Pig trotters! This is probably not the first this thing that comes to mind when you want something delicious. Perhaps it might even seem gross and scary for most of the uninitiated but this is a delicacy in most Asian homes. Once you try it, believe me you’ll be converted and will be making this dish again and again because it’s so easy to do and darn yummy!
This recipe was inspired by the Korean version called “Jokbal” which is cooked with spices and soy sauce and served cold with a dipping sauce. To make really great pig’s trotters, there are a few rules you should follow:
- Buy really fresh and well-cleaned pig trotters and make sure it’s the trotter not the hoof piece. I often like to buy them at my local Korean grocery store like H-Mart or Zion Market, already cut into nice fist-size chunks.
- Remove any excess hair on the skin by using a razor or small blow torch to singe off the bits. Trust me you don’t want to eat hairy trotters. Yuck!
- Boil off any impurities and very thoroughly clean and rinse your pig trotters until you don’t see any residual blood or fatty bits before braising.
Following these crucial steps will ensure you don’t have a funky smelling dish in the end! Once cooked, it’s very important to make sure it is completely cooled to room temperature before slicing and eating! The first time I made this I was too impatient and started slicing it too soon which ended up becoming a mushy mess. The best part about eating pig’s trotters is the difference in textures, with the elastic skin contrasting the tender meaty parts which can only be achieved if you make sure your trotters are properly cooled.
This type of dish is also known as “beauty food” and a lot of ladies like to enjoy it because it’s packed full of collagen which is great for maintaining that youthful skin! Now is this completely true? Who knows! I just like the taste, ingredients are pretty cheap (a pack of 4 trotters cost me less than $6 USD), and really takes no effort to make.
I like to serve mine with a sweet and sour dipping sauce made with chili vinegar and fresh garlic. It goes great with the richness of the trotter meat and gives it a really nice pop of flavor with each bite! Give it a try and let me know in the comments below.
Braised Pig Trotters
Prep time: 15 min Cook time: 1.5 h Total time: 1 h 45 min Servings: 4
- 4 large pig trotters cleaned
- 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 inch ginger sliced
- 1 leek halved
- 2 whole garlic cloves
- 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorn
- 1 tsp black peppercorn
- 3 slices of dried licorice root
- 1 tbsp fermented black tea or 2 black tea bags
- 3 dried chili peppers
- 1 honey jujube date
- 1/4 cup light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 2 tsp miso paste
- 1 tsp salt
Chili Vinegar Dipping Sauce
- 1 tbsp hot water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tbsp vinegar hot sauce
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- Rinse and clean the pig trotters thoroughly while removing any leftover hair on the skin. Do this by using a shaver and a small torch or lighter to burn off the excess hair.
- Place clean pig trotters into a large pot and fill with cold water until covered. Bring water to a boil and turn to medium high heat. Simmer the pig trotters for 10 min.
- Drain the pig trotters and thoroughly rinse and clean each piece again making sure to remove all the scum.
- In a large clean pot, place the pig trotters and all of the rest of the ingredients. Add cold water until just covered.
- Bring the pot to a boil then lower the heat to simmer covered for 1.5 h. Make sure all pieces are immersed during cooking.
- Once cooked, take out the pig trotters and place on a plate to cool completely to room temperature. This step is important to ensure the right texture of the meat!
- After cooling slice the meat into thin pieces and arrange on a plate.
- Make the chili vinegar dipping sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients.
- Serve the pig trotters at room temperature with a nice bowl of rice on the side. Enjoy!
**Note: Don’t throw out the braising liquid!!! Save it by straining out the liquid and transferring to a freezer proof container. You can re-use this stock again the next time you make using it as the liquid base. By repeating this process you will create a really flavorful master stock over time!