Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yes you can do - Crispy Pork Belly

Pork Belly dishes have become quite a trend these days. We are not afraid of eating this luscious meat. Jarg used to turn his face when I mention my wish of cooking Pork Belly. Ever since I introduced him to BBQ Crispy Pork in China Town, his new taste bud developed. I successfully converted him which means I can cook this meat at home and don't have to eat it alone, yippy! This recipe is one of Jarg's favorites today. He would even request it time to time.

This time I am sharing with you a dish which I kind of borrow from different recipes combine the memory of my Grand Mother's caramelized Crispy Pork Crackling which we used to snack on when we were kids. It is Thai-Chinese joint venture like my ancestors. The dish requires 3 different methods of cooking: boil, fry and caramelize. The cooking process will reduce the very large amount of fat. So you need not to feel guilty about it. At the end you will have crackling and soft & crunchy meat with slightly spiced sweet and salty with touch of tangy.

Some ingredients such Palm Sugar and Black Vinegar can be purchase in Asian market. Please add them to you shopping list next time you visit Asian shop. It's useful to have these two in your kitchen cabinet.
I admit, it is time consuming in preparing this dish. You may do the first step of boiling in advance. I guarantee - you will LOVE it. It is worth your time spending in the kitchen...perhaps having a nice glass of sherry while you are cooking this wonderful dish and enjoy the process. This recipe was put together with true passion...xxx

Caramelized Crispy Pork Belly
Ca. 4 persons

Ca. 500 grams Pork Belly about 1-1 ½ cm thick each
1 tablespoon White Vinegar
Water enough to cover plus 2 cm over pork belly
3 Tablespoons chopped Scallion/Spring Onion
1 ½ Table spoons shredded Ginger
1 Teaspoon chopped Garlic
3-4 Dried Chili Pepper
1 Red Chili Pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips for garnish
3 tablespoons Palm Sugar
1 tablespoon Fish Sauce
2 tablespoons light Soy Sauce
1 shot glass dry Sherry or Chinese Cooking Wine
1 Teaspoon Chinese Black Vinegar or Red Wine Vinegar


Prepare the Pork: boil and fry
1.       In medium sauce pan, add water, vinegar and pork belly over medium-high heat.
2.      Let it boil and reduce the heat to medium. Take out white scum/foam with mesh spoon. Continue cooking for about 40 minutes. This will get rid of strong pork flavor and tenderize the meat and skin.
3.      Take off the heat and the pot cool down for at least 30 minutes. Take out pork belly and let it drain. You can prepare this step a day or so in Advance – wrap the pork and refrigerate.
4.      Cut the cooked pork belly into 3 cm  pieces
5.      Heat non stick pan on medium heat, add pork belly on single layer and let it fry in its own fat until crispy and brown and turn. This process can take up to 10-12 minutes depend on the thickness of the pork belly.
6.      After both sides are brown and crisp, take out and put on paper towel to absorb the extra fat.
Caramelized the pork belly
1.      Using the same pan and oil from frying. Pour out the fat leave about 2 tablespoons for the sauce. Over medium heat, add dried Chili and cooking for 1 minute then takeout the chili. 
2.      Add Scallion and Garlic. Fry it for about 3-4 minutes.
3.      Add Ginger, Palm Sugar, Soy Sauce, Fish Sauce, Vinegar and Sherry then reduce heat to low-medium. Let the sauce cook and thicken for about 5-6 minutes. Check flavor – Sweet and Salty and add adjust.
4.      Add Crispy Pork Belly and fried Chili to the sauce and mix well until all pieces are coated with sauce.
5.      Put Caramelized Crispy Pork Belly to serving plate and top with Red Chili.
Serving Suggestion
Serve with steamed Jasmine Rice and Steamed Vegetables such Broccoli and Carrots for a complete one dish meal.

No comments: