A GOOD CASE OF Wob­bly Feet

While it may be not the most pop­u­lar cut of a hog, the pig’s trot­ter makes for a pi­quant and col­la­gen-rich Teochew del­i­cacy when turned into a gelati­nous dish

Wine & Dine Cookbook - - MASTERCLASS - WORDS GERAL­DINE GOH ART DI­REC­TION REGINA WONG PHO­TOG­RA­PHY JAMES LIANG

Ham, pork belly and pork ribs are parts of the pig we are most fa­mil­iar with, as they are widely con­sumed around the world. But the same can­not be said for the pig’s trot­ter, which is of­ten over­looked.

While the trot­ter lacks a sig­nif­i­cant amount of meat, it con­tains a good pro­por­tion of skin, bones, fat and con­nec­tive tis­sue, which adds a flavour­some punch to any dish. The trot­ter’s large quan­ti­ties of fat and col­la­gen also al­low it to gela­tinise and be turned into pig’s trot­ter jelly, a tra­di­tional Teochew dish known for its “lip-stick­ing qual­ity”, says chef Ng Chong Guan of JUMBO Group of Restau­rants. This tra­di­tional del­i­cacy’s ori­gins can be traced back to Swa­tow, a city lo­cated in China’s Guang­dong Province.

Pig's trot­ter jelly must be served cold and prefer­ably im­me­di­ately out of the re­frig­er­a­tor, as the jelly-like tex­ture will dis­in­te­grate if left at room tem­per­a­ture. In the olden days, it had to be left out­doors to cool and gela­tinise nat­u­rally—the cooler cli­mate in Swa­tow helped. Ng shares that an al­ter­na­tive to pork would be to use parts of the shark, since the fish’s skin has sim­i­lar gela­tin­is­ing prop­er­ties as the trot­ter, due to the high amount of col­la­gen it con­tains.

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