Hunan Steamed Pork with Rice Powder
We are making a Hunan style dish – 米粉蒸肉(steamed pork with roasted rice powder). It is not a well-known recipe because it is complicated to make and very tricky to make it right. My grandmom makes the best Mi Fen Zheng Rou. I always ask her to cook it when I visit her. And now I finally got the recipe.
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1 cup + 1/3 cup of Jasmine rice Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2lMDcZe
1/3 cup of glutinous rice Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2lLjZqP
1/2 tbsp of salt
1 tsp of sugar
1/2 tbsp of Sichuan Peppercorn Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2kfFU91
1/4 tsp of black pepper
1/4 tsp of white pepper
1/2 piece of star anise Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2lMJx6Y
A small piece of cinnamon Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2lfzcQC
1/2 of a black cardamon Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2lMJiZD
Few pieces of hot dried chilies Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2lLxrLo
- 1 pound of pork
3 cloves of garlic
1.2 tsp of grated ginger
1 tbsp of soy sauce Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2KS8wOE
1 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2RW4KWG
1/2 tsp of salt
1 piece of bean curd 腐乳 Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2kfoJ7z
Toast the Jasmine rice and the glutinous rice on low heat until it is nicely browned. The Jasmine rice is long-grain, a little bit translucent. Make sure you use a good brand that has a strong rice fragrance. The glutinous rice that I use is short grain. The long-grain will also work if have it. Glutinous rice provides the sticky and gooey texture which makes the rice powder binds together well. If you only use one type of rice, the rice layer won’t attach to the meat very well.
Let the rice cool down and put it in a blender. Use the on and off feature. You want to grind it fine but not too fine - almost like a powder but still got some rough texture. Let it go through a sieve just to get rid of some stubborn pieces.
Set the rice powder aside. Toast some spices on low heat to release the aroma: 1/2 tbsp of Sichuan peppercorn, 1/4 tsp of black pepper, 1/4 tsp of white pepper, a small piece of cinnamon, 1/2 of a star anise, 1/2 of a black cardamom, few pieces of dried hot chilies.
Grind the spices into a fine powder. Add the spice mix to the rice powder along with 1/2 tbsp of salt and 1 tsp of sugar. Mix everything until well combined. Then you have your rice powder made. This is enough to coat 4-5 pounds of meat. I am only making 2 servings today - about 1 pound of pork so we only need 1/2 cup of that rice powder. The rest of it, you can save it a jar and you can use it whenever you want to make Mi Fen Zheng Rou again. it will last you about 3 months at room temperature.
Once you have the rice powder in hand, the rest of the step is easy. Slice 1 pound of pork into bite-size. You can use any cut you like such pork belly or pork shoulder. You can also use other types of meat such as chicken, beef but you will have to manage the cooking time to make sure the meat is tender.
Marinade it with 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp of grated ginger, 1 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine, Shao xing wine is one type of cooking wine so it will also work. 1/2 tsp of salt or to taste. Last, 1 pieces of Chinese fermented bean curd. This is my granny's secret ingredient. It adds some undescribable fermented taste to the dish. I couldn’t find the same brand on Amazon but I will link to a similar product that you can buy for making this recipe.
Smash the bean curd into a paste. Mix everything until well combined. Cover it and let it sit for 20 minutes.- While waiting, soak a piece of lotus leave in some hot water for a few minutes and it will become playable.
Get your steamer. Place your lotus leave on. Adjust it so it fits better. This is only for the fragrance. It won’t affect the taste that much. If you can not find it or it is too expansive to buy, you can use parchment paper. Not a big problem.
One important step is to poke some holes so the steam can go through and the food cooks evenly. If you use parchment paper, you also need to do this step.
Now it is time to coat the meat. Make sure all the sides are covered nicely and shake off the excess rice powder. Place the coated meat into the steamer. Cover it and put this above some cold water. Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil. Then turn the heat to low, steam it for 1.5 hours. And you are done. Enjoy!