Twice-Cooked Sticky Pork Belly

I have no idea what to write here. Just enjoy making this! 🔪


over 120mins
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Ingredients for servings

    for the pork

  • 4 tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp fish sauce

  • 2 whole scallions, roughly chopped

  • 1 tsp chili pepper flakes

  • 1 star anise

  • 0.5 tsp Szechuan peppercorns

  • 200 g chicken soup substitute with water + bouillon cube

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 3 pieces ginger, crushed

  • 1 kg pork belly best with skin still on

  • for the sauce

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce

  • 3 tbsp mirin see note

  • 8 tbsp cold water

  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 1 tbsp fish sauce

  • 1 clove(s) garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 piece(s) ginger; finely chopped

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C if you’re doing this in the oven.

  • Start by taking your chunk of pork belly and, using a chef’s knife or the equivalent, slice it into 2cm-thick slices as evenly as you can. Use long even strokes and don’t press down on the knife—allow the edge to do the work for you – this may take slightly longer, but the cuts will be much more even. Then, cut them into 10cm slabs (this way you’ll have one full slab in your bun).

  • Take the slabs and season them with salt and pepper, then heating up a pan on high heat with some oil and giving them some color on each side. No need to cook them completely, as we’re just building flavor now.

  • Completely optional, but I like to toast the ginger, chili, garlic, star anise, and peppercorns in a pot just before the next step.

  • Combine the soup, soy sauce, fish sauce, crushed ginger, chili flakes, Szechuan peppercorns, star anise, scallions, and crushed garlic directly in the pot/pan you’re going to use.

  • Put the pork belly slices in the marinade.

  • Oven: cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven to cook for 2 hours.

  • Slow cooker: cook on high for 4 hours.

  • Instant pot: cover and lock the lid. Make sure the steam release handle points at ‘sealing’ and not ‘venting’. Press the ‘Keep Warm/Cancel’ button on the Instant Pot to stop cooking. Press the “Manual” button to switch to the pressure cooking mode. Change the cooking time to 35 minutes. If you’re using a stove-top pressure cooker like I do, cook on high heat until high pressure is reached. Then reduce the heat to low to maintain high pressure for about 30 minutes.

  • After one of your methods is done, remove the pork into a pan to fit them all, and strain the reserve broth into a separate bowl. We will be using this soon.

  • Pork Sauce

  • Combine the water, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, finely chopped ginger, and finely chopped garlic in a different bowl and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add to the aforementioned broth.

  • Fry the pork belly for 2-4 minutes on one side (they should still be moist enough from the broth so no oil needed). Pour the marinade over pork belly and use the pan to get it in all nooks and crannies. As the pork should be very tender right now, using a fork or tongs to move it around would break it.

  • Cook down until about half the liquid remains, about 10-15 minutes, depending on your stove. Serve hot or cold on buns or hot dog buns.

Notes

To replace mirin, the Japanese sweet rice wine, you need a combination of acidic and sweet flavors. Add between 1 and 2 tablespoons of sugar to 1/2 cup of white wine, vermouth, or dry sherry for an equivalent of 1/2 cup of mirin.

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