, cumin and pepper. There are actually four spices. There should not be cumin included for this dish. Although the rice powder can help pork tasty enough, I have to make my own next time.
At the bottom of plate is chopped pumpkin. (Sweet potatoes, potatoes, or taro can be substituted. )Rice flour and pumpkin can both absorb fat oil so that the pork will not be greasy. I use self-made fermented glutinous rice wine, instead of Shaoxing cooking wine, which puts a finishing touch for the pastured-raised pork belly.
There are generally two easy steps to make this dish: marinating and steaming. It takes long time but it’s worth every minute.
- A slab of pasture-raised pork belly, 1.5 pound, sliced into 2 mm pieces.
- Three tablespoons of LEE KUM KEE Premium Dark Soy Sauce
- Two tablespoons of SUPER SPECIAL KIMLAN Soy Sauce
- Two pieces of one-inch ginger, diced
- One tablespoon sugar
- One teaspoon of salt
- One package of ruey rice powder (50 grams)
- Two tablespoons of fermented glutinous rice wine
- 1.5 pounds pumpkin, diced into 2-inch cubes.
- Combine the pork with all the spices evenly in a bowl and set it aside for two hours.
- Choose a sizable steaming bowl and lay the slices evenly in it, with the skin layer down.
- Top the slices with all the pumpkin cubes.
- Put the bowl in a steamer and steam for 2.5 hours.
- When it’s done, cover the bowl with a serving plate and flip it over onto the plate.
A bite of China
A bite of China