Aaaah…Pork Belly. This is probably the tastiest, most versatile and sexy cut of meat from any part of the beast (and for that matter, from any animal) in my opinion. There is so much you can do with it (and after all it gives us STREAKY BACON), and in my opinion is also probably the most forgiving.
Why do I say forgiving? Well it is just the right combination of beautiful pork fat and meat, and when you cook it the fat renders into a crispy delight…BUT, if you leave it in for too long…well its not a train smash – it will be a bit crispier, but because of the fat it will still be juicy!
Because I love this cut so much, I will be using it for a number of recipes over the next three6five days.
For this recipe I am using a piece of pork belly without the skin (this is a good place to start because to get the skin crispy, with the best crackling, does take a bit of effort and technique – but I will show you in a later recipe how to do this).
I cannot say that this comes from any specific Asian region as I use a combination of ingredients from China, Japan and Korea to create something that is just great.
I generally like eating this with fresh Asian style salad or even kimchi (will show you how I make kimchi in a later recipe), or even delicate rice paper rolls (see my next recipe tomorrow for this).
But you enjoy it anyway you like!
ALLERGY NOTE: This recipe contains Sesame Oil – if you are allergic to sesame seeds, you can substitute it for olive oil.
See the photo examples of the following products in the “HOW TO” section below.
- Korean Red Pepper Powder – available at most Asian stores, but you can substitute it for normal dried chilli flakes – but the Korean version has a definitive smokey/ spicy flavour note;
- Ponzu Sauce – available at most Asian stores. This is basically soy sauce that is infused with citrus. If you cannot find this sauce, then you can mix light soy sauce with your favourite citrus on a ration of 1:1 (I like lemon);
- Sriracha – These days this is as readily available as Tobacco sauce. It is a Thai chilli sauce – there is no real substitute for this, but if you cannot find Sriracha then substitute with your favourite chilli sauce;
- Tamarind Sauce – available at most Asian stores, this is an sauce used in Indian cuisine. Made from tamarind, it is both bitter and sweet. There is no real substitute for this, but if you cannot find it I suggest replacing it with Hoisin Sauce (also available in most Asian stores);
- Sushi Vinegar Rice – available at most Asian stores, this is sweetened rice vinegar. It is ready made and easy to use, but if you cannot find this you can easily make your own by boiling some rice vinegar and sugar (on a ratio of 1:1) and letting it cool down completely before use.