Hardcore Chinese – Mom’s Best Braised Pork Feet

4.96 from 25 votes
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Chinese style braised pork feet

These braised pork feet are moist, tender and flavorful. They are braised in a slightly sweet and savory master sauce until the skin and meat fall from the bone.

Reader’s alert: If you don’t like strange parts of the animal, say…. pig’s feet, then please skip this article. It might contain some of words that will make you uncomfortable.

A True Story

I heard this story from a client Mr. Jim (fake name). Back in the 80s, Mr. Jim was working at a very influential Chinese state-owned company and was dispatched to the London office to build up a trading network with Chinese buyers.

A quick background of China in the 80s – back then, China was still very much a planned economy (the opposite of a free market) and individual income was still extremely low. A job like Mr. Jim’s meant all kinds of privileges. During the 80s, people could barely move between provinces within China, let alone travel abroad. Until the early 90s, people still had to “purchase” food and daily supplies with stamps issued by local governments.

Mr. Jim has been living in London for quite a few years and had climbed to a management level. He and his colleagues had arranged to stay at the company’s dormitory: one tiny room for 6 people. Although crowded, Mr. Jim was satisfied and happy with his life.

The only thing missing was authentic Chinese food, such as braised pig’s head and feet. In the end, Mr. Jim finally found a butcher in the suburb of London that sold whole pigs. He was thrilled.

From then on, almost every weekend, Mr. Jim and the rest of the management team would drive the company’s Mercedes to the butcher to buy several pigs’ heads for cooking their nostalgic dish – braised pig’s head. They would then share the pots of stew with the whole company.

One day, when the butcher was passing another four pig heads into Mr. Jim’s hands, he took a whiff and said, “Wow, you guys must really have a lot dogs!”

Chinese style braised pork feet

Why Chinese People like to Eat Strange Parts of the Animal

Everyone who hears the story above laughs out loud. However, after a while, when I thought back, I couldn’t help but wonder why Chinese people enjoy eating all kinds of weird parts of the animal – head, neck, feet, tail, intestines, blood, you name it! For me, I’m not a big fan of those parts, but I did have a favorite dish when I was a kid – braised chicken’s head. It’s quite disgusting if you look at the cooking process. When you look at a bunch of chickens’ heads in a big pot, you feel them all staring at you (eew!). Disgusting, but tasty. Especially the brain (and I’m not even a zombie)!

When I posed this question to my parents, they gave me quite a sad answer: because poultry and meat have been so scarce, and starvation has struck so many times in Chinese history. As a result, people learned all kinds of cooking and seasoning techniques to make the inedible (or less palatable) parts of the animal taste better. People use very strong spices, like chili peppers, cloves, anise, cardamon and peppercorns to cover the stinky smell of intestines and make such offal taste less like itself.

Mom's Best Braised Pork Feet | omnivorescookbook.com

Even through the 70s, it was still a luxury to have meat for dinner in a ordinary family. A delicious alternative was cooking fried noodles with lard. For young men who worked on construction sites, pork intestine stew (chao gan) was the most popular food.

Utilizing every part of the animal has become a habit through the modern day. Although food is plentiful and people can choose whatever they like to eat, lots of people still consider pork intestines and chicken’s feet among the most delicious foods. There is a very popular snack – spicy duck neck that comes in small package. You can easily find it  at any 7-eleven store in Beijing. The other famous dish is Szechuan style pig’s blood and intestines (mao xue wang), boiled in spicy oil. Does it sound scary? There are many people who prefer this to normal meat dishes.

Chinese style braised pork feet

For me, I normally don’t eat animal intestines or the strange dishes I mentioned above, but I really love braised pork feet. Again, they look disgusting but are so delicious!

I learned the braised pork feet recipe from my mom. As I mentioned above, lots of spices are added in order to eliminate the stinkiness of the meat. This way you won’t have to worry about the smell of the pig’s feet. The finished dish is as delicious as any pork stew. It’s very tender, flavorful, and doesn’t taste greasy at all. It goes well with white rice, or could even be served as a snack.

I used a pressure cooker in this recipe to reduce the cooking time, but if you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can use a wok or dutch oven, braising the meat longer to achieve the same result. I like the pork feet to be cooked until very soft, so I often boil them until the meat and skin fall off the bones.

This recipe is one of the recipes from my Mom’s Best series. In this series, I collect family recipes handed down from my grandma to my dad, then to my mom, and now, to me. In the same series, you can also findMom’s best braised chicken stew with mushroomsMom’s best braised pork spare ribsMom’s best braised duck leg, and Mom’s best beef stew with tendon. More family recipes are on the way!

