Chinese takeout lunches as a rule are fast, convenient, filling and economical. We in America know them as a Styrofoam container loaded with heaps of white rice, and topped with a gooey sticky stir-fry. Sometimes accompanied by a grease soaked fried spring roll. Although the quality of these lunches is not always consistent they are mostly tasty and satisfying. I’m not ashamed to say that I occasionally enjoy them as well. But are there homemade alternatives that can be more fulfilling than these quintessential takeout lunches? One answer is red cooked pork over rice.
Served as a meal in a bowl, the pork is often accompanied by red cooked egg and vegetables. This is a good simple lunch that can be packed in a lunch box for work. A microwave oven is the only requirement to reheat.
Peeled hard-boiled eggs are regularly added to red cooked pork towards the end of cooking. The eggs absorb the braising liquid and develop into incredibly flavorful morsels. These eggs can be eaten individually as snacks or served as part of a meal. They are in my opinion the most delectable hard-boiled eggs of all times.
To make red cooked eggs I would add ten to twelve hard-boiled eggs to the pot of red cooked pork about twenty minutes before the end of cooking. Add an extra cup of water or stock to the pot so the eggs can absorb some of the braising liquid.
Two months ago I was introduced to Eggland’s Best packaged Hard-Cooked Peeled Eggs during a presentation of their products. My immediate reaction admittedly was of indignant disbelief. Why would anyone even consider purchasing peeled eggs I thought? Isn’t peeling eggs one of the easiest tasks to accomplish in the kitchen? Well it seems convenience is a very subjective matter. When I showed these eggs to my neighbors and friends I detected two completely opposite reactions. There were those who simply adored them, and those, like me, who thought them ridiculous.
But this skeptic’s misgivings disappeared when I opened the package and simply dropped the eggs directly into a pot of simmering red cooked pork. I was delighted not to have to spend an additional half an hour cooking and peeling. The question to answer then is what price for convenience? This I think can only be answered by each individual cook.