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Chinese crispy pork belly recipe

The trendiest cut of meat at the moment, pork belly needs long, slow cooking but no attention and poaching removes much of the fat

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  • Serves 6

  • Prep time 15 mins

  • Cooking time 3 hrs

    plus cooling and roasting
  • Total time 3 hrs 15 mins

    plus cooling and roasting
  • Calories 621 per serving

  • Prepare ahead yes

Ingredients

  • 1 piece free-range British pork belly, bone in, around 2-2.5kg (41/2-51/2lb) in weight
  • 1 litre (13/4pt) chicken stock
  • 250ml (9fl oz) dark soy sauce
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 star anise
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • large piece fresh root ginger
for the sauce:
  • 250g (9oz) palm (or soft brown) sugar
  • 5tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 4 red chillies, chopped
  • 2cm (3/4in) piece grated ginger
  • 5tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 5tbsp lime juice

Tip

It’s best to start this dish a day before serving, making it a great prepare-ahead supper dish. Plus, pork belly is good value for money.

Preparation

  1. Put the whole piece of pork into a large sauté pan with the other ingredients. Bring to the boil then simmer and cover for 3 hours.

  2. Cool then refrigerate it in the stock overnight. Take it out of the stock, remove the bones and dry the skin well with kitchen roll. Sprinkle with Maldon salt. Put it onto a baking sheet.

  3. Preheat the oven to around 220 C, 200 C fan, 425 F, gas 7, and roast the pork until the skin becomes crispy, around 20 to 30 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put the sugar in a pan with 5tbsp water and the dark soy sauce and boil until the sugar has melted and become caramel. Add the chillies and ginger. Stir well. Add the fish sauce and lime juice. Simmer. Take the pork out of the oven and cut into 6 pieces with a very sharp knife.