Recipe courtesy of Easy Living
Braising in soy sauce is a common Chinese method, giving the meat a distinct colour and flavour. The braising liquid also makes a delicious sauce.
Serves: 6 Prep time: 25 mins Cook time: 2 hours Cals per serving: 369 Fat: 24g
Ingredients: 1.5kg (3 lb) pork belly, with skin; 150ml (6 fl oz) light soy sauce; 4 tblsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry; 2 whole star anise; 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled; 6 spring onions, roughly chopped; 4 slices ginger, 4 mm thick; 1 tblsp demerara or light brown sugar; pinch of dried chilli flakes; 600-700ml (20-24 fl oz) chicken stock or water
Step One: Blanch the pork in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for about 5 minutes. Rinse the pork and, when it’s cool enough to handle, cut the belly into 5cm lengths.
Step Two: Put the pork pieces in a large saucepan or casserole dish and add the soy sauce, rice wine, star anise, garlic, spring onion, ginger, sugar, chilli flakes and enough stock or water to just cover the meat. Bring slowly to the boil over a low heat, cover and simmer very gently for about 2 hours, turning the meet occasionally.
Step Three: Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside. Skim any fat off the top of the sauce, then simmer the liquid over a high heat until it has thickened a little. Taste to check and stop simmering if sauce becomes too strongly flavoured. Return the pork pieces to the sauce and heat through. If you want to crisp the skin, place the pork pieces skin side up under a hot grill until crisp and bubbling. Serve the pork belly with sauce with noodles and extra sliced spring onions or steamed Chinese vegetables.
Tip: You can follow the recipe using chicken or duck. Just use leg pieces (with the thigh attached) and braise for about 45 minutes or until tender.