Steamed Yunnan Ham

Steamed Yunnan Ham

Ingredients
3 lb (1 1/2 kg) Yunnan or cured, uncooked Smithfield ham
3 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
5 slices fresh ginger
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) rice wine or dry sherry
2 cups (16 fluid ounces) chicken stock
3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons Szechuan peppercorns
1 lb (500 g) Chinese celery or cabbage

Seasoning
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons rice wine or dry sherry

Directions:
Soak the ham overnight or for at least 8 hours. Use a stiff brush to scrape off any black parts and possible mold.
Steam the ham with the sliced green onions and 5 slices of ginger for approximately 1 1/2 hours (at this point the ham should be soft, but not fully cooked. Drain.
Trim the ham, and score the upper side in a criss cross pattern. Place the ham in a large dish along with the chicken stock, the remaining spring onions and ginger, and the Szechuan peppercorns. Steam for about 1 1/2 hours. Reserve about 3/4 cup of the steaming liquid.
Rinse the Chinese celery, and chop it into pieces approximately 2 inches long. Blanch and add the seasoning ingredients. Simmer until the celery is tender. Drain and set aside.
Strain the reserved steaming liquid into a wok and bring to a boil. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, and add a bit of cornstarch and water if desired, stirring to thicken.
Serve the ham scored side upwards, surrounded by the Chinese celery. Pour the liquid over the ham.