Chinese Braised Pork Belly with Cabbage Salad
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Credit: The Pork Cookbook by Bruce Aidells
The National Culinary Review, November 2003
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup Chinese soy sauce
1/2 cup Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 2-inch piece ginger, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fermented Chinese black beans
2 whole star anise
8 scallions, cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
10 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Szechwan peppercorns
6 dried Chinese mushrooms
3 cups water
Half of 1 pork belly (about 6 pounds), skin on
Cabbage Salad (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
6 cups thinly shredded cabbage (Napa, savoy, or green head)
1 tablespoon fermented Chinese black beans
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Braising liquid from the pork belly
3 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
Method: Combine all ingredients except pork belly in a large casserole or Dutch oven and bring to a boil over high heat. Add pork belly, skin-side down. Reduce heat to a bare simmer, cover, and cook, turning belly over from time to time, for approximately 3 hours, or until pork is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove pan from heat and allow pork belly to cool to room temperature in its liquid. Strain liquid and save in refrigerator to use again and again.
Method: Heat oil over moderate heat in a large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven. Add cabbage, black beans, and garlic and stir. Cover and continue to cook until cabbage is wilted, stirring mixture from time to time. Add 1 cup of the reserved braising liquid and cook uncovered for 5 minutes until cabbage is soft (Napa cabbage takes less time, while green head cabbage may take more). To serve, cut belly into 3/8-inch slices and arrange over cabbage (one or two slices per serving). Cover and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, or until meat is warmed through. Carefully transfer to a serving platter and garnish with green onions.
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