We're going to make the best pork belly ever! We’re going to glaze it with a lemongrass glaze and the serve it with a barbecued cabbage, a miso cream and a ginger sauce.
This one was for sure a challenge. I made so much pork bellies to get the ultimate result, it was unreal! I glazed them, gave them a dry cure, a wet cure, cooked them slowly, cooked them really slow, cooked them right out of the cure, let them dry for a bit first, fried the skin with hot oil, fried it on a low heat in a frying pan. You can definitely say I tried it all. But I believe I have found the perfect way!
The pork belly
First off, the quality is really important. You want a nice fat marbling and a good balance between meat and fat. Secondly the rind or skin needs to be attached. This is the part that will get super crispy, and you won’t be able to do that if it’s already removed. Begin by cutting the pork belly in half. Then pour the water into a container and add the curing salt. Mix this well until it’s completely dissolved. Then add your pork belly and make sure it’s submerged. Cover it with plastic foil and let it cure in your fridge for 24 hours. After that transfer it onto an oven rack and dry them with a kitchen paper. Now let it sit uncovered in your fridge for another 24 hours to dry out the skin. Once the pork belly is dry you can start making a lot of tiny holes in the skin using a sharp needle. This to render out more fat when it’s cooking and insure that the skin will become super crispy at the end. Now cook it at 120 degrees Celsius for 3 hours. Once it’s cooked let it rest for 30 minutes and then cut it in three using a really sharp knife. Then take some hot oil that’s 220 degrees Celsius and carefully pour it on the skin so it puffs up nicely and become super crispy. Obviously, the oil is super hot so be very careful. Once the top is nice and crispy and it has a beautiful color you can transfer it onto a cutting board. Now turn it around and use a sharp serrated knife to portion the porkbelly. By cutting it from the soft part to the crispy part you ensure that you don’t press the tender meat and squeeze out all those delicious juices. Look at that beauty! Now transfer them onto a tray and glaze them meat part with the glaze. Be sure not to glaze the crispy skin otherwise it will turn soft.
First chop the ginger. Do this as well with the lemongrass. Then transfer the brown sugar into a saucepan and also add the sushi vinegar, the glucose, the chopped ginger and lemongrass and the ginger beer. Now bring this to a simmer for 5 minutes. Then turn of the heat and then let it marinade for at least 2 hours. After that put it through a fine sieve and keep it covered in your fridge for later.
The ginger sauce
red Spanish peppers
A splash of fish sauce
Begin by cleaning the onions. Now chop it. Then take a big pot and heat it up. Add a splash of oil and start glazing the onions on a medium heat. While that’s glazing chop the ginger, the lemongrass, the garlic and the red Spanish peppers. Now add this to your onions and glaze it for another 3 minutes. Then add the vegetable stock, the coconut milk and the coriander. Let this simmer for 3 hours. After that put it through a fine sieve and use a ladle to make sure that you don’t waste anything. Then add a splash of fish sauce and give it a taste for seasoning.
The barbequed cabbage
First cut an oxheart cabbage in half. Then season a big pot of boiling water with salt. Add the cabbage and blanche them for around 3 minutes. Once it’s blanched transfer it onto an oven rack flat side down and let it cool down completely in your fridge. Then cut each half into four. Now turn on your barbeque and make sure it’s around 300 degrees Celsius. Barbeque your cabbage on all sides till it has a nice color. Now cut it in half once more and keep it covered in your fridge for later.
The miso cream
dark miso paste
Begin by cleaning the celeriac. Chop this in big cubes. After that clean the shallot and chop it. Now heat up a saucepan, add a splash of oil and fry your shallots together with the celeriac cubes and the dark miso paste. Once it starts to color you can deglaze the pan with the vegetable stock and reduce it on a medium heat till almost everything has vaporized. Then transfer it into a blender and blender it till it’s a smooth cream.
How to finish the dish
First lay the cabbage that I’ve heaten up at 160 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes on a plate. Now pipe a couple of dots of the hot miso cream on top and lay some slices spring oil on there. Also add a couple of toasted salted peanuts. Then lay your pork belly next to it and decorate the garnish with some marigold petals. And you finish it off with the hot ginger sauce.