A simple dish, crisp pork belly is accompanied by the fresh green flavour of Chinese broccoli (gai lan), and is best enjoyed with jasmine rice.
- 400 g (14 oz) pork belly
- 1 tbsp fine sea salt
- 80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup) vegetable oil
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 3 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
- 2 bunches Chinese broccoli (gai lan), finely sliced on the diagonal
- 100 g (3½ oz) shiitake mushrooms, cut into 5-mm (¼-in) slices
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1½ tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- steamed jasmine rice, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
This recipe needs to be started 1-2 days in advance.
- Prepare the pork a day or two in advance. Using a sharp knife, score lines into the skin 5 mm (¼ in) apart, taking care not to cut into the meat. Place the pork on a piece of foil and fold the edges of the foil up around the meat, but not the skin. Transfer to the refrigerator and let the exposed skin air-dry for 1–2 days.
- On the day of serving, preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F). Place the pork and the foil on a baking tray, sprinkle the pork skin with the salt and roast for 25–30 minutes, until the skin is crisp and golden and the meat is just cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to rest, uncovered, for a minimum of 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Sauté the garlic and chillies until fragrant. Add the Chinese broccoli and shiitake mushrooms and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Season with the oyster sauce, soy sauce and fish sauce and stir-fry for a further 2–3 minutes. Stir through the white pepper and remove from the heat.
- Transfer the Chinese broccoli to a serving plate. Slice the pork belly and arrange on top of the Chinese broccoli. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
Recipe and images from Bangkok Local by Sareen Rojanametin and Jean Thamthanakorn, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99