I stumbled across Black Vinegar when I was snooping one day, while visiting my parent’s house. My dad told me he uses it for the usually steamed eggplant he makes and combines it with just a touch of soy sauce. It’s super plain, nothing exciting, but the unique flavor of the black vinegar, paired with soy sauce makes it a perfect dipping sauce for steamed veggies. It’s like the Chinese version of Balsamic Vinegar. It’s a great alternative to stir-frying and no added oil needed, unless you want to add a drop or two of sesame oil to taste.
I’ve read that some people use this vinegar to make braised pork hock and often served to Chinese Mother’s post birth. Somehow, it’s supposed to be good for the healing process? Does anyone know details on why it can be helpful?
Anyhow, I saw the blank vinegar in the Asian Supermarket and purchased it. I wanted to explore this further and see what I can create with it.
We had pork belly sitting in our fridge and a can of quail eggs in the pantry. Boy do I love quail eggs! The creamy texture and flavor of the yolk is like a smaller, more buttery and richer version of a chicken egg.
The dish came out rather well. It’s the first time I made it. The kids and I liked it a lot! The ginger and shiitake mushrooms I added a great earthy flavor to the overall dish. As I was thinking on it, it was like the Filipino Adobo recipe I made, with about half vinegar and half soy sauce ratio, except there’s no garlic in this, just vinegar soy and ginger. Read on for my recipe!
1/2-1lb sliced pork belly chunks
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup water
6-8 tbsp Chianking Black vinegar ( I would go up to 1/3 cup next time because I wish it was a little more vinegary)
2 stalks of scallions
2-3 ginger sliced
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 can quail eggs
1 cup shiitake mushrooms (you can use fresh or reconstitute dried ones in water)
1 star anise
1/4 five spice
1/4 sesame oil
Here’s the Picture Walk (didn’t have time to take photos of the prep this time around)
1- Heat up oil and put in aromatics (scallion whites, ginger, star anise )
2- Add in pork belly chunks to sear and add five spice, sesame oil, soy sauce, water and vinegar and simmer on low (cover on) for about 20-30 minutes (or until desired tenderness).
3- Add mushrooms, quail eggs and simmer for another 5-10 minutes and rest of scallion (green part) .
4- Enjoy over white rice!
Have you ever used Black Vinegar in your recipes before? Can you recommend your favorite way of using it?