Mom's Best Braised Pork Feet | omnivorescookbook.com

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Chinese Style Braised Pork Feet

Chinese Style Braised Pork Feet

4.96 from 25 votes
These braised pork feet are moist, tender and flavorful. They are braised in a slightly sweet and savory master sauce until the skin and meat fall from the bone.
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 (1 kilograms / 2 pounds) pork feet , each one chopped into 6 pieces
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger , thickly sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger , coarsely smashed (*see footnote 1)
  • 1/2 cup white part of scallion (or green onion)
  • 3 to 5 chili peppers , dried (*see footnote 2)
  • 1 and 1/2 star anise
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon crystal sugar (or white sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Chinese Shaoxing wine (or Japanese sake)
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  • Place pork feet and ginger slices in a large pot and add water to cover pork feet. Bring the water to a boil and continue boiling for about 3 minutes. Discard water and wash pork feet carefully.
  • Add pork feet into pressure cooker and add water until the pork is covered completely. Cook over high heat until rated pressure has been reached. Turn to lowest heat and cook at rated pressure for 15 minutes. (*see footnote 3)
  • After releasing pressure naturally, transfer pork feet to a wok (or dutch oven). Transfer pork broth from pressure cooker to wok until it almost covers the pork. Add the rest of the ingredients into wok and turn to high heat. After bringing the broth to a boil, reduce to low heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Stir pork feet every 10 minutes to avoid burning on the bottom. Stir more often toward the end of braising, after the sauce has thickened. Add water during the braising process if the broth becomes thick while the pork is still tough. If the pork turns very soft but the sauce is still thin, turn to medium heat and boil uncovered. Reduce sauce until desired thickness.
  • To cook without a pressure cooker, skip step 2 and add boiled pork, water and all ingredients into a wok or a dutch oven. Add water until it covers pork and boil for around 2 hours. If the water level becomes too low while pork is still though, add warm water, 1 to 2 cups at a time, and continue braising.


  1. To smash ginger, place peeled ginger on a cutting board, lay a wide knife on top of ginger and use palm to press against the knife to smash the ginger. No need to cut ginger.
  2. Add 3 peppers for a mild spiciness or 5 for a hotter dish. If the sauce turns too spicy, add more sugar to balance the heat at the end of braising.
  3. To shorten the braising time, I used a pressure cooker. Either an electronic or stove top pressure is OK. Every pressure cooker is different. You might need to shorten / prolong cooking time according to your cooker's specifications. If your pressure cooker has a user manual and happens to indicate a cooking time for pork, you could follow that recommendation for this recipe.
Did You Make This Recipe?Don't forget the last step! Leave a comment below, and tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

The post was updated on 18th Oct. 2014

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. yoko says:

    5 stars
    tried making pork feet for the first time tonight! this made the house smell soo good. thanks for the recipe!! can i braise other cuts of meat in this braising sauce? it kind of reminds me of my grandma’s char siu braising liquid

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Yoko, thanks for leaving a comment and I’m so glad that you cooked my recipe! 🙂
      Of course you can use the braising sauce for other dishes. You can use it to braise pork belly, ribs, or chicken. If you have leftover of the cooked sauce, you could add a small amount into stir fried dish. Or use it as broth to cook vegetable stew (My favorite way is to add the sauce into napa cabbage, potato or green bean stew). It will add a nice flavor into veggies dishes (same logic as chicken bouillon).
      Happy cooking! 🙂

      • Susan says:

        Made these yesterday… authentic, flavorful and easy to follow directions.

    • Debbie Florio says:

      Hi, I had a hard time finding pigs feet in my area I needed for a Greek recipe, so when I did find them I bought a lot. I would love to try this recipes, but I don’t own a pressure cooker. Is there another method that would work?

      • Maggie Zhu says:

        You can totally braise it on the stovetop but it will take a longer time (about 2 hours or longer). Actually if you look at the step 4, it includes tips on how to make the dish without a pressure cooker.

  2. Trang says:

    5 stars
    Maggie, what you said in this post is so true. I grew up in VN and meat was definitely more of a garnish to the meal. It’s different now, but pig feet is still one of my favorite dish!! I love this dish and your stories. I must try to recreate this one day 🙂

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Trang, it’s so interesting to hear the people from different cultures also share the same experience! Yep, it’s totally different now, but food from the not-so-good-old-days is still very delicious! Happy cooking 🙂

  3. Steve says:

    5 stars
    Awesome recipe. Deeeeeeee-icious!!!

