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Restaurants & Bars

Chicago Area Pork

Moon Palace Pork Hock

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Moon Palace Pork Hock

cappy | Mar 7, 2004 10:20 AM

Let me say at the outset, I wasn't there - I have no opinion about that dinner!!!

My purpose is to discuss the pork hock that everybody seeemed to agree was great. I was in SF recently and marveled at the bbq places in Chinatown with the burnished ducks, chickens and pork. We did not realize that it was the Sunday before Chinese New Year, and every place was packed with shoppers. Apparently, pork is a sign of good luck and is served at New Year. As we walked by one place, two men were bringing a whole roasted baby pig out of the back and they hung it on a meat hook next to a big round piece of wood and a butcher with a big chinese cleaver. As I stood with my mouth agape (no doubt drooling!), half of that beautiful pig was gone in five minutes. One person took the whole hind, another took the ribs and a third took the shoulder. I had to have some, and got a small portion. The butcher gave us some of the crispy rind as he cut, and the meat was tender and salty and wonderful.

Does this describe the pork hock at Moon Palace?? If so, does anyone know how this wonderful pork is cooked? In the bbq place in SF, I stuck my head in back and they have a huge room, like a walk-in cooler, that is a roasting room. Ducks, pigs, chickens are lowered down on a chain from an upstairs room, and the meats are hung in the room, then heat is turned up.

I want to make this stuff!! I bought one of those Cuban pig roasters recently written about by NYT and Jeff Steingarten, and I want to figure out how to make that pork. It obviously is salted or brined, and I don't know if any other spices are used. Any ideas or references?? Also, can anyone suggest places in Chicago Chinatown that specialize in these wonderful roasted meats?

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