Braised Pork Belly
The meat is meltingly tender, sticky and just slightly sweet.
Author: Lemons & Anchovies
Recipe type: Main Dish
- 1½ pounds pork belly, rinsed well and dried with paper towels (mine came in three strips that were about 1½ inches wide)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
- 3 tablespoons plain vinegar (cider should work, too, but not balsamic)
- 1 dried star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- About 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
- 2 dried whole chilies (I split one to add a little more kick)
- olive oil for brushing
- salt and pepper
- Chopped chives for garnish (they actually complement the dish well)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Set the pork belly strips on a foil-lined baking sheet skin side down. Brush the tops and sides with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and using the same brush, dip it in the Chinese five spice powder and brush also on the tops and sides of the pork. Roast the seasoned pork for 15-20 minutes. I'm not sure that this was necessary but it did help to adhere the spices on the meat and kept them flavorful while they braised.
- Take the meat out of the oven and cut them in squares. Add to a medium saucepan with the rest of the ingredients: stock, kecap manis, vinegar, star anise, cinnamon stick, dried chilies and garlic. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 40-50 minutes. By this time the meat should be very tender and the braising liquid reduced to just about ¾ cup. The sauce will continue to thicken and reduce even after you've turned off the heat. Transfer the pork to a serving plate and pour the sauce on top. Serve with rice.