The combination of caramelised pork belly, tofu and Sriracha slaw, plus the crunch of spicy Sichuan onion rings, makes this the ultimate Asian-American-style burger.
- 700 g boneless pork belly, skin on, scored in a 1cm-wide crisscross pattern
- ½ tsp white pepper
- ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
- 2 tsp sea salt flakes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 150 g (¼ cup) whole-egg mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp Sriracha chilli sauce (see Note), plus extra, to serve
- 4 x 5 mm slices firm tofu
- 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
- vegetable oil, to shallow-fry
- 4 store-bought brioche buns (see Note)
- ¼ green cabbage, finely shredded
- ¼ red cabbage, finely shredded
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- ½ cup chopped coriander leaves
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp peanut oil
Sichuan onion rings
- 2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns (see Note), crushed
- 2 tsp each black and white sesame seeds
- 2 tsp sea salt flakes
- 200 g (1⅓ cups) plain flour
- 100 g store-bought tempura batter mix (see Note)
- 550 ml chilled soda water
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 onions, cut crosswise into 1 cm slices, rings separated
- vegetable oil, to deep-fry
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.
Resting time 20 minutes
Drink Little Creatures India Pale Ale, WA (330 ml, $4)
Preheat oven to 160°C. Place pork belly on a rack over a deep roasting pan and pour 750 ml boiling water over skin. Rub skin with white pepper, chilli and salt, then drizzle over olive oil. Roast for 2 hours or until tender and cooked through. Increase temperature to 220°C and cook for a further 20 minutes or until skin is very crisp. Loosely cover with foil. Rest for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make Asian-style slaw, toss all ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
Combine mayonnaise and Sriracha in a small bowl and set aside.
Pat tofu dry with paper towel, then dust in seasoned flour, shaking off excess. Fill a large frying pan with oil to 1 cm deep and heat over medium heat until hot. Add tofu and cook, turning once, for 2 minutes or until crisp and golden. Remove using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
To make Sichuan onion rings, combine Sichuan pepper, sesame seeds and sea salt flakes. Set aside. Place flour and batter mix in a bowl and stir in soda water and egg. Fill a large saucepan or deep-fryer half-full with oil and heat to 180°C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds). Working in batches, coat onion rings in batter, allowing excess to drip off. Deep-fry for 4 minutes or until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Toss in Sichuan salt.
To assemble burgers, spread brioche bun bases with Sriracha mayonnaise and top with slaw. Cut pork belly into thick slices and arrange on top of slaw, then top with fried tofu, extra Sriracha sauce and remaining bun halves. Serve with Sichuan onion rings.
• Sriracha chilli sauce, Sichuan peppercorns and tempura batter mix are from Asian food shops and select supermarkets.
• Brioche is a French bread enriched with eggs and butter. Brioche buns are from bakeries.
Photography by Chris Chen. Drinks suggestions by Dan Coward
As seen in Feast magazine, Feb 2014, Issue 28.