2 pork trotters
1 -1/2 lbs ginger
1.2 litres of sweetened rice vinegar
1. First find yourself a ceramic pot, slow cooker or Dutch oven. Their thermal properties are different than a metal pot and it makes a difference in the way it stews.
2. Next, go to the butcher and get yourself some pig trotters. Ask for the common form, just the foot, not the hock. Have them cut to fit your pot; you should get enough to fill about half the pot.
3. Get those pork pieces into the pot and immerse the pork pieces in cold water. Bring it to a boil and discard the water to remove any impurities in the pork. Highly recommended! Boiling with cold water will remove more impurities. Discard the water and let it cool. Remove the hair on the trotter with a tweezer or razor. Trotters are high in fat; removing most of the marrow in the bone at this point will help reduce the total fat in the dish.
4. Choose older ginger which has more “rings” on the skin. Old ginger has more warming energy. The ginger needs to be peeled and cut to large chunks, smash or flatten it slightly with a Chinese cleaver knife. Toss them on a pan first and cook in medium heat to brown it slightly and reduce its moisture to fairly dry to the touch. This step will enhance the ginger flavor and improve its texture.
5. Sweetened rice vinegar. My favorite is the Pearl River Bridge brand which you will only find in a Chinese market. Calcium is extracted from the pork bones when braised in rice vinegar.
6. Add all 3 ingredients into the pot, bring it to boil for 15 minutes and then let it simmer all day or all night. Add more vinegar as it gets boiled down. Skim the fat from the top as needed. It’s ready to serve once the meat has fallen off the bone.
I recommend this dish to women looking for natural ways to aid recovery or boost milk production; In Chinese medicine, pig trotters – due to its high percentage of fat – can be taxing on the Spleen energy, which is responsible for the formation of Qi and Blood. I recommend eating 4 ounces of trotters daily in the first 4 weeks, and increase to 7 to 8 ounces (that’s half a trotter) daily after the first month. Eating 5 to 10 grams of the cooked ginger daily helps strengthen weakened constitution and aid in recovery.