My Sifu (Teacher) wore a classic black, V-Cut, step-in kung-fu shoes in last night’s training. Anyone who were born in the 60s or 70s would recognize and know how they looked like. I haven’t seen those black velvet shoes (a V-cut at that!) in ages. The first time I was introduced to those was back in the 80s when kung-fu movies exploded in cinemas, and those shoes were part of the fighters’ wardrobe. It was an integral part of the fight scene and they accentuated the fighters’ artistry, make-up and style. Some shoe styles (boot-cut, both low and high) either portrayed a certain dynasty or a particular set of invaders (oh those English dubbed kung-fu movies). Some were made for peasants and others were worn for majesties and his foot soldiers. All those shoes were as mythical as those theatrical kung-fu moves and weapons performed during that bygone era. In fact, I bought a couple of pairs for myself on my first trip to Hong Kong (plain & V-cut–yup, that fanatic) when I was still growing up. I wore them for training, but I later learned that it was insufficient to absorb stomps and shocks as characterized by many kung-fu fighting styles. I gave them up and trained with runners or football shoes instead. Those turned out to be more comfortable and had more traction and grip on the floor when high speed or burst training was necessary.
Like I said in my previous blog. It’s all martial arts training for 2014. I’ve foregone serious training for more than a decade, and I know it will never go away. I missed about 15 years of regular training and there’s a lot of catching-up to do. My peers from the past are way ahead of me. I can’t even determine my skill level at this point. It has been an on and off training if it’s serious training at all. Watching documentaries motivates me to train, learn and aspire harder, and during the course of this ‘seeking an aspiration moment’ this dish popped up. It was eaten by the producers of the film I was watching and that began my quest for the identity of the Pig’s Trotters. And here it is.
This dish doesn’t have as much spices like the Chinese Braised Beef or Braised Tendons. It’s, again, a Vietnamese inspired dish without the lemongrass (missed it in the oriental grocery. My mind wanders what’s my next meal without using chicken or beef-gasgas na kasi). Sugar was caramelized firsthand with aromatics before it was braised for three or so hours with spices. Simple. Easy. Artery clogging.
- Pig’s feet, cut in bite size pieces
- Patis (Nuoc Mam)
- Dark Soy Sauce
- Chicken Stock
- Garlic, minced to a paste
- Onion, chopped
- Green onion
- Lemongrass (w/c I had forgotten)
- Star Anise
- Dried Chilis
- Brown Sugar
- Salt & Ground Black Pepper
- Chinese Greens as garnish
Add sugar in a heated sauté pan with a little Chicken stock and continue stirring until the sugar caramelizes. Add the garlic and onion followed by the dark soy sauce and patis and stir further.
Place the pig’s feet in the pan and add a little more chicken stock (just enough to cover the feet). Start adding the green onion stalk, ginger, dried chilis, star anise, and season with salt and pepper. Let it boil to simmer for about half an hour and skim the fat off as it boils. Cover and place in a preheated low-medium oven or let it braise on the stove stop for three hours.
Remove the trotters from the pan and strain the sauce into a bowl or another sauce pan. Drizzle the sauce all over before serving.
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