Friday, September 10, 2010

Twice-cooked Pork Belly, two-ways

Since the kids came along, I always have to make sure there is something on the dinner table that the kids will eat. That means no spicy food and no leafy green vegetables. Sometimes, I have to prepare a separate dish for them just to please their palates (otherwise they will insist on getting fish and chips or naan). Last night, I decided to use up the slab of pork belly sitting in the freezer, and instead of the usual soy-braised pork that has almost become a staple for the kids (and us too), I thought I'd do a twice-cooked version of it. Killing two birds with one stone. I'd do half of it spicy, and the other half, non-spicy for the kids.

First the meat had to be boiled/poached first so that it's tender. Then it was left to cool before I cut it into thin slices. I divided them into two portions, and with one half of the portion, I stir-fried it with a teriyaki base that I prepared using soy, sugar, mirin and sake. With the other half, it was a stir-fry with garlic, red capsicum, hoisin, oyster sauce, sugar, pepper and salted fish, and also chilli paste for some heat. I had run out of ginger, otherwise that would have gone in as well. Both versions were delicious, and all prepared using the same method but different ingredients. And minimal washing up to do!

Recipe (approximation):

900g pork belly

Version I: Teriyaki sauce:

1 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup mirin
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sake
1 tbsp water
Version II: The other sweet and spicy sauce:
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
1½ tbsp hoisin sauce
½ tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp chinese cooking wine
1 tbsp fried salted fish, chopped (otherwise you can use salted bean paste)
Chilli paste
2 tbsp water
Dash of salt to taste
Red/green capsicum, sliced into thin strips
Place the whole pork in a pot of boiling water and simmer for about 1½ to 2 hours till tender, remove and let it cool, then slice thinly. Divide into 2 half portions (sauce recipe above is for 450g pork).
Fry the garlic and ginger, (then for Version II, add salted fish and capsicum and fry for a minute), then pour in sauce ingredients and bring to boil. Then add sliced pork and toss till evenly coated and sauce thickens. Add more water if necessary. Taste for seasoning. Dish up and garnish with chopped spring onions and coriander leaves.

Sliced pork belly stir-fried with salted fish, capsicum and chilli
Thinly sliced pork belly coated in teriyaki sauce