Pork Knuckles and Ginger Stew

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Pork Knuckles and Ginger Stew
Pork Knuckles and Ginger Stew

Pork Knuckles and Ginger Stew (Chinese: 豬腳薑; pinyin: zhū jiǎo jiāng; Jyutping: zyu1 goek3 goeng1) is a traditional Cantonese cuisine.


[1] In early Ming Dynasty, there was a butcher who married a very pretty, kind and gumptious girl. Although they had married for several years, they still did not have any child. In the feudalistic society, there are three unfilial acts; bearing no descendant is by far the most unforgivable. Therefore, the butcher’s mother forced them to divorce.

The wife was heartbroken and moved to a hut in the hill. Surprisingly, she found that she was pregnant.

The butcher still loved his wife and visited her. When he got the news of her pregnancy, he was afraid that his wife and the newborn baby would be malnourished, hence he brought her some unsold pork knuckles and put them in a big pot with a lot of sweet vinegar as well as some ginger and eggs and stewed them.

After several years, the child finally grew up. The wife also forgave the butcher’s mother. She brought her son back home and asked her son to take along with the sweet vinegar pot as a gift to his grandmother. His grandmother was so happy to see him.

Thereafter, whenever a baby is born, the family will make the sweet vinegar pot and share it with its friends and neighbor.


Pork Knuckles and Ginger Stew is not an everyday Chinese cuisine. It is a traditional postnatal healthy food in Guangzhou, China region, aids to fortify women after giving birth. It helps the recovery of maternal health from the fatigue of pregnancy in the first forty days of post-partum confinement[2] which is also known as choe yuet (坐月)[3] in Cantonese.

According to Cantonese custom, pork knuckles and ginger stew is used to celebrate the birth of a child. The new parents will distribute this dish to their relatives and friends to herald the arrival of the newborn twelve days after the baby's birth.


The ingredients used in making pork knuckles and ginger stew are nutritious which help the new mother to recover.

As large amount of calcium that stored in bones of the pork knuckles will be dissolved by the vinegar in the cooking process,the major nutrition value of the dish is to replenish the lost of calcium in pregnancy. Moreover, not only is ginger rich in Vitamin C, which helps to strengthen the mother's immune system, it also has the function of removing the “wind”,[4] which is known as "Fong" in Cantonese, that is generated during childbirth and when the body is at its weakest. Eggs provide the new mother with large amount of protein which is especially good for repairing muscles.[5] However, it should be noted that a bowl of pork knuckles and ginger stew have nearly 600 kcal[6]

Ingredients and recipe[edit]

Most pork knuckles and ginger stew include: pig trotters, ginger, sweet vinegar, eggs, salt, and oil.


  1. Wash the ginger, peel off the skin and slice into thick pieces and set aside.
  2. Fry the ginger on high heat with oil and salt for about five minutes.
  3. Remove the hair and boil the trotters in water until they are cooked through. Rinse and fry it with salt(without oil), then set aside.
  4. Put the ginger and trotters into the clay pot, and add the sweet vinegar. Boil it on high heat until it is boiling. Then turn to low heat for about 20 minutes.
  5. Peel the eggs and add them into the pot. Turn off the stove after 10 minutes. Then put it aside for a day. Reheat it when serve.

There is also an YouTube clip produced by Pak Chun demonstrating how to cook Pork Knuckles and Ginger Stew[8] in Cantonese.

Modern Ways of Distribution[edit]

As a traditional ritual, families make the stew themselves, sometimes according to their own family secret recipe. In modern times, due to higher working rate, people can spare less time for the time-consuming preparation and procedures. In Hong Kong, Chinese herbal franchises like Hung Fook Tong and vinegar making company Pat Chun have started selling ready-to-eat pork knuckle stew.

In 2013 February, Hung Fook Tong launched a promotion [9] selling vouchers for a pot of the delicacy.

As for Pat Chun,[10] customers can order pots of fresh stew and enjoy delivery from the shops.


  1. ^ Lin Shaoyong, "The legend of Pork Knuckles and Ginger Stew", The legend states: "Guangdong Yangcheng Evening News", 17/1/2009
  2. ^ Pat Chun, "New babies : information for expecting mothers", Pat Chun International Limited",25/10/2012
  3. ^ Howzit Hong Kong, "Pork Knuckles & Ginger Stew", 18/1/2011
  4. ^ Apple Daily,"產後兩周食薑醋 勿加豬腳 (having Ginger Stew two weeks after delivery, but not to add pork knuckles) ""Apple Daily", 27/5/2012
  5. ^ Pat Chun, "New babies : information for expecting mothers", Pat Chun International Limited",25/10/2012
  6. ^ Olivia, "豬腳薑熱量超高 產後補身要識食 (pork knuckles and ginger stew has high calories, eat healthy and well after delivery) ""The Sun (newspaper)",19/11/2011
  7. ^ Lee Wing Yee,"女人的至爱———猪脚姜醋 ("Women's favourite - pork knuckles and ginger stew ","Yancheng Evening News",22/4/2010
  8. ^ Pat Chun, "Pat Chun International - 八珍豬腳薑製造程序短片(The making process of Pat Chun pork knuckles and ginger stew) ", You Tube, 11/6/2011
  9. ^ Hung Fook Tong Holdings Limited, [1], 2012
  10. ^ Pak Chun Limited, [2], 25/10/2012

External links[edit]

  • zh:豬腳薑 豬腳薑 维基百科,自由的百科全书(pork knuckles and ginger stew in Wikipedia Chinese)