I cook with pork belly at home about 2-3 times a month, and last night, I tried out a new recipe for a Vietnamese version of braised pork using coconut juice. I was a little intrigued by the use of this new ingredient, but the dish turned out delicious with the subtle sweetness of the coconut juice coming through the soy and fish sauce flavoured broth. As I didn't have fresh coconut juice, I substituted it with Ayam Brand canned coconut juice instead. This dish will be a family favourite from now on! Here's the recipe:
Vietnamese Braised Pork Belly with Coconut Juice
(Adapted from SBS Food)
1 kg pork belly (not too fatty), cut into 3 cm cubes or slices
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3-4 shallots (small brown onion bulbs), finely chopped
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1½ tbsp dark soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
½ tsp cracked black pepper
2 tbsp palm sugar or dark brown sugar (or substitute with white sugar)
2 stalks green/spring onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
½ white onion, finely diced
3 cups young coconut juice (not milk or cream!)
1 cup water (or just enough to cover the pork)
8 hard boiled eggs, peeled
Coriander, to garnish
Combine pork belly, garlic, shallot, fish sauce, soy sauces, oyster sauce, pepper, sugar and green/spring onions. Add to marinade. Marinate pork for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Heat vegetable oil in heavy based pan and brown onion. Remove pork from marinade and add to the pan and seal over high heat. Add coconut juice, marinade and water.
Bring pan to the boil and skim surface. Simmer for 2 hours (or until tender) on low heat (skimming occasionally) and add eggs just 15 minutes before serving. Add salt to taste if necessary. Garnish with coriander and serve with steamed Jasmine rice.