Granted it is not the healthiest ingredient to cook with but with careful techniques, one can reduce the amount of fat in these recipes. Check out the following popular Chinese-inspired pork belly dishes:
- Siew Yoke a.k.a. Crispy Chinese Roasted Pork Belly
- Braised Pork Belly
Siew Yoke (Crispy Chinese Roasted Pork Belly) Recipe
My parents were inspired by this recipe and shared it with their kids. Enjoy!
2 kg pork belly with skin, 2 tbs salt, 4 tbs white vinegar, 2 cubes of fermented red bean curd, 1 tbs Chinese 5 spice powder, 1 tbs white pepper, 1 tbs salt, 1 tbs sugar and 2 tbs rice wine
1. Wash and pat pork belly dry. Use a sharp knife and poke holes all over the skin. Flip the meat and make shallow cuts (about 1 cm deep and 1.5 cm apart) across the meat
2. Mix together red bean curd, 5 spice powder, pepper, 1 tbs salt, sugar and rice wine in a bowl. Rub the mixture all over the meat side.
3. Place pork belly, meat side down, on a rectangular baking tray
4. Rub salt all over the skin
5. Place the seasoned meat in the fridge overnight. Remove the meat an hour before baking
6. Preheat oven to 400 degF. Make sure the top and bottom heating elements are switched on
7. Place the seasoned pork belly on a rack located in the middle of the oven. Place a baking sheet lined with Aluminum foil under the pork to catch drippings. Bake for 20 mins
8. Change the oven setting to only switch on the top heating element (broil). Brush vinegar onto the skin. Continue baking for another hour or until the skin of the pork belly is charred and crispy, and the meat is cooked
9. Remove the pork belly from the oven. Remove charred parts of the skin and slice the pork belly into cubes. Serve while it's still crispy!
Notes: I made my own spice since I didn't have 5 spice powder. My spice rub for 3 lbs meat is as follow:
2 cloves- grounded, 0.25 tsp ground nutmeg, 0.25 tsp ground cinnamon, 0.25 tsp cayenne powder, 0.25 tsp chili powder, 0.25 tsp smoke paprika, 0.125 tsp cumin, 1 tbs salt, 1 tbs sugar, 1 tsp white pepper and 2 tbs fine white wine vinegar
I reduced the amount of salt for the skin. I used 1 tbs salt instead.
Braised Pork Belly Recipe
I recalled having this dish when I was growing up. I tweaked this recipe to make it my own.
Ingredients (Yields 2 servings):
1 to 1.5 lbs pork belly, 1, tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp Chinese salted vegetables, 5 tsp Chinese rice wine, 3 tsp water (and extra if necessary), 1 tsp oil, 1 tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp dark soy salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp ginger powder, salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut pork belly with skin on to 1-inch cubes. Season with pepper
2. Soak salted vegetables with warm water for a few minutes to remove excess salt. Drain and set aside
2. In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and fry till fragrant
3. Add cubed pork, skin side down, when the pan is hot. You will hear a sizzling sound. Let the pork cook for a min or until you get faint char on the skin
4. Add salted vegetables, water, Chinese rice wine, sesame oil, soy sauce and ginger powder. Stir to mix well and let mixture come to a boil
5. Cover and let the pork simmer over low heat for 10 minutes
6. Stir in sugar, cover and let the pork simmer. Add extra water if necessary to avoid burning. Cook for another 50 minutes or until the fat has rendered and pork is cooked through and has absorbed some sauce. The sauce should thicken at this point
7. Remove from heat and serve with rice or noodles!
Tips: Increase sweetness by adding sugar. Adjust spiciness by adding chili flakes, ginger powder or pepper. I used mushroom flavored dark soy sauce to give a more earthy flavor.