2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 x 600 g pork belly piece
approximately 450ml hot water
INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE
3 cubes of fermented red tofu, plus 1-2 tablespoons of fermented tofu liquid
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinkiang black rice vinegar
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
For the sauce, put the fermented tofu and liquid into a small bowl or ramekin and crush it with the base of a teaspoon to form a paste, then mix together with the dark soy sauce, black vinegar, sugar and sesame oil.
Hard-boil the eggs and then peel them. Once peeled, cut three small lines vertically into each egg while keeping them whole (this allows the sauce to soak through the eggs while they are braising). Finely chop the garlic and set it aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Add the garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds until lightly browned. Add the sauce and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the pork belly piece to the pan and sear on all sides, ensuring the skin is well-sealed and golden brown.
Once the sauce is thick and coating the meat well, turn the pork skin-side up and pour over enough hot water to cover it completely. Stir everything together well, cover with a lid and leave to simmer over a low heat for 1½ hours, turning the pork ocassionally, until it is soft, succulent and full of colour.
Remove the lid, add the eggs to the braising liquid and continue simmering for a further 30 minutes, turning the eggs every 10 minutes to ensure they absorb the sauce evenly. Arrange on a large platter and serve.