We attended a friend’s baby’s full month celebration last month and the home-cooked Pig Trotters Vinegar prepared by our friend’s Mom left us wanting for more. Pig Trotters Vinegar is a popular confinement food that can be laborious to prepare. With an iconic cookware like Le Creuset, it’s just a matter of time that we pair it with local iconic dishes. At the hubby’s encouragement, I decided to put the Le Creuset and my rookie culinary skill to the test to cook the legendary Pig Trotter Vinegar – a dish attempted only by seasoned home chefs (think ‘matriarchs’) on celebrated occasions like births and confinements.
Armed with a good recipe, I woke up bright and early on a Saturday morning and headed to the Ghim Moh Wet Market. I was relieved to know that the ingredients needed for the dish can be bought from the typical sundries stall and regular butcher (what a breeze!). Soon, I was on my way home, eager to get started. Here are the ingredients at a glance:
For best result, use the ‘Doggie Brand’ Sweet Vinegar (a must!), ‘Zhe Jiang’ Vinegar and Chee Seng Sesame Oil.
Blanch Pig Trotters with few slices of Ginger and a sprig of Spring Onions. Rinse with Tap Water. This step is a must to remove the scums.
Heat 6 tbsp Sesame Oil in a Le Creuset Dutch Oven. Fry the Ginger till fragrant.
Add in blanched Pig Trotters, fry till fragrant.
Add in Brown Sugar and stir well with the Pig Trotters.
Add 300ml Water into the pot (just enough to cover Pig Trotters). Bring to a boil (approx 5 mins). Once it is boiling, reduce to medium low heat.
Add the Vinegar and the Red Dates infused Shao Xing Wine. Let it continue to simmer under low heat for another 20mins.
After 20mins, add in Hard-boiled eggs and turn off heat. Leave to stand for at least 3 hours (or more) to allow the flavour to be infused thoroughly. Reheat before serving.
Verdict: I started out not confident that this would be a success but was very pleasantly surprised by the good results (as attested by our neighbour’s Mom – a very good seasoned cook herself!). Credit goes to Le Creuset – the Dutch Oven seals in the heat and flavors, reduced the cooking time by half and allowed me to leave the dish to infuse much longer, such that the vinegar, brown sugar and the pork melded into a single entity of a dish that is sweet, savoury and sour all at once. A perfect marriage much like the ovenware and the many local iconic dishes you can cook with it. I’m delighted to have one more dish in my repertoire!
- 1.5kg Pig Trotters (2 Front Feet) 猪脚
- 250g Old Ginger 老姜
- 250g Young Ginger 子姜
- 250ml Zhe Jiang Vinegar 长城牌浙醋
- 400ml Doggie Brand Sweet Vinegar 狗仔牌双料添丁黑醋
- 4tbsp Shao Xing Wine 绍兴酒
- 6 tbsp Sesame Oil 麻油
- 5pcs Seedless Red Dates 红枣
- 150g Dark Brown Sugar 黑糖
- 300ml Water 水
- 1 Spring Onion (Optional) 葱
- 4 Hard-boiled Eggs (Optional) 鸡蛋
- Soak Red Dates in 4tbsp Shao Xing Wine in a bowl, cling wrap and let it infused for at least 3 hours.
- Rinse and pat dry Ginger. Cut into big knobs and bruise them with the back of a cleaver.
- Blanch Pig Trotters with few slices of Ginger and a sprig of Spring Onions. Rinse with Tap Water. This step is a must to remove the scums.
- Heat 6 tbsp Sesame Oil in a Le Creuset Dutch Oven. Fry the young and old Ginger till fragrant.
- Add in blanched Pig Trotters, fry till fragrant.
- Add in Brown Sugar and stir well with the Pig Trotters.
- Add 300ml Water into the pot (just enough to cover Pig Trotters). Bring to a boil (approx 5 mins). Once it is boiling, reduce to medium low heat.
- Add both types of Vinegar and the Red Dates infused Shao Xing Wine. Let it continue to simmer under low heat for another 20mins.
- After 20mins, add in Hard-boiled eggs and turn off heat. Leave to stand for at least 3 hours (or more) to allow the flavour to be infused thoroughly. Reheat before serving.
- I bought all the key ingredients (Doggie Brand Sweet Vinegar, Zhe Jiang Vinegar, Gingers, Brown Sugar, Shao Xing Wine, Red Dates etc. all from a single sundries stall at the wet market). Super convenient!
- I told the butcher I am cooking Pig Trotters Vinegar and had him chop the Pig Trotters into medium-sized pieces, easy for cooking. If you want more 'meat', consider adding some pork shoulders.
- Using the Le Creuset Dutch Oven not only reduced the cooking time by half, it seals in the moisture and flavors, resulting in a pot of melt-in-your-mouth goodness that is irresistible!
- Kids would love dipping steamed 'man tou' (buns) into the gravy while the adults enjoy eating it with fluffy white rice.
- If you can't finish the entire pot in one seating, it tastes even richer overnight.
- The dish turned out so yummy, and surprisingly not that complicated. Try i!
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Looks so mouthwatering yummlicious!
I want to try!! Looks so good!! And I want that dutch oven too :p
Cheryl Yuen says
Angie, this looks absolutely amazing. I used to wait longingly for any girlfriend of mine to get pregnant, just so I can have a bowl of this dish. Now, I can have it anytime I wish to. And in a Le Creuset pot too! Thank you xoxo
What size is this pot?
Angie. S says
Hi Hsinz, we used a 22cm pot to cook this 😀