One must be crazy not to love pork. Think J for Juicy, S for Succulent, F for Fatty, B for Bite-into-me, C for Crackling, T for tender and the list goes on and on and on … There are so many ways to cook pork and this dish represents one of the best ways to cook them.
By Josephine Chan
I love love love pork. My personal favourites are pork belly and pork spare ribs. Two very different pork cuts but they have the same satisfying effect on pork lovers like you and me. They are not just easy to cook but such a crowd-pleaser with kids and adults.
This dish represents Chinese cooking at its best – juicy fatty succulent pork belly is slow-cooked and simmered with aromatic spices to penetrate its flavours into the pork while breaking down its meat and fat. The end result is tremendously delicious with the fall-off-the-skin pork meat and sweet sticky sauce.
So, remind me again what’s not to love about pork? Do you love pork?
This recipe is adapted from John Gregory-Smith’s Mighty Spice Cookbook.
- 500 g (1.1 pounds) boneless pork belly, cut into equal size of 1 inch wide pieces
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 6 star anise
- 4 dried chilli, roughly chopped
- 1 inch piece ginger, skin-on and roughly sliced
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- Heat oil in a deep wok over high heat. Once it’s smoking hot, throw in the dried chillies and star anise. Stir fry to release the aromas for 30 secs until fragrant. Add the pork belly, ginger and salt into the wok. Continue to stir fry for another 3 mins or until the pork starts to turn a little brown.
- Slowly pour the hot water into the wok, just enough to cover the pork belly. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low and slowly simmer for 1½ hours or until the pork is falling-off-the-skin tender.
- Remove pork, drain and set aside. With a skimmer, skim off any excess fat/oil from the surface of the liquid left in the wok.
- To prepare the sauce, mix the sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce and 1 tbsp water in a small bowl. Then add them into the liquid in the wok. Stir to mix well. Over high heat, boil continuously until the sauce has thicken or reduced by half.
- Return pork to the wok. Gently stir the pork into the sauce, ensuring they mix well. Throw in half the sesame seeds. Coat the pork well. Continue to cook until the sauce has become thick and sticky.
- Pour everything into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds. Serve immediately with warm jasmine rice.
Josephine is a Melbourne-based food blogger with a passion for food and photography. She loves to cook recipes that remind her of her childhood and ignite the classic flavours she has loved from her home in Malaysia. Follow her journey through her blog, Burp! Appetit where she explores and experiment with home-style cooking from Malaysia, Asia and rest of the world.