About this recipe:Usually this dish is bought from vendors for a quick lunch, but it’s actually very easy to make at home and so delicious too. Plus the house smells wonderful, when you are done cooking. My kids and husband (and all the neighbourhood dogs - haha) come running, when they smell this dish.
Make sure the ham has no bristly hair left. If there still are some, shave or singe them off. Wash the ham well.
Put the garlic, coriander roots and peppercorns into a mortar. Mash to a paste. Set aside.
In a heavy bottom pot heat up enough water to cover the ham shank. When the water boils put the ham in and let it come to a boil again. Let it boil for about 5 minutes, or until most of the grey foam has come to the surface. Skim the foam off and discard.
Take the meat out and throw the water away. Clean and dry the pot.
In the same pot heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the cinnamon stick and star anise and fry until fragrant. Add the garlic paste and fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the rice wine, light and dark soy sauces, sugar and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Turn down to a gentle simmer. Braise until the meat is very tender, turning the meat every half hour. Add more water when the sauce at the bottom gets too thick.
After about 2 hours when the meat is meltingly tender and the bone in the middle of the shank can get wiggled around it is done. Carefully take out the ham and let it cool for 20 minutes.
In the meantime make the dipping sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Serve cut up shanks with rice, a drizzle of the sauce and the dipping sauce.