    • Maggie says:

      Thanks for dropping a message and glad you like this one Steve! Have a great weekend 🙂

  4. Mildred says:

    5 stars
    I am from Ghana and was raised by parents who had a farm. We ate all the strange parts too and never thought it was a big deal. Mom was matter of fact about it and it was so delicious, I don’t think we would have cared. I tend to get Chinese foods like this when I need comfort food and don’t feel like cooking. We did not use soy sauce or much sugar in our stews but anise, ginger and all these spices remind me of my mom’s stew pot. Thanks for this recipe.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Mildred, thanks for commenting and I’m so glad to hear you like the recipe! It’s very interesting to know that you use very similar spices in Ghana too, and eat these parts from an animal too. It makes me wonder what types of Chinese food you can get there. If you ever have chance to cook with soy sauce, I hope you’ll like it. It goes great with ginger and adds really nice flavor to savory dishes. I don’t even know how to make a stew without it 🙂
      Hope you have a great day and happy cooking!

  5. Mildred says:

    I actually currently live in Orlando so I don’t get to eat my mom’s cooking. I try but it does not taste the same when I make it. That’s why I go for dishes like these. Luckily there are some hardcore chinese restaurants here that serve these strange bits of the animal.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Mildred, I share the same experience about the taste of mom’s cooking! When I was living in Japan, I was cooking exactly the same recipe my mom used to do, but it never tasted the same. I think it’s partially because of the different local ingredients you can get, and also because of those tiny difference cooking habits that everyone has.
      Glad to know that you can still get these types of food in Orlando. By the way, I had some of the best pork and chicken “related” dishes in Japan (grilled intestine and liver). Keep an eye on “horumon-yaki” next time if you’re at a Japanese (or Korean) restaurant, they are very good 🙂

    • Brenna says:

      I too live in the Orlando area. After a vacation to Korea introducing me to their authentic cuisine, finding anything remotely close is so difficult, I have began to prepare some of my own dishes. Still not authentic—-but at least as close as what I can get in a restaurant—-and I get to share with friends and family. Win win.

      Tell me, Mildred, what are the restaurants here you highly recommend?? Thanks!!

  6. crystal says:

    5 stars
    Love the stewed or braised pig feet eat all the time the aroma is so wonderful. Im African American and the history of eating all parts of the pig are the same and traditional in my home as well, alittle more used to the smell lol garlic, onions, & cilantro help with that some. 😉 Enjoy lots of authentic Asian recipes will try others that you hve posted. Thk you

  7. Sally says:

    5 stars
    My family loves this dish and it was absolutely delicious and easy to make!

    • Maggie says:

      I’m so happy to hear it Sally! This is one of our family’s favorite recipes. Now since you mentioned, I started to crave for it again! Need to make a batch over this weekend 🙂

  8. G N says:

    4 stars
    I grew up in Western Canada and Pigs feet and hocks were served at my home. I noticed you spoke of high food costs in China but you only have to go back 100 years to find “the whole beast” dinners were common, and in certain parts of the continent, especially in farm country, less than 50 years. So thing are not so different here compared to other parts of the world.

  9. millie says:

    Love this recipe.
    Thank you, reminds me of my mothers southern cooking.
    I make rice, collard greens, and corn bread, With these delicious braised pigs feet, we call trotters. Do much flavor!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Millie, the combination corn bread and pig feet sound so delicious! We always serve them on the rice in China, but I’d love to try out new combinations. I’m craving some now when I was writing this line :p I’m so glad you like this dish too! It’s one of my favorites 🙂

  10. D. Singh says:

    Maggie this Braised Pig’s Feet look so good that I must give it a try sometime soon. I usually make a dish with pig’s feet which I think you’ll love very much and I’m willing to share my recipe with you also.

    Thank you and God bless!

    • Maggie says:

      I’m so glad to hear you like the recipe Singh! This is a family recipe, and I hope you enjoy the dish too!
      What recipe did you usually make with pig’s feet? If you’d like to share the recipe, you can send it to maggie (at) omnivorescookbook (dot) com. I’d love to try it out!
      Hope you have a great weekend 🙂

      • Bambi sadeli says:

        Hi Maggie, I love pig feet,but my family rather eat ham hock or shoulder part. Can I braise it like feet?

      • Maggie says:

        Hi Bambi, yes you can definitely use this recipe to braise ham hock or shoulder. The cooking time might be different but the process is the same.
        Happy cooking and hope you dish turns out great 🙂

  11. Jason says:

    My second time making this dish. Still one of my favorite cuts of meat & your recipe really is any easy, delicious way to cook trotters. Thanks!

