This Asian inspired crispy belly of pork with pak choi and rice makes a great weekend lunch when you fancy the idea of a sharing platter. Everyone raves about this slow cooked pork and I now know why – it is meltingly tender with perfect crackling. Also an economical cut of meat that the Chinese value but we don’t seem to eat enough of. (Sorry vegetarians).
The pork must be spiced with the dry rub for a good 8 hours. It then takes about 30 minutes to prep and about 2.5 hours to cook. So this recipe takes time, but it is worth it…
Ingredients serves 6 (generously)
- 2kg piece of thick belly pork with the bones removed and the rind intact – ask your butcher to remove the bones but don’t let him/her score the rind.
- 1 tablespoon of Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons of Maldon sea salt flakes
- 2 teaspoons of Chinese five-spice powder
- 2 teaspoons of Golden caster sugar
- Plus 4 heads pak choi, sugar snap peas, microwaveable rice (3 packs).
Chinese sauce/’gravy’ for the greens
- 4 teaspoons of sunflower oil
- 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
- 8 tablespoons of oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
How to prepare
With a fine skewer, prick the skin of the pork all over. Go through the fat but don’t go so deep that you pierce the flesh.
Lay the pork on a rack over the sink. Boil a kettle of water and pour it all over the skin. Let it drain and then dry it off well with some kitchen towel.
Heat a heavy based frying pan over a dry heat. Add the Sichuan and black peppercorns and swirl them around for a bit until they darken a little and give off an aromatic scent. Transfer the peppercorns to a spice grinder and grind them into a fine powder. Tip them into a bowl with the salt, sugar and five-spice powder.
Turn the pork flesh side up on a large plate or tray and then rub the spice mix into the flesh. Set aside for at least 8 hours somewhere cool. We just put ours in the fridge. You may want to cover it to stop the fragrance of the spices tainting anything else in the fridge.
When you’re ready, preheat the oven to 200°C.
Turn the pork skin-side up and pace it on a rack resting on top of a roasting tin (or the oven grill pan) and fill it with enough water to make a bain-marie.
Roast the pork on this high heat for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 180°C. and then roast it for another 2 hours. Top up the water if it looks like it’s going to dry out. This method ensures that the skin will crisp and crackle and the meat will be mouth-wateringly tender and full of flavour.
After 2 hours, increase the oven temperature to 230°C and continue to roast the pork for another 15 minutes.
To make the ‘gravy’: mix the ingredients in a small pan, just heat through before pouring over the steamed greens.
Remove the pork from the oven and leave it to rest for about 15 minutes. Cover lightly with tin foil to keep it warm.
With a heavy bladed knife, cut the pork into bite-sized pieces and arrange them on a warmed serving platter.
Whilst the meat is cooling microwave the rice and lightly steam the greens. Dress the greens with the ‘gravy’ and then tuck in…
You might also like Danish Crispy Pork – a recipe that twins succulent meat with parsley sauce