Twice Cooked Pork Belly

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Red Spice Pork belly

Have you ever had a taste of a dish that blew your mind so much that you obsessed about it? Something that you just needed to be able to make, so that you could satisfy your cravings? This is one of them for me. My first taste was in Melbourne, at Red Spice Road QV, it was incredible. A slight crisp exterior, tender meat and an unctuous layer of fat that melted in your mouth. The flavours were brilliant too, a touch of vinegar balanced the heavier sweet and spicy tones in the caramel. The apple slaw brightened up the dish with its freshness, following with a spicy kick after.

I couldn’t forget about it, and tried it out on my own after. Now this recipe is a little daunting, with a load of steps and taking up to 2 days to do; but aside from the amount of work, it’s nothing too technical. But every step is well worth it, I assure you!

Recipe adapted from the Red Spice Road Cookbook.

redspiceporkbelly2

Twice Cooked Pork Belly
    Equipment You'll Need:
  • Oven
  • Chef knife
  • Baking trays – 2 nos
  • Cling flim
  • Cutting board
  • Large pot (oven safe)
  • Sauce pan
  • Thermometer
  • Ingredients:
  • Masterstock* – 1L
  • Pork belly – 800g
  • Tapioca flour – 2 cup
  • Five-spice powder – 2 tbsp
  • Vegetable oil – 1L
  • Chilli caramel** – 200 ml
  • Spring onions – 1 stalk
  • Red chilli – 1 large
  • Black vinegar – to serve
  • Thai Chilli*** - to serve
  • [Apple Slaw] *follow numbers loosely
  • Mint leaves – 10
  • Coriander leaves – 20
  • Shiso leaves – 5
  • White cabbage – 50g
  • Red cabbage – 20g
  • Green apple – ½ apple
  • [Masterstock]
  • Water – 3L
  • Light soy sauce – 200ml
  • Shao xing wine – 600ml
  • Rock sugar – 250g
  • Garlic – 5 cloves
  • Star Anise – 6 nos
  • Cardamom – 4 pods
  • Cinnamon – 2 sticks
  • Sichuan peppers – 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Dried mandarin peel – 3 nos
  • [Chilli caramel]
  • Sugar – 200g
  • Water – enough to cover sugar
  • Chilli padi – 2 nos
  • Star anise – 6 nos
  • Fish sauce – 100 ml
  • Light soy sauce – 40 ml
    Mise-en-place:
    [Chilli caramel]
  • Thinly slice chillies
  • Add sugar into saucepan
  • Add enough water to cover sugar
  • Bring to boil
  • Boil until temperature reaches 120ºC
  • Add chillies, spices fish & soy sauce (carefully! will splatter!)
  • Simmer 5 mins
  • Let cool for 10 mins
  • Strain & ready for use
  • [Masterstock]
  • Peel & roughly chop garlic
  • Combine all(masterstock) ingredients into large pot
  • Bring to boil
  • Simmer for 30 mins
  • Strain & ready for use
  • Pre-heat oven to 180ºC
  • Finely slice spring onions lengthwise
  • Deseed red chilli & finely slice lengthwise
  • Roughly tear mint, coriander shiso leaves
  • Finely slice cabbages
  • Julienne green apple
  • Cooking:
  • Add pork belly into large pot
  • Fill with masterstock
  • Cook in oven 3½ hours
  • Top up with spare stock if necessary
  • Transfer pork onto tray
  • Cover with cling flim & place another tray over
  • Weigh down with a plate
  • Chill overnight
  • (This is essential for easier cutting and a more even thickness)
  • Cut chilled belly into 8 equal squares
  • Mix tapioca flour with five-spice powder
  • Coat belly with powder mixture
  • Deep fry in 170ºC oil
  • Drain on paper towel
  • Serve with chilli caramel, apple slaw and a dash of vinegar!

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