Pork belly is a staple in Chinese cuisine; it is such a versatile meat and besides being delicious on its own, it can be used to add wonderful flavour to most dishes. This dish is simple yet super delicious and that sticky sweetness will be a treat for all the senses.
1kg pork belly
300g semi firm tofu, cubed
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp tamari
4cm piece of ginger; half grated half thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp Chinese five spice
2 shallots finely sliced
1 spring onion, finely sliced
350g green beans
200g Brussel sprouts
200g MeeSua noodles
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Sesame oil to drizzle
1 tbsp sesame seeds to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan forced. Line a large baking tray with paper.
2. Begin by patting the pork belly dry and slicing it into 1.5cm thick strips. Slce off 3 strips of the rind and reserve. Slice each strip into 3cm pieces.
3. Place a large deep-set pan (with a lid) on the stove over a high heat; add some olive oil and pan fry the pork till it begins to brown (about 5mins). To the pork, add the brown sugar, tamari, sliced ginger, grated ginger, garlic, vinegar, five spice and pepper. Sauté the pork until the sauce has reduced and coated the pork, about 15mins.
4.Boil 1.25ltrs of water, add it to the pan with the pork till the pork is fully submerged. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 hour. Stir the ork in 10 min intervals to make sure it is well coated.
5. Meanwhile take the remaining strips of rind and pat dry. Season well with salt and place on a lined baking tray. Place the strips under the grill, rotate the strips till they have bubbled to a crunch golden brown. Keep a close eye on them not to burn. Rest aside to fully cool.
6. Once the pork liquid has reduced, add the cubed tofu and mix till well coated and turn the heat down to low.
7. Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add the noodles and cook till tender; about 2mins. Strain the noodles and rinse well under cold water to prevent them from overcooking and sticking.
8. Return the pot to the stove and bring water to the boil. Finely slice the green beans length ways and thinly slice the brussel sprouts. Blanch the beans and sprouts till darkened in colour approx. 1min and then immediately strain and rinse in cold water to prevent overcooking. Drizzle with sesame oil and rest aside.
To serve; in a large dish, layer the noodles followed ny the sliced beans and sprouts. Add the marinated pork and tofu; garnish with spring onion, sesame seeds, chilli flakes and your favourite micro herbs. Break up the delicious pork crackle and sprinkle generously over just before serving.
You can use pork spareribs in this recipe and other cuts through don't skimp on the rind and fatty trim, it adds so much flavour to the dish.
To add extra zing to this dish, serve with your favourite chilli condiment and a wedge of lime.
Recipe by Sara Stidwill from Dukkah and Spice
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