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Ingredients (general):
  • Pigs Trotters, 1 Kg (~2 lb 4 oz) (conveniently halved if possible)
  • Bean Curd Skin also known as Soybean thread, 2 (available in Asian groceries from a variety of sources inc Chinese and Japanese) or you can make your own if you really want a traditional food preparation half-day
  • Dried shiitake mushrooms, 60 - 120 gm (2-4 oz) (Dried shiitake mushrooms widely available)
  • Garlic, 6 cloves
  • Ginger, 60 gm (2 oz)
  • Lime leaves, 4 (optional) (Use the Thai "bai makrut" also known as Keffir Lime Leaves)
  • Green onion, 3 stalks

Seasoning ingredients:
  • Salt, 1 Tbsp
  • Chinese block/rock sugar, 60 gm (2 oz) or  Brown sugar as subst. (Chinese block or Rock sugar is a great commodity to have in your food cupboard. It's a natural with Soy sauce and ideal for Fish marinades and cooking sauce. Remember to discard the cooking sauce of a poached fish and replace with a little held in reserve. It really does taste rank and fishy!)
  • Chinese cooking wine, 1 tsp. (Shao Hsing is possibly the widest available Chinese Cooking Wine. At a pinch can be subs with a dry sherry)
  • Dark soy sauce, 1 Tbsp
  • Light soy sauce, 1½ Tbsp
  • Oyster sauce, 1½ Tbsp
  • Zhu Hou Sauce (柱候酱), 1½ Tbsp (Chinese commodity, subst miso or any yellow soy bean sauce)
  • Fermented tofu, 1 cube(Fermented bean curd also called sufu, fermented tofu, tofu cheese, or preserved tofu. This is a Chinese commodity and will only be available in Chinese Grocers. usually sold in glass jars. Neutral in flavour it's NOT the so called "Stinky Tofu")

Preparations:

The trotters
  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil
  2. When it boils, add 2 thick slices of ginger, salt and trotters.
  3. Cover with a lid and simmer for 1½ hour.
  4. When cooked drain the trotters
  5. Discard this cooking soup or, if you like to store a stock base, chill it, scoop off the lard when firm. Freeze it in suitable volumes for future use. There may be evidence of dissolved gelatin from the collagen of the feet, but that's OK. You may be lucky enough to have a flavourful pork aspic!)
  6. Rinse the trotters with cold water, to remove adhering fat and degrease the skin a little.
  7. Remove the main bone from each piece
  8. Cut the feet in the middle.


The mushrooms
  1. Rehydrate the mushrooms for 15 minutes, keep the water used to soak them to make the  braising liquid later.
  2. Cut off the stems, discard or store them frozen for making a fantastic mushroom floss.

The ginger
  1. Peel  the skin  and cut the root into thick slices

The soybean skin.
  1. Heat 1 cup of cooking oil to deep-fry the soybean threads
  2. Break the soy skin by hand into convenient size for frying. Deep fry very quickly. As soon as you see bubbles forming on it, take it out. Usually, it takes about 2 secs to fry a piece.)
  3. Soak the deep-fried soybean threads in water for 15 mins to soften them again
  4. Cut them into pieces, 5 cm (2 in) each


The seasoning
  
  1. The 1 Tbsp Salt in a bowl
  2. Add in the dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, fermented tofu cube
  3. Smash/break the tofu cube (no need to pulverise it just fragment it a bit)
  4. Add Rock sugar
  5. Mix them well together

Cooking Method:
    
  1. Heat the wok on high, add 2-3 Tbsp cooking oil
  2. Add half of green onion, all the ginger slices, all the garlic cloves, all lime leaves
  3. Stir fry for a while, we want all these aromatic vegetables to release its flavor before we add the pig feet
  4. After the aromatic vegetables are soft, we can add pig feet to wok
  5. Give quick stir, the pig feet will absorb the aroma from the vegetables
  6. Add Chinese cooking wine, shiitake mushrooms, Zhu Hao Sauce
  7. Continue stir fry all of them over high heat
  8. Add in the seasoning mixture previously prepared
  9. Add 1½ cup of braising liquid including the water user to soak the shiitake mushrooms
  10. Add in deep-fried soybean threads
  11. Gently stir so everything is coated with the braising liquid in the wok
  12. Close the lid
  13. Let everything simmer for 30 mins over medium-low heat.