Call him the “confinement daddy”. Linus Eng, 50, a director in a building construction company, made vinegar pork trotters for his wife’s confinement after she gave birth to their second daughter, Kay Ling, who is now 12.
Since then, he has been making batches of his signature dish for friends during their confinement month.
He uses two types of vinegar and two types of ginger to achieve a greater depth of flavours, and prepares the stock a day in advance.
“This becomes your master stock and you can use it as a base to make more portions. When you leave it to rest, it mellows the flavour of the vinegar,” he shares with The Straits Times.
“It’s actually very easy to make. You must be patient with food.”
Here, he shares his secret recipe. Follow him on his Instagram account too.
Vinegar pork trotters
7 tbs sesame oil
400g old ginger, peeled and sliced into thick slices
200g young ginger, peeled and sliced into thick slices
750ml vinegar (Chan Kong Thye black sweet rice vinegar, pink label)
300ml Zhejiang black vinegar
150g gula melaka or brown sugar
1 pork trotter (about 1.5kg), chopped and blanched in hot water
8 hard-boiled eggs
1. Heat five tablespoons of sesame oil in a non-metal pot (a claypot or ceramic pot is recommended). Fry about two-thirds of the old and young ginger for a few minutes till fragrant. Set aside the rest for cooking the next day.
2. Add both vinegars, water and gula melaka to the pot. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Cover the vinegar and leave it to rest before use. It can be kept for up to two weeks at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
3. When ready to cook: In a separate non-metal pot, heat two tablespoons of sesame oil and fry the remaining ginger for a few minutes till fragrant. Then add the blanched pork trotters and cook on high heat for five to eight minutes.
4. Scoop the prepared vinegar from the other pot – enough to almost cover the pork trotters. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 60 minutes.
5. Add the hard-boiled eggs and turn the heat off. Leave it to rest for half a day, so that the eggs get infused with the vinegar flavour.
6. Reheat when ready to eat, and serve with rice.
7. After eating, do not discard the leftover vinegar. Filter it into a bowl and refrigerate it. Then mix with any leftover vinegar from step 4 to cook another pot of pig trotters for added flavour.
This recipe serves 8.
A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times.
(Photo: The Straits Times/Jasmine Choong)
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White fungus lotus seed dessert
Green papaya soup with fish
Steamed dang gui pork ribs
Braised beef tenderloin with Yomeishu sauce and soba noodles
Stir-fried mango threadfin
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