Victor Liong, head chef at Melbourne restaurant Lee Ho Fook says, “The twice-cooked pork belly has the flavour profiles I remember from my childhood; my mother and grandmother cooked food like this – spicy, salty, crunchy, fresh, and all very tasty”.
- 500 g boneless pork belly, skin on
- 8 star anise
- 3 cinnamon quills
- 3 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns (see Note)
- 100 ml Chinese rice wine (Shaoxing) (see Note)
- 420 ml soy sauce
- vegetable oil, to deep-fry
- 50 g chilli bean sauce (see Note)
- 1 leek, white part only, thickly sliced
- 3 long red chillies, sliced, plus extra, to serve
- 1 brown onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch spring onions, cut into 4 cm lengths
- coriander leaves and toasted dried chillies, 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.
Chilling time overnight
Place pork, 2 litres of water, star anise, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of Sichuan peppercorns, Chinese rice wine and 400 ml of soy sauce in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 3 hours or until pork is tender. Remove pork from cooking liquid, discarding liquid, and transfer to a container. Allow to cool, then refrigerate overnight.
The next day, pat pork dry with paper towel, cut into 2 cm pieces and set aside. Fill a wok or large saucepan one-third full with oil and heat over medium-high heat to 160ºC (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 20 seconds). Working in 2 batches, cook pork for 2 minutes or until golden and crisp; be careful, as oil may spit. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Add chilli bean sauce, leek, chilli, onion, spring onion, remaining Sichuan peppercorns and 2 tablespoons of water, and cook for 2 minutes or until vegetables have slightly softened. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of soy, then add pork and toss to coat and warm through. Top with coriander and dried chillies, and serve with extra sliced chillies.
• Sichuan peppercorns, Chinese rice wine (Shaoxing), and chilli bean sauce are available from Asian food shops.
Photography by Mark Roper.
As seen in Feast magazine, March 2015, Issue 40. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.