Showing you this recipe for now seems….. weird.

I know it seems hard to find bamboo leaves at this moment, but I think some of you might have some half used packs left over from the last dumpling session. But then again, if you really want to get it, it’s usually still available at Chinese ingredient grocery shops. We do eat dumpling the whole year long, just that it’s more festive to eat it during the festival.

I actually cooked this three years ago, when I had guests over. Everybody rolled their eyes big when they saw this dish. It’s something they never saw before and like them, I never saw it until I saw it on this site. Very special to me.

I was sceptical… Will it turn out round and pretty? Oh yes it did! And I was so happy.
The taste of the gravy is not that usual, as it has the fragrance of bamboo leaves. We liked it.
Plus it’s easy to cook, just roll, secure and simmer away. And you can cook this ahead of time, as it will taste better when you let it sit in the gravy and marinate away after cooking.

I think you can omit the sichuan peppercorn, if you don’t have it, and just stick to the other ingredients. It will still come out alright. And if you don’t have sweet rice wine, use shaoxing wine or sake + mirin. Maybe tweak the sugar amount a bit.. probably more. It’s up to you.

Bamboo Leaf Belly Rolls 竹叶扣肉

Recipe reference: Ouli55blogdizi  

500-600gm of pork belly, skin on

1/2 cup sweet rice wine 甜米酒
2 soup spoons light soy sauce
2 soup spoons dark soy sauce
1 soup spoon sweet black vinegar
2 soup spoon sugar
2 star anise
2 inches cinnamon
1 inch ginger, sliced
2 sprigs of spring onion (white part only)
1/2 tsp sichuan peppercorn
2 bay leaves
Salt to taste

12-15 pieces bamboo leaf and dried reed strings

1. Soak bamboo leaves and and dried reed strings until soft. Trim away the hard parts.
2. Cut pork belly into 1.5cm thick, 5 or 6 cm wide pieces.
3. Roll the belly pieces in the softened bamboo leaf and tie them tight with the reed strings.
4. Put everything into a pot and add enough water to cover.
5. On medium heat, bring to a gentle boil and lower to a simmer for 2 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Let the rolls in in the gravy until serving time.
6. Reheat to serve.