My MIL wanted to eat pig trotter/pork leg vinegar (“Tu Kah Chor” in Hokkien), a dish I made a years back when she was visiting. We managed to score from good looking pig trotter from the Asian market and I decided to make it for her again. For those of you whose familiar with this dish, no I wasn’t in any pre-natal confinement then or now. For those of you whose not familiar with this dish, “Tu Kah Chor” is basically pork legs/ pig trotters cooked in sweetened black vinegar and ginger.
Some (traditional) Asian women who have just given birth are confined at home for one month to recover from the whole ordeal of being pregnant for 9 months and giving birth. During this one month confinement period, some dishes which are believed to be nutritious are served to the new mothers. One of the dish is “Tu Kah Chor”. But hey, you don’t need to be a new mom to try this dish! =P
I remember my mom having it after she gave birth to my brother and the smell of ginger consumed the whole house! Years later, my neighbor would occasionally bring us a bowl of the “Tu Kah Chor”. I hated it. I did not know how to appreciate the dish and I hated the amount of ginger in it then. It was in college (in the US), when I started appreciating “Tu Kah Chor” my friend made which was on a sweeter side. It was also in school when I learnt eating my different stuff I wouldn’t eat back home in Malaysia. Beggars can’t be choosers….especially when you’re so far away from home!! =)
Here’s my version of the “Tu Kah Chor”. I like it on the sweeter side and make the gravy as thick and dark as possible. If you like a more diluted gravy, just go ahead and slowly add and adjust the amount of water and seasoning! Sorry for the not too pleasant looking picture. I was in a hurry to serve dinner!
PORK LEG VINEGAR (“TU KAH CHOR”) RECIPE
- 1-1/2 Lb Pork Legs/Pig Trotters, Cleaned
- 1/2 Lb Ginger, Smashed
- 4-5 Cloves Garlic, Smashed
- 1/8 Cup Sesame Oil
- 1 Cup “Chin Kiang” Black Vinegar
- 1-2 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce (**Optional, depends on how dark you want it to be)
- 1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- 1-1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 3-1/2 Cup Water
- 4 Hard Boiled Eggs, Peeled
Heat sesame oil in a earthenware (i.e. claypot) or glassware over medium high heat. Add ginger and fry it until ginger is fragrant. Then add garlic and pig trotters/pork legs. Continue stir frying for 10 minutes.
Then add vinegar, water, sugar and soy sauce. Simmer the pork for about 1 hour over medium low heat. Add eggs and continue simmering for another 1 hour. Season with more sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and/or water if you like. Serve with warm rice!
June’s Notes: The sauce will turn darker as it cooks longer. I (for some odd reason) like to use unsweetened “Chin Kiang Vinegar” to make my “Tu Kah Chor”. It’s ok to use sweetened black vinegar in this dish, just make sure you adjust the sugar accordingly. =) The eggs will also become hard (and chewy?).