November 5, 2019
Roasted Pork Belly, Perfect Crispy Crackle, Pan-Asian Salad
Main Meals, Salads | Vegetables
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INGREDIENTS FOR FOUR
500gm pork belly (see notes)
5gm salt flakes
3tsp light olive oil
200gm continental cucumber
300gm wombok cabbage
150gm sugar snap or snow peas
10 to 15gm fresh mint sprigs
10 to 15gm fresh coriander plants
1 x small clove garlic
20gm knob ginger
2Tbsp lime juice
2Tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp caster sugar
1 x large red chilli
TOASTED GROUND RICE
1Tbsp uncooked long grain rice
- Purchase pork 1 day before wanting to eat. Unwrap and rub two-thirds of salt flakes over skin and underneath of meat. Place on a plate in fridge overnight to dry out – do not wrap it needs to be in the open air.
- When ready to cook, pre-heat oven to 230°C.
- Dry any moisture off the pork skin with a paper towel. Re-season rubbing in remaining salt with light olive oil ensuring the salt penetrates into the scores.
- Place pork skin side down into roasting tin, cover with non-stick paper and weigh down with a heavy piece of ovenproof cookware on top. This will keep the skin firmly in contact with the hot roasting tin. Place in oven and cook for 30 to 45 minutes, until crackling is golden and pork cooked through. Remove weight and paper, turn pork over and place back in oven for 10 minutes to complete cooking the crackle.
- Meanwhile, prepare dressing and salad components. Remove all leaves from mint and discard stalks. Set leaves aside to add to salad when serving.
- Remove all leaves from coriander and place in large bowl where salad components will be added later. Clean coriander roots and very finely chop along with stalks. Place in small bowl to make dressing in.
- Crush garlic. Grate peeled ginger to yield 3 teaspoons. Finely chop chilli to yield about 3 teaspoons. Combine prepared ingredients with prepared coriander in bowl. Add fish sauce, lime juice and sugar to complete dressing.
- Set aside for at least 15 minutes for flavours to develop.
- Complete salad preparation. Cut cucumber in half lengthways, de-seed and cut into ½cm thin slices. Peel, top and tail carrots, then using peeler, create long, thin ribbons using as much carrot as practical. Cut wombok into long thin wedges, then shred creating thin short slices. Shred leaves and crunchy white stalk. Place all in large bowl.
- To make toasted rice, place wok over medium heat. When hot, add raw rice and toss around wok for about 3 minutes, until lightly golden and puffed.
- Remove and place in mortar. Pound with pestle to make fine sand-like grain.
- To serve, cut pork into 1½cm thick slices then slices into 1½cm chunks. If large, cut mint leaves into thin shreds (chiffonade) and toss through rest of salad. Add warm pork and pour over dressing.
- Toss gently and place on serving platter. Scatter with toasted rice and serve immediately.
- All salt used in our recipes is Murray River Salt Flakes. Be aware that one teaspoon salt flakes equals 4gm and one teaspoon salt granules equals 8gm.
- Ask your butcher to score the pork skin. Unless you have a super-sharp knife or stanley knife this job is easier if left to the professionals. Having dry skin is essential to achieving a crisp crackle.
- Moisture is the nemesis of crispness.
- Pick a piece of belly with an even thickness, and a good amount of meat to fat ratio. The fat however is essential for moisture and flavour and a lot will render out of the pork whilst cooking under the pressure of the weight on top.
- Don’t cover the pork during resting as it will steam. The crackle remains crispy for ages once cooked so can be served once cooled to room temperature if liked.
- Serve this dish simply as a light salad or include plain noodles or rice to make more of a meal.
- Store excess ground rice snap lock bag in pantry for up to 3 months and use as a textural component in many south east Asian style dishes where a crunch is needed.