Recipe : Pig’s trotter with vinegar (Chinese confinement food)

I had been meaning to share this recipe for a long time but each time, I can’t get a decent photo.  The above is an old-old photo which I cooked during my confinement.  I used beef tendons and also gluten balls in place of pig’s trotter.


1 pig’s trotter (remember to ask for pig’s trotter and not leg because leg is very fat) –weighs around 600-800 grams
1 bottle of sweetened vinegar (it is sweetened vinegar and not black vinegar)

5-6 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 large handful of black fungus (the thick, big ones) soaked

3 tablespoon of brown sugar
6-8 dried chillies

salt to taste

1 large piece of ginger, break into smaller pieces, skinned and bruised (pic below is how big the ginger should be)

Method :

  1. Clean pig’s trotter really clean, removing hairs and any funny discolouration, quick boil in hot water
  2. Heat a thick pot with sesame oil and fry ginger pieces and dried chillies
  3. Add in pig’s trotter, black fungus and vinegar
  4. Note that no water is needed unless you can’t cover the pig’s trotter with the vinegar.  Add just enough because you do not want to dilute the soup too much.
  5. Boil over low fire for several hours until the meat is tender

If you like, boil several eggs, peel and add into the soup when it is cooked.

I had done this with beef tendons which give me very tasty results and so does gluten balls.  (some whitish, rubbery balls bought fresh from vegetarian supplies store)

This is one of the staple of Chinese post-natal mom’s food.  My mom told me that it is supposed to make post-natal mom lactate more and true enough, I did experience an increase in milk production.  Anyway, this is a very delicious dish and keeps well.  The addition of chillies and black fungus make it less oily.  If you are afraid of the oil, just leave the dish in a fridge and remove the white, hard lard.

Post Author: lilian

Used to be PenangFaces, now known as Food Haven, for all oink-oink foods

13 thoughts on “Recipe : Pig’s trotter with vinegar (Chinese confinement food)


    (August 2, 2006 - 8:24 am)

    We use lean meat as well as pig’s trotter but the ratio is more lean meat. Also, minus the chilli and fungus.

    Note: It must be made using those ceramic/pottery pots (tastes better) where once you use it to make this, you cannot use it for anything else – otherwise the flavour will run.


    (August 2, 2006 - 11:59 am)

    *wiping saliva* My all time fav oink-oink! But-hor, an aunty taught me to use black vinegar + rock sugar instead. Todate, I have not tried yet, so dono whether it’ll b d same.


    (August 3, 2006 - 12:24 pm)

    Mum was quite happy to know that I did not like the dish. So she need not cook it. That also perhaps explain why my milk production was low.


    (August 4, 2006 - 4:53 pm)

    WMD, me too lah :p i dunch like this dish


    (August 7, 2006 - 11:49 am)

    what is the difference between leg & trotter?


    (August 7, 2006 - 3:36 pm)

    mia – trotter is the two front legs and they are more tendons, meat than fats whilst the two legs behind are mostly fats and usually very big. Cantonese call it chee sou (pig’s hands) and chee keok (pig’s legs)

    babe & WMD – It is really tasty but you have to find one that is cooked well or else the smell of the vinegar is very overpowering. It is addicitived to drink the soup, you know?

    tummythoz – You mean the black vinegar for sharksfin? I thot that is a little too strong smell lah. If you tried, do tell me how it taste.

    Mei – The black fungus is good for ‘cleaning the dirty blood’ of a post-partum moms and the dried chillies actually to enhance the taste so it is not so jelak. I don’t have claypots so I use stainless steel pots only.

    jannete chan

    (November 1, 2006 - 9:35 am)

    i found using 100% of sweetened vinegar makes the gravy too sweet. i have tried using 50% of sweetened vinegar and 50% of black vinegar. and the taste was excellent.


    (February 5, 2008 - 11:57 am)

    I am such a fan of these, I got my helper to learn it, now she’s addicted to it too! Make them about once every two months… yummy and so appetizing!

    […] I adore pig’s trotter. I ate several during confinement, i.e. the post-natal period. The pig’s trotter with black vinegar is not only tasty, it gives me lots of breastmilk. Like my mom who advocated it to me, “It […]


    (April 19, 2009 - 5:34 pm)

    recipe from the old days; 1 trotter, 1 bottle sweeteened vinegar, 1 kg of ginger and teelseed oil for frying. But over the years, i modify the recipe to include 1 bottle of water, garlic for frying. taste perfect, specially on rainy days. by the way, the ginger i blend into juice.


    (May 6, 2009 - 10:50 pm)

    Thanks for the recipe.
    Could you tell me where you get the beef tendons? Thanks.
    I live in PJ.


    (July 10, 2009 - 2:39 pm)

    Can i use chicken as replacement?


    (April 7, 2010 - 11:52 am)

    I’m an Irish Catholic, married into a Chinese family. My mother-in-law always made pig’s feet soup for me after I gave birth and I always had lots of milk. I’m 71 years old now, and last week saw some nice pigs feet in the market, so went to Honolulu Chinatown for black vinegar and the block brown sugar. I’m going to try it in the slow cooker.

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