Sticky and delicious Asian pork belly
Ingredients (serves 4):
For the pork:
1 pork belly, weighing approximately 1.3–1.5kg. Ask your butcher to score the skin well or follow the steps below.
Coarse salt, for sprinkling
2 tsp fennel seeds, bashed in a pestle and mortar
3 bulbs fennel, thinly sliced
4 carrots, sliced into thick chunks lengthways
250ml (1 glass) white wine – we used La Capra Viognier – but again go easy if banting.
250ml stock or extra wine, for gravy
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
For the sauce:
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbps hoisin sauce (go lighter on this if you’re banting)
1 Tbsp palm sugar (you can replace this with xylitol)
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 spring onions
For the slaw:
1 small red cabbage, finely chopped
2 carrots, grated or peeled into ribbons
4 Tbsp soy sauce
Dash of sunflower oil
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Handful raw peanuts
Chopped chilli, optional
1. Preheat the oven to 230°C.
2. If your belly has not been scored (you can ask the butcher to do this for you), use the tip of an incredibly sharp knife, press down and score the skin with thin lines. Sprinkle the surface with coarse sea salt and your bashed fennel seeds.
3. Give it a good rub, this will draw out any moisture from the skin.
4. Place the fennel and carrots in the base of a roasting tray. Put the pork belly on top and sprinkle with extra salt and pepper.
5. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes at the high temperature you first set it at, then reduce to 160°C and cook for 45–50 minutes. When the buzzer rings, open the oven and add a good glass of white wine and stock with the Dijon mustard mixed in, then close and cook for a further 45 minutes or so.
6. While your pork is cooking, you can make the sauce. Mix together all the ingredients for the Asian sauce, except for the spring onions, in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer then turn off and set aside until pork is ready.
7. To prepare the slaw, mix together the soy sauce, sunflower oil, lime juice, sesame seeds and peanuts. Toss through the cabbage and carrots. Top with chilli if using and serve. The Asian slaw is a good one to make ahead of time, as the flavours tend to mix together better if left to stand.
8. Remove the pork from the oven when the pork is soft and easily pulled. Allow the pork to rest, covered, for 10–15 minutes before carving.
9. Once carved, drizzle over the sauce and top with spring onions, finely chopped.
Serve with the Asian slaw and enjoy the incomparable joy of chomping down on crunchy pork.
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