    • Maggie says:

      I’m so glad to hear you like the recipe Jason! My mom has been cooking this recipe so many times and she found the easiest way to do it. Now I’m craving some braised trotters. Will be making a new batch this weekend 😉

  12. Christopher says:

    I did try your method of cooking the pig feet: but I did it my way. I used all the ingredients according to your explanation. but added a few of my own ingredients.
    I added 2 tablespoons of read chilly flakes
    One medium size cooking onion – thinly sliced,
    and with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil: firstly fried up the onions, and once the onions were browned up, added the chilly flakes and played around steering it around for about a minuet ; then merged it with the poke feet and added some sweet tambouring with roasted sesame seed. .

    Man, I just finished off the stuff, and then licked the plate dry. Yum, yum, yum.

    • Maggie says:

      That sounds like a very delicious recipe Christopher 🙂 I cannot wait to try it out in my kitchen too!

  13. Cal says:

    5 stars
    Hi Maggie, I love the simplicity and options of making pig’s feet that you share based on your mom’s recipe. I used to do a variation of this with a crock pot, but I would inevitably let it simmer so long that not only would the bones fall off, but the skin and tendons would dissolve away! LOL

    Using a pressure pot like you suggested sure kept everything intact. Parboiling the pig’s feet in water with ginger slices before cooking in a pressure pot sure cleaned up the disgusting odors. I added some variations to your recipe based on what my mom used to do.

    In the old days my mom would use vinegar, honey and dried tangerine peels (Chinese save everything for incorporating somehow into cooking) to add some marvelous flavors. So lacking cloves, anise and wine this time, I improvised a batch. I decided to do most of the softening of the pig’s feet in a stove-top pressure pot, so I at least doubled the time in the pressure pot, with a steaming rack in the bottom, to close to an hour with all the flavor enhancers and pig’s feet immersed in the broth above the pot bottom on top of the rack. I used a stock pot for the initial parboiling, transferred to the pressure pot, then reduced the broth and pig’s feet back in the stock pot till done.

    I could probably do this as a one-pot meal and use the pressure pot for the whole process with the steaming rack kept in place and not have to stir anything, but just watch the liquid level after the pressure phase when reducing the broth to a creamy state.

    As an aside, my mom would get the inexpensive (“cheap”) cuts of meat and have Chinese variations for dinner. We had flank steak before it was the expensive, trendy cut it is now. We also enjoyed oxtail and short ribs cooked slowly in Guardian Ware heavy duty aluminum pots and pans (my dad insisted on the best cookware we could afford). Now that I better understand the elixir broth you describe, I’ll try to incorporate the pressure pot into the process and forego the crock pot altogether.

    Thanks so much for your stories and wonderful cooking tips that help to recreate mom’s cooking in an up-to-date and faster process without any sacrifice in flavor!

    One final pressure pot speedy variation — I infuse artichokes in a pressure pot by cutting off the stems and tops (wipe the cut surfaces with a half lemon to keep the darkening and oxidation from occurring), opening up the innards so I can insert garlic, ginger, citrus wedges, etc. around the boundary between the dark outer leaves and the lighter inner leaves. I drizzle lemon or lime juice into the top and spray with olive oil. Place topside up in pressure pot and cap each artichoke with cut up remnants of that lemon (or try an orange for an edible variation). Get the pressure pot up to the high range and let it sit simmering for 30-45 minutes. Turn off stove and let sit until pressure dissipates by cooling. Open, let cool, and enjoy!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Cal, thanks for taking time and leaving such a thorough reply! I’m still getting to to the concept of slow cooker. We did not have such a thing back in China, so I’ve never used it in cooking. It’s such a popular cookware here! How long do you usually cook the pig feet in a crock pot? I don’t mind the meat falling off the bones. That’s the way I like it. But I do want to keep the tendons intact. Tender, but not gone. Because they’re the best part 🙂

      I agree, the whole cooking process can be finished in the pressure cooker. I’d take out the steaming rack after releasing pressure, so to make sure the pig feet covered in the broth.

      The vinegar and tangerine peels sound like a nice combination. We use them in stew and braised dish too. But we always add star anise, because its flavor goes so well with pork.

      Oh we love cooking with oxtail and short ribs. Unfortunately it’s very expensive to get oxtail here. Somehow it’s a fancy cut, although it seems like very few people cook with them. Short ribs is my favorite cut. I use the boneless one for stir fry. And use the bone in one for braising. It has the perfect lean fat ratio, so the meat won’t dry out during cooking.

      It’s interesting to hear that you consider this method “faster”. It’s quite time consuming to me lol But yeah, it’s way faster than the crock pot. I still don’t understand why people cook stir fry with it and use 6 hours when you can do it in a wok in 6 minutes.

