On a visit to my favourite Asian supermarket, Hoo Hing, I picked up a whole pork belly. At just £2.50 a kilo, it was a bargain, and the entire belly came to just under £8.00. I brought it home, sliced off the ribs and split the remaining meat in half. Three meals for two people works out to be just £1.30 per serve. It doesn’t get much cheaper (or tastier!) than that.
Now, what to do with it? I checked out Pinterest for inspiration and came across so many lovely-looking recipes – from caramel pork, to crispy roast pork belly – but I wanted to try something with a Chinese twist.
I remember seeing Gok Wan’s twice-cooked melting pork belly recipe on his short-lived TV series on Channel 4, and found the instructions online. Here’s the original clip from the Gok Cooks Chinese series if you want to take a look:
I used Gok Wan’s pork belly recipe as my base, substituting some ingredients I didn’t have, and adding some ingredients to taste. The result was seriously good. Here’s the method I used:
Twice-cooked Chinese sticky pork belly
800g piece of pork belly
For the poaching liquid:
5 cloves garlic, peeled and bashed
5cm piece of ginger, peeled, bashed until roughly flattened
2-3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp minced red chilli
For the glaze:
4 tbsp honey (heat in the microwave until really runny)
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp chopped ginger and lemongrass
1 tsp minced red chilli
Pop the poaching liquid ingredients in a big pot with the pork belly, and cover with hot water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 1.5 hours.
Rest the pork for 15 minutes while you mix the glaze ingredients together. Taste and adjust the glaze as necessary.
Remove the skin from the top of the pork belly, pop it in a baking dish on some baking paper and pour the glaze over.
Preheat your oven to 215 degrees and roast the pork for 30 minutes, turning and basting every 10 minutes.
Rest for a few minutes before slicing into cubes.
I served my sticky roast pork belly with jasmine rice and asparagus I’d sauteed in sesame oil, with the pork glaze poured over the lot. The pork belly was very rich and flavoursome, and I’d say that 800g for two people was probably too much (not that it stopped us from gobbling down the lot!).
I’m looking forward to trying a crispy skin roast pork belly recipe for the other kilo I now have in my freezer, so if you have a fail-safe method, please let me know!