Smoked Ham Hock with Hot Black Bean Sauce

by Henry Chung (from Henry Chung's Hunan Style Cookbook)

Since we are at this point unable to get the celebrated smoked ham of Hunan in the United States, we have found some good substitutes: smoked ham hock, Canadian bacon, picnic ham, smoked pork shoulder, or lean American bacon. I have fooled a lot of Chinese friends into thinking they are eating smoked Hunan ham by steaming a slab of American bacon for an hour and then slicing it. In Hunan ham hock is a precious meat, because it has very little fat and has a wonderful taste.

Cut into 1" pieces.

Place the ham hocks in a pot. Cover with water and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until you can separate the meat and bone with a fork. Remove the ham hocks from water and allow them to cool. Remove the bones and slice meat into 1" slices.

Heat a wok for 1 minute over high heat. Add oil. When oil is smoking hot, add black beans and garlic and mash them together.

Stir in the ham-hock slices. Add green pepper, soy sauce, hot red pepper powder, and chicken broth, and stir continuously until blended. Add scallions and salt. Served hot, it is delicious.