Thursday, November 13, 2014

Steamed Pork Belly With Lai


Those who stop by my blog know that most of my inspiration for trying out new dishes is by watching the food shows. This one came from Luke Nguyen's One Thousand Layer Pork. Ever since I saw it I had been wanting to make it but was waiting for the weather to turn cooler. There's a saying that pork tastes better in those months that has the letter r in them.:)
The process that I used for this dish is the same as the Chef's but certain adaptations were made mainly due to lack of ingredients and expertise. The latter refers to the layers. The cut of pork wasn't wide enough to be made into several layers so I sliced it into thicker pieces. I also didn't use pickled mustard greens because I didn't have them. But I used lai/brassica juncea as they go so well with pork. Moreover it's from the same family.


The recipe has been adapted from here.
500 grams pork belly
2 tsp vegetable oil, half will go into braising the greens
250 grams lai, washed thoroughly
A bunch of coriander leaves for the garnish
The marination:
2 tbs light soya sauce
1 tbs dark soya sauce
2 tbs rice wine (I used Judima, the Dimasa rice wine...the recipe uses Chinese rice wine with Shaoxing rice)
3 garlic cloves, diced + 1 clove of garlic, diced, for the greens
A knob of ginger, finely sliced
2 tbs brown sugar

Combine the ingredients for the marinade till the sugar dissolves. Coat the pork with the marinade on all sides. Keep in the fridge for an hour.
Braise the washed greens with a clove of garlic. The water that remains from washing the leaves will suffice and no liquid needs to be added. Keep aside.
Remove the meat from the marinade and remove any ginger/garlic from it. Reserve the marinade.
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Seal the meat on all sides, cooking each side for four to five minutes.
Pour hot water in the same pan just enough to cover the meat. Cook for about ten minutes.
Submerge the pork belly into an ice bath so that it will be easy to slice the meat.
Slice the meat and place the pieces in a bowl with the skin side down.
Top with the braised greens. Pour the reserved marinade over the top and steam for an hour. Replenish the water in between.
After an hour, remove the bowl from the steamer. Place a plate upside down on the bowl and flip it much like you would do with an upside down cake.
Remove the bowl and garnish the dish with coriander leaves.

* For an additional zing, I added two green chillies (chopped). Judima works out pretty well in this dish and I think I'll be using it again. This turned out to be one of the most satisfying dishes I have cooked in recent times.

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