Red cooking consists of braising food in a liquid with soy sauce and spices such as star anise and Szechuan peppercorn, adding extra flavor and imparting a reddish tinge to the food. While red cooking is most commonly associated with eastern Chinese cuisine, it is found throughout China. Here are several recipes:
01 of 05
Braised pork is a popular dish in Chinese and Taiwanese homes. Try a different vegetable by using lotus root. It's a superfood in Chinese medicine and cuisine, ascribed many beneficial powers. It has a great taste and texture. You can find it at an Asian market in the fresh produce refrigerated section. You can use a slow cooker or a stockpot to braise the pork belly. It will take a couple of hours or more, depending on which method you use. It's great to garnish it with green vegetables and serve it with cooked rice.
02 of 05
Don’t have time to run to an Asian market for star anise or other Chinese seasonings? With the exception of rice wine, all the ingredients for this dish can be found in most local supermarkets, and you can always use dry sherry – available at liquor stores – in place of the rice wine. This recipe includes turnips, carrots, green onions, and stewing beef.
03 of 05
A whole chicken is simmered in a braising liquid with light and dark soy sauce, star anise, fennel, and Szechuan peppercorn. Chicken cooked this way is very juicy, with the meat coming easily off the bone. You'll need a pot large enough to hold the chicken, about an 8-quart size.
04 of 05
This recipe was submitted by a reader whose Cantonese father used to make it. After cooking, the chicken is cut up and brushed with Asia sesame oil and garnished with scallions. It uses a whole fryer, so you will need a pot large enough for the bird. You can then serve it cold to enjoy, either for a family meal or to take along to a picnic.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Don’t feel like cooking a whole chicken? You may not like to have to dissect the fryer or chop it up. You don't have to have a cleaver for this recipe. Chicken thighs are marinated and then simmered with shiitake mushrooms and onion. You'll need four hours or more for the marinating step, and you'll have to rehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water for about 30 minutes. The marinade is boiled and then used to braise the chicken and mushrooms as they cook.