      The artichoke recipe sounds so interesting. Do you add some water into the pressure cooker? (I think you need to?) And I thought you’d put the artichoke in a steaming rack without touching the water? I’d love to try this out soon! My husband and I both love artichoke 🙂

      • Cal says:

        Hi Maggie, for artichokes I place ~3/4″ water to just below the steaming basket (stainless steel, 7″ circular base on 3/4″ tripod legs, with multiple overlapping wings [similar to an iris on camera lenses for you photography buffs] that fan out to internal width of pot and keep pieces from falling into pot bottom).

        Artichokes do not touch water, just the hyper-heated steam during a 45-minute cooking time once the desired pressure is reached. By interleaving various flavorings (shoe-stringed garlic and ginger, thin citrus wedges, etc.) at the dark leaf / light leaf interface and then spraying with olive oil, the upright artichokes seem to be infused with your choices. I also cook the artichoke stems for bite-sized chef’s choice.

        Be creative and enjoy. It’s artichoke season in California now. Whatever is in season is the menu of choice for fruits and vegetables.

      • Maggie says:

        Thanks for the detailed recipe Cal! It sounds truly delicious. We do not have artichokes in China, so I was intimidated by the cooking process. You made it sounds so much easier! We need to stop buying canned artichoke hearts and cook fresh ones instead 🙂
        Hope you have a great start of the week!

  14. Elaine says:

    I would like to try this, but I already have the feet and they are not split. Can I cook them whole and just braise for longer? Maybe taking the meat off the bone for serving?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Elaine, yes you could cook the whole pork feet without chopping them apart. As for serving, it can be tricky picking the meat off but you can try. Some of the cartilage attached to the bone is the best part 🙂
      Happy cooking and let me know how the dish turns out!

  15. Ying bong says:

    Hi Maggie, I love this pork feet recipe. I was just wondering it’s ok to also put pig ears along with it?

    • Maggie says:

      I’ve never tried cooking pig ears along with the feet. From what I read, they almost take as long to cook (2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes if simmering without using pressure cooker), so I think it’s no problem to cook them together.
      Happy cooking and let me know how the dish turns out 🙂

  16. Julien says:

    5 stars
    Dear Maggie,
    Thank you so much for this recipe: my wife missed this dish very much (not so many genuine chinese restaurent in the area of France where we are living), and she was pleasantly surprised when I cooked it for her.
    Many thanks for all those recipes, they are very detailed and easy to follow.
    Best regards,
    Julien (from France)

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Julien, I’m so happy to hear you enjoy the dish! It’s one of the dishes I missed the most after moving to the US. The recipe is quite straightforward and it creates super flavorful pork. I hope you both liked it 🙂

  17. commandqueue says:

    Wow, wasn’t expecting such a sobering article while looking up recipes that reminded me of home, haha. ? Seriously got a bit emotional there. Keep up the interesting/tasty posts!

    • Maggie says:

      Glad to hear you like the post! This is one of my favorite dishes and I demand it the first whenever I travel back to China to visit my parents 🙂
      Thank you for leaving a comment and have a great week ahead 🙂

  18. Melinda says:

    Hi Maggie – Do you know if this recipe would work with a slow cooker? Thank you for sharing!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Melinda, I haven’t tried to cook this one in a slow cooker yet but I’m pretty sure it works. You probably want to cook it for at least 8 hours to get the meat tender. The broth won’t reduce so much at the end if you use a slow cooker. You can either drain the broth and reduce it on stove top, or add a cornstarch slurry to thicken it.
      Happy cooking and let me know how the dish turns out 🙂

  19. Elle says:

    Hi. This looks so good and I’m wanting to try it in my instant pot electric pressure cooking. Do you know if I use high heat at 15min will yield the same as your yours? Thanks!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Elle, yes you can use Instant pot instead of a gas top pressure cooker. I think 15 minutes will work for IP as well. However I do want to emphasize that you need to finish the recipe by simmering without the pressure. So the broth will reduce and form a thick sauce.
      Happy cooking and hope you enjoy the dish 🙂

  20. serene says:

    hi. Is it possible to use pressure cooker (for braising) and smart cooker( for boiling) throughout the cooking process?

  21. Skeptica says:

    5 stars
    Truly delicious. I grew up in a poor rural family. We had pigs trotters cooked in a bland Anglo style and loved them. It was a change from mutton stew and rabbit. I still like them in British recipes but we love the different Asian ways of cooking them as well. Your recipe is the most requested when it comes to pigs trotters.

  22. Chit says:

    Hi Maggie…I presume slow cooker would also be good for this recipe. How I love your recipes. Simple delicious and authentic! Home made black beans! Oh so good…never again store bought!

  23. Chit says:

    5 stars
    This is so good Maggie…obviously am Asian..I wonder if this same recipe can be used in chicken feet? Another favorite! Thanks.

