09 May 2013

Braised Pork Belly

Braised pork belly.  You don't need me to tell you this is delicious.  But I should tell you that it was AMAZING.  And you too can make it at home.  No more paying an arm and a leg and some trendy restaurant for small pieces of fatty pig.  I eat pork belly in my own home.  I just gotta figure out how not to eat this everyday.

You can of course find pork belly nearly everywhere in the states, but HERE, in Japan, it's literally everywhere, and it's pretty cheap for a nice hunk of it.  Pork is a big deal here, so you can easily find ANY part you could think of.

I would recommend doubling the recipe, because I promise that you'll be sneaking pieces while it's cooking. And it's not often meat makes amazing leftovers, but this is equally as good the following day.  For breakfast.  

Mmmm...braised pork belly for breakfast.  It's what dreams are made of!

I served mine with steamed baby bok choy (you know, balancing out the meal a little) and some white rice.  The garlic on the side of the picture is what I strained out of the sauce.  Oh, the sauce!!! That's a whole thing in itself.  You really need some steamed greens and white rice to absorb all the wonderfulness.  Just do it.

Unrelated, as of last month, Kacey's Kitchen blog has been alive and running for 4 years!!!!  Now...go make some pork belly!!!

Red Braised Pork Belly
By Joy Zhang adapted from Red Cook
Printable Recipe

  • 2 lb. pork belly meat cut into two inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups a light beer or water
  • 3 slices of ginger
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 7 cloves of garlic peeled
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce 
  • 1/2 cup Shaoxing wine 
  1. In a large pot, heat beer or water with slices of ginger over high heat until boiling. Place cubes of pork into boiling water and cook for 15 minutes. This process helps remove the scum from the meat, using a spoon, slowly remove the gunk that floats to the surface and discard. Strain meat and ginger with a fine sieve and be sure to reserve the stock. Set boiled cubes of meat and ginger aside. 
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons sugar and the vegetable oil in a medium pot over medium high heat. Continue heating until the sugar is slightly brown. About 3 minutes. Put the cubed pork in the pot and brown it with the caramelized sugar. About 8 minutes.
  3. Put the reserved pieces of ginger, remaining sugar, garlic, star anise, dark soy sauce, rice wine and reserved stock into the pot with the meat. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat. Cook for about 40-50 minutes. Stir the meat every 15 minutes to make sure the bottom of the pot does not get burnt. Remove the meat from the mixture with slotted spoon and set aside in a large bowl. Remove the cover and turn the heat to medium high and cook for another 15-20 minutes until the sauce reduces to a smooth consistency. Pour over pork belly when ready to serve. 
  4. This dish, like most stew dishes, is better if left overnight and reheated the next day. But if you can’t wait then plate it in a shallow bowl and garnish with shredded scallion and sprigs of cilantro.
  5. Also feel free to use Rock Sugar in place of regular sugar for a shinier glaze.

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