I am a scientist who loves to cook because there are many similarities between working in a lab and cooking in a kitchen. I love to share my cooking experience with you and to inspire others to cook.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fragant Spicy Pork Belly

I learned this dish from  (http://wendyinkk.blogspot.com)

This recipe was designed for 4 servings, but I managed only 2 servings because I am trying to eat more. I would suggest that you adjust the portion accordingly

Main ingredient: 1.5lb pork belly

Thumb size ginger, peeled, sliced
2 shallots, peeled , roughly chopped
2 sprig green onion, white parts only (I am yet to understand why but this is what the recipe requested), chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 dried chillies, seeds removed, more if you like it extra spicy
1 star anise
small pinch of szechuan peppercorn

2 Tbsp Hot Bean Paste (豆瓣酱)
1 Tbsp cooking wine
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar


       1. I removed the skin from the pork belly. You can leave it on if you like it that way.
       2. Slice the pork belly into roughly the width of your thumb. 
       3. Chopped the aromatics - ginger, shallots, garlic, green onion, dried chilies. Set aside.
The aromatics

       3. Mix the seasoning (EXCEPT SUGAR) in a bowl and set aside.

1.  Boil a pot of water and cook the pork belly until it turns white.

2.  Pour the water away and rinse the pork a few times. Make sure you drain it properly. Set aside.

3.   Heat some oil in a pan (or wok) and return the cooked pork into the hot oil (beware of splashing oil if your pork is still wet). Spread the pork into one layer. Leave it cooking like this for 1 minute. The purpose is to brown the pork.

4.  Start tossing/stirring the pork in the pan.

5.  Put all the aromatics in the pan. Keep tossing or stirring for one minute

6.  Put in all the seasoning (without the sugar). Keep tossing and stirring for another minute.

7.  Put in just enough water to cover the pork. Bring the water to boil, cover with lid and turn the heat to medium to simmer until meat is tender
Simmering the pork belly

8.   When meat is tender (about 20 minutes, or just try a piece of meat), put in the sugar. (TIP: I suggest that you put in small quantity at a time until the sweetness is slightly bellow your normal preferred sweetness. Reason is that you will continue to cook the sauce down and it will become sweeter when more water evaporates).

9.   Turn on high heat and reduce the sauce to preferred consistency. 
10. Serve.

Image from http://wendyinkk.blogspot.com

Taste Verdict:
I was fully surprised when I tasted this dish. The meat and the fatty layer were equally tender.
This dish tasted so good that I can't wait to try it again. The only small modification I would made 
is to add 1 more dried chilli pepper. 

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