Forget Michelin-starred chefs and fancy test kitchens, the world’s best recipes comes from matriarchs who’ve perfected their dishes over decades of feeding them to their children and their children’s children. In this cookbook, Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti visits grandmothers from 60 countries and shares their stories, photos, and, of course, their prized recipes. This In Her Kitchen excerpt is a recipe from Pan Guang Mei — a 62-year-old grandmother of one — from Chongqing, China, whose kitchen on the 19th floor of her skyscraper home is larger than the entirety of her childhood home in Sichuan.
Hui Guo Rou
Twice-Cooked Pork with Vegetables
1 (14-ounce) pork belly, skin on
2 (1-inch) pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced or shredded
2 bunches of green onions, trimmed and chopped into 2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce or hot chili paste (doubanjiang)
4 teaspoons soy sauce
½ red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice
½ green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice
1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch dice
1. Place the pork belly in a wok or large saucepan; add water to cover the meat completely. Add half of the ginger and half of the chopped green onions. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes, or until the pork is tender.
2. Drain the pork, remove the skin, and cut the pork into thin slices.
3. Wipe out the wok. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and warm over high heat until the oil is very hot. Add the rest of the ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the sliced pork and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove everything to a dish. 4 Wipe out the wok again and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the sugar over low heat. When the sugar is melted and begins to caramelize, add the hot chili sauce and the soy sauce. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the sliced pork, the diced bell peppers, the diced red onion, and the remaining chopped green onions. Heat everything together for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.