Mar 7, 2024

Something I Made for Chinese New Year's Eve - Braised Pork Knuckle and Daikon

It's becoming a tradition that I'm in charge of one dish for Chinese New Year's Eve dinner. Braised pork knuckles, that's the plan for this year. After hearing my proposal, auntie expressed her deep interest in adding daikon to the pork knuckles. Wish well received, and that's why you might find quite a number of daikon here in order to feed the entire family. 

Braised pork knuckle and daikon 滷豬腳蘿蔔 - 

Braised pork knuckle and daikon


  • 16 pork knuckles
  • 425 grams pork belly
  • 2 daikon radish
  • 6 to 8 stalks scallion
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 1 chunk ginger
  • 2 red chilies
  • 2 to 3 star anise
  • 2 tablespoons preferred cooking oil
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup Chinese rice cooking wine
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon crystal sugar


Burn any leftover hair from the pork knuckles if any. Slice the pork belly to big chunks. Trim the ends of daikon then peel and cut into big chunks. Destem the scallion and tie them into two knots, or one big knot. Peel the garlic cloves. Slice the ginger, about 2mm thickness, we will need about 4 slices here. 

Daikon for the braised pork knuckle

Prepare a big pot of water and add in the pork knuckles. 

Pre-boiling pork knuckles and pork belly

Bring the water to a boil then lower the heat a bit to keep it at a light bubbling stage. Continue to boil the meat for 5 more minutes. Once ready, drain and rinse-off the foamy bits.

Foamy bits from boiling pork knuckles and pork belly

Bring out another big pot, I use a big wok here. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil and switch to medium heat. Transfer the scallion knots, garlic cloves, ginger slices, and red chilies over. Sear till the garlics get a nice brown color but not burnt.

Searing Asian aromatics for braised pork

Add in 2 tablespoons of sugar, continue to sear but move around the ingredients a bit till the sugar has been melted and turn close to caramel color.

Searing Asian aromatics including sugar for braised pork

Add in prepped meat, including the pork knuckles and the pork belly. Sear for few minutes.

Searing pork knuckles and pork belly with Asian aromatics

Add in soy sauce, oyster sauce, Chinese rice cooking wine, star anises, and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to keep it at a light bubbling stage. 

Put the lid on and cook for one hour. Remember to move around these ingredients once a while.

Making braised pork knuckles

Open up the lid and add in daikon. Sometimes not all the daikon can be soaked under the sauce, which is fine, just remember to move around the ingredients once a while to ensure even braising. 

Adding daikon to braised pork knuckles

Keep the lid on and cook for another hour plus 20 minutes.

When time's up, remove the lid and give it a taste test. Adjust the seasonings if needed. Towards the end, pick out the scallion and ginger slices if you can locate them. 

Making braised pork knuckle and daikon

Add some crystal sugar to give the meat a bit shine. Now this time around you can just ignore the lid and continue to braise for the last 20 more minutes, or till the sauce thickens a bit more. I also like to test and see if the braise is ready by poking a chopstick through the skin of a pork knuckle. If it enters the skin easily, then I know it's about time. 

Sorry for the picture lighting. As you can see this braise took me few hours to make, so by the time I'm done, the sun has already started setting, thus poor color balance. 

Braised pork knuckle and daikon

Have you noticed that I actually added boneless and skinless pork belly chunks to the mix? That's for people who's not really into pork knuckles. So on top of pork knuckles, there's daikon for auntie and simple chunky meat for others. Everybody's happy.

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