  24. Cynthia says:

    The pig feet recipe looks great. I’m going to cook it today.

  25. Toby Panopio says:

    If we cook like 4kgs, do we multiply all the rest of the ingredients by 4? How about amount of water? How much?

  26. Dragan says:

    5 stars
    Now….winter coming, it`s command at least once a month this dish. No excuse!

  27. Sylvia says:

    Hi Maggie,

    I’m hoping to make this recipe (BIG fan of piggie feet!). A quick question: can you make this in a slow-cooker and, if so, what changes to the methods should I make?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Sylvia, I’ve never done this dish in a slow cooker but I’m pretty sure you can. The only thing I would do differently is the liquid amount. After you boil the pig feet and transfer them to a slow cooker, you probably don’t need to fully cover them with the liquid. It will end up with too much broth. I would only cover like half way up. In the end, you will end up with more broth than the stove top method. You can choose to thicken the broth with some cornstarch slurry (cornstarch whisked with water) or you can boil down the liquid on the stove top to get a more concentrated sauce to serve with the pig feet.
      Happy cooking and I hope you enjoy it!

  28. Eric says:

    5 stars
    I used smoked pig tails because that’s what I had on hand. My gf is Chinese and she said these reminded her of her childhood in Wuhan. I garnished them at the end with a little sesame oil, sesame seeds, and chopped cilantro. Will definitely do again with pigs feet next time.

  29. Phil says:

    I’m so looking to duplicate my mom’s old dish. She’s no longer with us so I’m winging it. I didn’t have cloves so I omitted it added a little more star anise
    Crossing my fingers and will update in a couple of hours but it’s definitely smelling yummy

    • jacob says:

      step 4 reads “while pork is still though”… tough is what you meant, no need to reply, thanks ..cooking some pig feet. good for anemia….gonna look up intestine with blood. I like hunan organ soup and beef tendon stew… its funny how your body tell s you stuff is tasty when you need it….

  30. Jessica M. says:

    5 stars
    I am cooking pigs feet for the first time and my house smells heavenly! I was raised in American not eating odd parts but was always drawn to them. They taste more unique, have amazing texture and are fun to eat. This recipie is really great and I am sure to use it many times! Thank you for sharing!

  31. vivi says:

    Hi Maggie,
    I enjoyed reading your story and recipe even if I have my own way of cooking pig cooking pig trotters.
    Instead of parboiling I braised it to take out the smell. I like boiling it many time over two days (instead of with pressure cooker) with a lot of chinese wine and garlic (and ginger and chilies too) – it makes the infusion of the flavors deeper.

    Many culture including european have pig trotters (and intestine and ect) recipe from the time when food was much harder to get.

    I tried to find the link to your video and your mom recipe collection but unable to do so

  32. Michael says:

    When starvation is close then all sorts of things get eaten. In medieval and renaissance Europe peasants would raise pigs for money. The muscle meat would be sold and the offal would be eaten by the peasant family. Pig intestines were used for sausage casings and the sausage was often kidneys, lungs and other parts of the pig. My wife’s Polish family used pigs’ feet to make studzienina, boiled pigs’ feet in gelatin. Polish peasants faced a similar risk of starvation that Chinese peasants did. As was said of the Armour Meat Packing Company, they used all of the pig except the squeal.

  33. Angie Dun says:

    5 stars
    Made this following your recipe to the “T” tonight! Delicious flavoursome way of braiding pig trotters! Yum! I used to only make the black vinegar version, Hakka style. Thank you for sharing your amazing recipe! 😘

  34. Michelle says:

    Thanks for this recipe. I can’t wait to try it.

    My family is from Jamaica and we love to eat the odd parts too. We ordered this at a restaurant and the waitress tried to warn us off, perhaps thinking we weren’t familiar with pig’’s feet, but I ate them growing up. We tend to prepare pigs’ feet in a garlicky sauce with white beans. However, ginger is very popular in our cuisine. I loved this preparation. It makes the most of the gelatinous texture of the meat and the flavors are fantastic.

  35. Jack Rumbold says:

    5 stars
    Cheers Maggie, loved this recipe. I travelled China for 2 months and ate some amazing food. When I got back to England I tried to recreate my favourites. I’ve managed a passable char siu and my dumplings have been given the thumbs up from two Chinese friends. I’m still after a good book or video on how to make hand pulled noodles though, can you help?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Jack, I’m glad to hear you like the recipe! I do have a hand-pulled noodles recipe: http://omnivorescookbook.com/recipes/hand-pulled-noodles
      It is a family-style recipe and the noodles are tender. It’s not the Chinese street-style hand-pulled noodles (that type adds alkaline in the dough so it’s chewier). Hope you’ll have a chance to give it a try!

