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    • LOCAL EATS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA’S CENTRAL VALLEY

    • LOCAL LIBATIONS INCLUDING BEER, WINE, MILK & COFFEE

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Ha Moua’s Likok Pork Stew

Some say soups and stews are only cold weather recipes, but I disagree.

Ha Moua’s Likok Pork Stew

Some say soups and stews are only cold weather recipes, but I disagree. I make a soup about once a week regardless of the temperature. This recipe is an interpretation of the preparation Ha offered me. While likok (bitter eggplant) can still be hard to find, replacing with chopped bok choy and thickening with a cornstarch slurry (equal parts cornstarch and warm water) can produce similar flavor and texture.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: asian
Keyword: pork, stew
Servings: 4
Author: Stephen David Caldes

Ingredients

  • 5–6 pounds pork shoulder or one rack babyback ribs, cut along the bones
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice or ground star anise
  • 2–3 tablespoons neutral oil like grapeseed, canola, or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3–4 stalks lemongrass finely chopped
  • 1 knob ginger thumb-size, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 8 –10 likok or large bunch of bok choy

Instructions

  • Season pork with salt, pepper, and Chinese five spice powder. Heat neutral oil in Dutch oven until shimmering. Brown meat on all sides; remove.
  • Over medium heat, sauté chopped onion, lemongrass, ginger, and garlic. When these are browned but not burned, add chicken stock and a litt le extra water (maybe ½ cup; I usually just swish some in the chicken stock container). Return pork to pan. Set to medium-low, cook for about 90 minutes (or do all this in your Instapot and set for about 25 minutes).
  • Once pork is tender but not falling apart, remove from pot; strain veggies and aromatics from the broth. (I like to have a relatively clear broth; however, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass can all stay if you want to skip this step.) If using likok, sauté in pan for 5 minutes, then return to pan with broth and pork; cook for 20 minutes more. (If using bok choy, add broth and pork back to pot, cook 15 more minutes and then add bok choy with your cornstarch slurry about 5 minutes before serving.)
  • Remove from heat and stir somewhat vigorously until meat has started to separate and likok begins to break down and thicken the broth.
  • Serve topped with diced scallions, a dash of hot pepper vinegar and, if you’ve got ‘em, crispy fried onions from the pantry.