1/4 cup vegetable oil
5 lbs. pork picnic shoulder with the rind on, or ham/shank end (hind leg)
6 1" slices of fresh ginger
4 scallions, cut into 2" sections
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup rice or Shaohsing wine
1 cup dark soy sauce
3 tbsp. rock sugar (to taste)
2 star anise
2 medium carrot, cut into large dice
1 tomato, quartered
1 small red onion, quartered
12 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water until softened & then stemmed
6 cups water
Chopped fresh cilantro
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add pork shoulder and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the pork to a bowl or chopping board.
2. Pour the water out of the pot, wipe dry with a paper towel, return to the stove and add 1/4 cup of oil over high heat. Once oil is hot, add the ginger and scallions and cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add pork, skin side down, cover, and brown for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add 6 cups of water to the pot. Add rice wine, soy sauce, rock sugar, star anise, carrot, tomato, onion and shiitake mushrooms. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, covered for 3-4 hours (uncover the last 30 minutes and increase heat to medium).
4. Remove pork to a serving platter. Strain the sauce, return to the pot and cook for 5-10 minutes to thicken. Take out the shiitake mushrooms and place around the pork. Pour the braising sauce over the pork mixture. Serve with white rice.