Have you ever wanted to make restaurant quality food at home? Here’s part 1 my 3 part series on pork belly.
This is one of my favourite Chinese dishes and brings back so many great memories from childhood but I’ve always assumed it would be a bit complicated to make so never tried until now. It is SO EASY, a bit time consuming but not complicated at all for a bit of a treat meal.
- 500 g pork belly, cut into bite size pieces - around an inch
- 1 tbsp cooking wine - I use shaoxing wine
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 inches ginger, cut into slices
- 4 spring onions, separate the stalk section from the tender green section, finely chop the green section to garnish
- hot water
- 1 tbsp oil (optional step)
- Bring a pot of water to boil then gently simmer the pork with a couple of slices of ginger for 10 mins, drain and leave to cool for a few minutes.
- Optional step - if you want a slightly crispy edge to the pork belly, fry in 1 tbsp of oil for a few minutes and then set aside.
- In a deep pot melt the sugar on a medium heat until fully dissolved, be careful to not burn the sugar.
- As soon as the sugar has melted be very careful to pour in a good splash of hot water and mix well - be careful of splashing! Then add in the cooking wine, stalks of the spring onion, rest of the ginger, pork, soy sauce and enough hot water to cover the pork by a cm.
- Lid on and simmer on a low heat for 1hr.
- Lid off and continue to simmer for 15 minutes further to thicken the sauce.
- Mix in the finely chopped green part of the spring onion before serving.
Fancy ass quarantine food
When I went to the shop the other day, pretty much all the meat was gone except porkbelly - which suits me just fine, because I know how to cook it. ANYWAY the slow cooker chashu has a lot of leftover/side ingredients that you can use for other stuff!
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 thumbnail of ginger (or 1 tsp of ginger powder)
- 3-4 spring onions
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- 100 ml soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin or rice vinegar
- 500 ml of water
Bonus ingredients, if you have
- ¼ sheet of kombu
- 2 shiitake
- Dried chilies, preferably large
Mix all the liquid and the sugar and stir so it dissolves, smush and remove skin of garlic cloves and ginger, mix, add everything in. Leave it for ages. I did about 24 hours, because it was convenient but something like 8 is fine. I have it on low until the last 2-3 hours, then I turn it up to high because it lightly burns the spring onions, which adds flavor.
Dismantle. Get the pork out (gently) and sieve the liquid. Keep the dried chilies. Let the pork cool a bit before cutting. Here’s where some bonus stuff comes in! The “broth” that’s left is Food Gold. Let it cool a bit and spoon off the excess fat on the top. After boiling it down about half you can:
- Heat up a frying pan and add a couple tablespoons of the broth, along with slices of the pork belly. The sugar will burn lightly and help the fat render a bit.
- Straight mix some into rice for a medium size meal.
- Pour it into ice cube trays or bags - you now have Delicious Chashu Flavor Cubes. Add to soup for a richer flavor, add to cheap ramen to bulk it up, use it as a sauce for other proteins, veg or tofu, etc.
Basically it’s just a real delicious Food Drink. For those chilies, I chopped them up and mixed them with a hit of rice vinegar and some sesame seeds for a bit of vinegar and spice to cut through the fat.
Also don’t forget about the soup bag in the freezer! Add all kinds of cuttings of vegetables and use it all to make a broth once it’s full.
Sapporo ichiban tonkotsu ramen and pork belly