This simple single-pan dish very quickly prepared. Let time and patience do the rest! The bacon becomes soft and flavourful and the spicy gravy is absorbed by the eggplants and mushrooms. Together with steamed rice, this comfort food is as it is intended.

Chinese Comfort Food: Bacon, Aubergines And Mushrooms With Chinese 5-Spice

Less bacon and more tasty vegetables

The bacon dishes that my father makes are grand: huge pieces of pork belly with thick rind (and a stamp, yucky!) in which holes are punctured with a torture tool. Spices are massaged into the skin and flesh for minutes and then it has to dry for at least a day before it can be placed in the oven or in the megalomaniac heavy wok.

I have never been such a cook. I like a piece of good meat, but even more I like vegetables that suck up the delicious gravy of the meat and the marinade. Like in this recipe.

Chinese marinade with 5-spice

For this dish, fry the bacon briefly with ginger, spring onion and shallot. Add the spicy marinade with 5-spice and let the bacon simmer for half an hour. Or longer if you want a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Then add the eggplants and stew for an extra half an hour and another 5 minutes with the mushrooms. While cooking, your house smells delicious of star anise, cinnamon and Sichuan pepper.

I used home-made 5-spice powder for this recipe. If you use 5-spice from a jar, add fresh star anise, cinnamon powder and freshly ground Sichuan pepper.

“This stew with cinnamon and star anise in the 5-spice is especially delicious when it’s nice and cold outside.”

Not that I will refuse if someone offers this to me in the middle of summer. As a Chinese, I don’t associate these spices with winter. As a Dutch person I do. Fortunately for me my Chinese taste buds always win!

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Chinese Comfort Food: 5-Spice Pork Belly And Veggies

comfort food

This simple single-pan dish very quickly prepared. Let time and patience do the rest! The bacon becomes soft and flavourful and the spicy gravy is absorbed by the eggplants and mushrooms. Together with steamed rice, this comfort food is as it is intended.

  • Author: Kamwoj
  • Prep Time: 0:15
  • Cook Time: 1:30
  • Total Time: 1:45
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: meat, main course
  • Method: stew
  • Cuisine: Chinese
Scale

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 45 g/ 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 45 g/ 3 tbsp cooking wine
  • 120 g/ 120 ml of water
  • 25 g/ 4 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 small fresh chillies, finely chopped
  • ¾ tsp 5 spice
  • 15 g/ 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • If you use 5-spice from the store, you also need the following:
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp ground Sichuan pepper

A:

  • 300 g bacon, in pieces of 2 cm long and 1-1.5 cm thick
  • 10 g ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 30 g shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 spring onion (white only), in rings

B:

  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and in large pieces about 2 cm thick
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 500 g mushrooms, cut only the large ones into small pieces

Garnish:

  • 3 spring onions, the green part in rings
  • Roasted white sesame
  • Fresh chili in strings or rings

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle eggplant (B) evenly with salt and place in a colander. Set aside. If the eggplant is a bit older, leave it in salt for at least an hour.
  2. Stir all ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat a frying pan with a tablespoon of oil. Bake all A ingredients for around 5 minutes.
  4. Pour the sauce into the pan. Bring to the boil and set the heat source to the lowest setting. Simmer for half an hour, or longer if you want very soft bacon.
  5. Dry the eggplant and add them to the bacon. Stir well and bring back to the boil. Simmer again for half an hour on a low setting.
  6. Tenderness test: check whether the bacon is tender enough to your taste. If not, cook longer until the desired tenderness.
  7. Add the mushrooms for the last 5 minutes. Stir well and bring back to the boil. If you have a lot of moisture in the pan, turn up the heat and cook the sauce until it thickens.
  8. Serve with steamed rice and vegetables.

Notes

Gluten-free: replace both types of soy sauce with the same amount of gluten-free soy sauce.

Keywords: aubergine, bacon, dinner, Chinese, stew, eggplant, comfort food,

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