  36. Khalid says:

    I think you forgot to add the other ingredients. When does that happen?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Khalid, you will add the rest ingredients in step 3 “Add the rest of the ingredients into wok”. Happy cooking!

  37. Rosita says:

    Hi Maggie, your braised pork’s feet look so delicious with the dark sauce. I would like to know which part were you using, the front trotters or the hind legs. I’d be curious to know that since I haven’t cook pork’s feet before and I would like to try your mom’s recipe. Please advise and thanking you in advance.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Rosita, we usually buy the whole trotters (front and hind legs) and let the butcher cut it into smaller pieces.
      If you can buy them separately, I would definitely recommend hind legs. They have a thin layer of skin and some very tender lean meat plus tendon, a perfect combination. The front trotters are fine too but it’s mostly skin.

  38. Peta says:

    Hi, I’m teyingbthisbrecile tonifht, vut i’m cookingbitbin the slow cooker instead as my wok has just recently broke and I haven’t replaced it with another big one. Wish me luck

  39. Warren Dear says:

    in the middle of the list for ingredients, there is the item listed as “3 cloves” (of what?). Thanks for your help.

  40. Steve says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe, thank you for sharing this! Is there a reason that you don’t put the ingredients together when it’s cooking in the pressure cooker though? I’m just curious as I would think more time cooking/soaking in the ingredients would be better.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Steve, I’m glad to hear you like the dish!
      It’s a family recipe and my mom has been using the method for years so I never thought about it.
      I think one of the reasons is, if the pork feet is not super fresh (happens a lot in China), my mom would discard the broth (it has an unpleasant smell) from the pressure cooker and use water to braise the pork. Also, you will not need all the broth from the pressure cooker, so if you add the seasoning at the beginning, you will lose a lot later because you are only using partial broth. Hope that makes sense.

  41. Susi V says:

    5 stars
    Very delicious! I have to confess I didn’t use the actual pig feet but used this recipe to cook pig knuckles, so still got the tasty sinews and skin but also some extra meat.

    We have a Chinese cookbook with a recipe for a very gingery and rather sweet pig feet stew that is allegedly a popular dish made for womes who have just had a baby. My partner made me a big pot of it after our first son was born. So pig feet have a special place in my heart 🙂

  42. billy says:

    SMILE GIRL SMILE. I have a great asian store in the area with chicken feet ,pig feet, time to reach out and try some new things . Mc Donalds will kill you. We need a food show that uses unconventional food items. There is an opportunity for you. With the insane money people spend on kitchens and stuff we have a new generation of people willing to try new things. Lets them think they are new and influentialtioal. Sorry for the spelling. Get a new REAL food network show going . Go Girl Go

  43. Susi V says:

    5 stars
    I made this pork knuckles rather than pig feet (but very bony ones with plenty of sinew and skin 🙂 Very delicious.

    This recipe reminded me of a recipe we have in a Chinese cookbook of a rather sweet and gingery braised pig feet dish that the authors said was often made for women to nourish them in the week after giving birth. My partner made me a big pot of it after our first son was born, and braised pig feet have had a special place in my heart ever since!

    • Susi V says:

      Oops… I see my previous post did make it – it didn’t show after I originally posted it. Sorry for posting twice!

  44. jenny says:


    Just wondering how you can adapt this recipe for an Instant Pot. Thank you!

  45. Chris Fung says:

    5 stars
    hah mom gin gee gnok?

  46. Ivory says:

    Hi I’m making this for dinner tonight thank you for the recipe I am always looking for recipes from foreign countries I love trying different recipes I live in the usa I grew up eating pigsfeet/ trotters as some call them lol

  47. El says:

    Cna you cook it in the slow cooker?

    • Maggie says:

      I’m pretty sure you can. I would still do the blanch at the beginning so the broth will be clear.

  48. El says:

    Can I use slow cooker? What is dried chilli peppers?

  49. El says:

    Can I use slow cooker? What is dried chilli peppers? Is it freezer friendly?

  50. Susan Ellerbrock says:

    5 stars
    Followed recipe . Wonderful results each time I make it!

