Discover more from Broken Palate
Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit With Dominique Ansel and Eric Sze
Plus a recipe so you can make this at home
Lunar New Year, the start of the new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar, starts this year on January 22 and ends on February 1, beginning a year of the rabbit, according to the Chinese zodiac.
It’s customary to celebrate the New Year by gifting red envelopes or packets filled with money to friends and family — especially children — as a symbol of wishing good fortune in the coming year.
The New Year is also celebrated with food.
If you’re in New York City this weekend, chef Eric Sze of 886 and chef Dominique Ansel are collaborating on a special French-style shao bing pork belly sandwich with a peanut mi jiang latte.
Chef Sze’s slow-braised Taiwanese pork belly is served on chef Ansel’s homemade French-style shao bing. For the occasion, this Chinese flatbread will be made Beurre d'Isigny butter and Grands Moulins des Paris flour from France giving it a flaky texture. The pork belly is topped with cilantro, pickled mustard greens with garlic and chile, and peanut sugar with a hint of paprika. The sandwich, served with a made-from-scratch peanut mi jiang (peanut rice milk) latte, costs $22 and is available at Dominique Ansel Workshop From January 20 to 22. It’s available from 8 a.m. until sold out (so plan on getting there early).
If you can’t make it to New York City for the celebration, chef Sze has shared his recipe for Taiwanese braised pork belly with Broken Palate.
Chef Sze says that braising is “massively prevalent” in Taiwanese cooking. “It’s set-it-and-forget-it nature allowed the citizens of Taiwan's original agricultural society to work the fields while their dinner was being cooked. Now, it's a form of comfort and nostalgia,” says the chef.
Sze’s recipe is well-rounded and can be used for nearly anything — chicken legs/wings, beef short ribs/tendon/tripe, tofu, seaweed, cabbage, and more.
“The best thing is, you can treat this braise like a mother dough. As long as you keep boiling it every day/every other day, it does not go bad. In fact, it carries over the previous flavors into the next batch of ingredients. A culinary heritage in your own little pot,” says the chef.
Taiwanese Braised Pork Belly
By Chef Eric Sze, Chef/Owner of 886
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 cup cooking wine (preferably unsalted rice wine)
1/2 cup rock sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 cloves garlic
2 stalks scallions
1 small thumb ginger, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons five spice
4 tablespoons paprika
2 pounds pork belly
1. Twine up the pork belly like a mini-porchetta. (This is super optional)
2. In a large pot/donabe/dutch oven, sweat the scallion, garlic, and ginger with 3 teaspoons of oil.
3. When fragrant, combine all ingredients into one pot, turn up the heat and let come to a boil.
4. After the pot is boiling, turn heat to medium-low and let simmer for 90 minutes.
5. Once the pork is tender, let sit in the marinade for another 3-4 hours (or overnight in the fridge for maximum flavor).
6. Reheat and serve.
Take the braising liquid, drizzle over rice, add a fried egg. You're welcome. Happy New Year!