This recipe for Chinese Pork Trotter in Black Vinegar features tender pork knuckles braised in a sweet black vinegar with hardboiled eggs, using a pressure cooker.
What is pork trotter?
Pork trotter, or pig's trotter, or pork knuckle is the cut of meat from the ankle downward.
What does pork knuckle taste like?
Once cooked, the pork knuckles have a rich, fatty gelatinous texture that melts in the mouth with a slight chew.
The skin should taste rich but not overly greasy.
Why you'll love this recipe
This recipe for Chinese pork trotters in vinegar is:
Nourishing: it's a traditional dish that is served to mothers after giving birth, during confinement, a period of time where the new mother stays at home to rest and heal. But anyone can enjoy this dish, whether you have given birth or not.
Easy to make: using an Instant Pot (pressure cooker) cuts down on the cooking time and yields tender (not chewy) pork feet.
Flavorful: this dish is slightly sweet, flavored from the Chinese sweetened black vinegar.
Traditionally, this dish is cooked in large batches in clay pots or earthenware, and stored in a dark, cool location.
Ingredients you'll need
- pork knuckle/trotters/pig's feet: try to the choose the front/forelegs/hooves as it has better flavor and texture
- organic ginger: peeled and smashed; older ginger will work best for this dish; note: organic ginger tends to be more spicy than conventional ginger
- Pat Chun sweetened Chinese black vinegar: is the key ingredient for this dish and gives it its sweet, tangy flavor (see photo below); it is made from glutinous rice, with a mixture of sugar and spices; do not use any other brand of black vinegar as it will not result in the same taste or flavor
- hardboiled eggs: peeled, or unpeeled* (see note under Expert Tips)
You can find these ingredients at your local Asian supermarket.
How to make it
Wash and clean pork trotters.
Place pork trotters into a large pot of cold water.
Bring to a boil over high heat for 5 minutes. You'll start to see brown scum float to the top of the pot.
Drain the pork trotters and rinse well, removing the scum.
Place smashed ginger in the bottom of the Instant Pot (pressure cooker).
Add in blanched pig trotters and pour in Chinese sweetened black vinegar to cover the trotters.
Replace the lid, set the vent to SEAL and set to MEAT or MANUAL on HIGH PRESSURE for 90 minutes.
Let the pressure manually release and add in the hardboiled eggs, making sure they are submerged in the vinegar.
To skim off excess fat, remove the trotters, eggs, ginger and pour black vinegar into a separate container. Place the vinegar into the fridge overnight.
The next day, use a spoon to skim the fat off the vinegar and discard.
Serve the pork trotters with hardboiled egg and a little black vinegar.
How to serve
Serve the pork trotters with as much or as little black vinegar as you like.
Typically, a serving consists of a small amount consisting of egg, pork trotter, and a little vinegar.
You can enjoy it on its own, or serve as part of a meal with steamed rice and other dishes.
How to store
Store leftover pig's feet in black vinegar in a non-reactive container (such as glass) with an airtight lid in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
If storing for an extended time, ensure the pork knuckle is fully submerged in the black vinegar.
How to reheat
It's best to reheat only as much pork trotter and black vinegar as you want to consume.
For a small amount, you can add it to a bowl, cover with a lid and use a microwave to heat until warmed through.
If reheating a larger batch, you can reheat using the stovetop.
Follow the same steps, using a non-reactive pot such as stainless steel, ceramic, Corningware or glass.
Set slow cooker to High heat and cook for 4 hours, or until trotters are tender (check by inserting a fork).
Turn off the heat.
Add in hardboiled eggs, and soak in the vinegar mixture overnight.
Notes & expert tips
Expectant mothers should not consume this dish before giving birth. One should consume it only after giving birth, once the bleeding has fully stopped.
If you prefer spicier, gingery flavor, you can add more ginger.
You can incorporate additional sweetened black vinegar, hardboiled eggs, and pigs' feet to your liking.
*For extra calcium, you can add hardboiled eggs (with the shells intact) and place it into the black vinegar. Over time, the acidity in the vinegar will dissolve the egg shells, releasing the calcium into the soup.
The longer the eggs sit in the black vinegar, the darker they will turn.
If the vinegar is too strong, add more pig's feet or eggs to balance out the flavor.
If you prefer a more sweeter taste, continue to boil the black vinegar.
This dish can be kept for a very long time in the refrigerator in a non-reactive container (such as glass, ceramic). If keeping for an extended period of time, be sure to it a good boil once a week and let it fully cool down before placing back into the fridge.
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Chinese Pork Trotter in Black Vinegar (Instant Pot)
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 2 lbs pork trotters/knuckles preferable fore legs
- 150 g organic ginger peeled, halved and smashed
- 600 ml (1 bottle) Pat Chun Chinese sweetened black vinegar
- 6 hard boiled eggs
- Wash and clean pork trotters.
- Place pork trotters into a large pot of cold water.
- Bring to a boil over high heat for 5 minutes. You'll start to see brown scum float to the top of the pot.
- Drain the pork trotters and rinse well, removing the scum.
- Place smashed ginger in the bottom of the Instant Pot (pressure cooker).
- Add in blanched pig trotters and pour in Chinese sweetened black vinegar to cover the trotters.
- Replace the lid, set the vent to SEAL and set to MEAT or MANUAL on HIGH PRESSURE for 90 minutes.
- Let the pressure manually release and add in the hardboiled eggs, making sure they are submerged in the vinegar.
- To skim off excess fat, remove the trotters, eggs, ginger and pour black vinegar into a separate container. Place the vinegar into the fridge overnight.
- The next day, use a spoon to skim the fat off the vinegar and discard.
- Serve the pork trotters with hardboiled egg and a little black vinegar.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.