  51. Rosita Chua says:

    Hi Maggie, I know this recipe is 6 years old. I don’t know if I will still get a response from you. In this recipe, you failed to mention which pork leg to buy. The front leg or the hind leg? It’s quite important for me to know which part to buy to cook this recipe. Please advise and thank you.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Rosita, this recipe uses pig trotters and I don’t think it matters too much if you use the trotters from front or back leg.
      However if you actually want a pork leg recipe, you can use the front leg and this recipe should work. Or you can use this pork shank recipe here: http://omnivorescookbook.com/braised-pork-shank-with-black-beans

  52. Linda says:

    While I appreciate your efforts to be sensitive, you are offending others who do not consider these types of foods “scary,” “disgusting,” “strange,” and “weird.” In fact, I would argue that there are more cultures who eat “scary” parts than not. The Reader Alert is unnecessary because why would someone search out a recipe for pork hocks if they found that “uncomfortable?”
    I am first generation Taiwanese and I understand cultural differences quite well, but that’s what I consider them–differences. For example, I’m fascinated by the various ways chicken feet are prepared by my Jewish, Italian African, Chinese, Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Taiwanese friends (and those are just the people I know!). I am not easily offended when it comes to such misunderstandings but as I read on, I realized that you have the cultural background (being from Beijing and living in New York) that should give you perspective.
    That being said, I do think your recipes look lovely and authentic and greatly appreciate that you are making them available to us all. I hope that many will open their kitchens to trying some new things and discover all the beautiful flavors, textures, smells and sights unfamiliar dishes have to offer!
    Thank you for your recipes and the opportunity to post here.
    Happy cooking and Happy Year of the Ox!

  53. Peter da Graça says:

    5 stars
    I am born and raised in Indonesia, my great grandmother is Chinese, and I also eat all nasty parts of the animal that we slaughter or buy.
    I like to cook like the old days, like using pork lard instead of butter or oil.

  54. Alisha C Nguyen says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is perfection! Heavenly trotters!

  55. Jason says:

    5 stars
    I used to eat pork trotters as a child when visiting my best friend who happened to be Chinese. This tastes just like what his mom used to make! You have no idea how much nostalgia cooking this recipe brought me. My favourite dish, thank you so much for sharing this!!

  56. Dragan says:

    This recipe is our favorite. Especially during the winter is twice a month. Otherwise, we do consume pork feet prepared by the german recipe. Preference is given to your, Chinese, taste.

  57. Claudette Joanne says:

    I will be trying this recipe tomorrow! Finally found one that I’m comfortable with. I never had pig s feet before!

  58. Dee says:

    Hi Maggie. I love this recipe. Country folk from the world over even in France and Italy love offal and weird sounding, smelling, looking things because taste-wise, they outrank standard cuts for texture, variety and they are economical. They make delicatessen food out of it and too right, I say. I was about to make a ‘cari pat cochon’ a pigs trotters curry from the island of reunion… I’ll make you mum’s best instead. And will let you know. Thanks for a fantastic site.

  59. Ian says:

    I grew up in Hungary where traditionally the whole animal was consumed. Pig trotters were prepared in a paprika sauce, like a goulash. Strangely, horses were a part of our ancient tribal history and no one ever wanted to eat them. Yet during WWII horses were still used to haul big guns and were often killed. Since we the common folks needed meat, we were literally forced to eat horse meat, which is actually quite tasty. In other words, horse meat was considered as a “funny” kind of meat, like pig trotters for some people. After the war it was discovered that horse meat had much less fat than beef, and became an expensive speciality.

  60. Meyer says:

    Hi Maggie,I am making this recipe right now but after 30 minutes the meat still seems tough, and there is still a lot of braising liquid so I don’t know if I should uncover and reduce, or leave covered and continue to braise? I am preparing 1 pig’s foot, cut in half lengthwise. The smell and the taste of the braising liquid are delicious, I just hope I don’t ruin the meat.

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      Just saw this now. It’s totally fine to cover the pot and cook longer. If you braised uncovered and the liquid runs low, you can still add some boiling water without impacting the result too much. Although I wouldn’t add too much water towards the very end. If you ended up with too much broth, you can always use medium high heat to reduce it at the end. Just be careful you need to stir it frequently so the pork doesn’t stick to the bottom.

  61. Crazy Dave says:

    I’m not Chinese, but I love all the weird parts of the animal” cooked in the Chinese style. In fact, mao xue wang is one of my favorite dishes, so eating pigs feet is not a big stretch for me. I followed the recipe as written and it turned out great. I have a heavy cleaver, but I did find chopping the pigs feet to be difficult. Next time I’ll have the butcher cut them up on the band saw. I am gluten sensitive and have a mild allergy to soy, so I used Fu Jian wine instead of Shaoxing and a soy free soy sauce. For the dark soy I mix the soy free soy sauce with Black Strap Molasses. My wife will not touch pig’s feet, so I used 5 xiao mi la chilies and it came out quite hot but not too hot, and I really enjoyed the dish. I like it much hotter than she does!

  62. Jane Doe says:

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe so much!

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