Slow-cooked Pork Belly with Chilli, Soy and Mirin

Richard Phillips celebrates a classic Chinese stew in this hearty dish to share with friends
By Richard Phillips
Slow-cooked Pork Belly with Chilli, Soy and Mirin
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 3-4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the pork

  • 1 kg lean pork belly, skinned, boned, and excess fat removed
  • 500 ml soy sauce
  • 250 ml mirin
  • 1 litres water
  • 250 ml fish sauce
  • 50 g sugar
  • 50 g ginger
  • 2 tbsp bonito flakes, available from oriental food stores
  • 1 red chilli, roughly chopped

For the vegetables

  • 4 medium sized carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 Chinese cabbage, ripped into 2 cm pieces
  • 1/2 tsp butter
  • 150 g enoki mushrooms

For the spring greens garnish

  • handfuls spring greens
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 140C/gas 1. Cut the pork into 10cm square pieces. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat, add the oil and quickly fry the pork until lightly coloured on both sides.

2. Transfer the meat to a large ovenproof dish. Pour over the soy sauce, mirin, water and fish sauce. Stir in the sugar, ginger, dried fish flakes and red chilli. Cover with a lid, and cook in the oven for 4-5 hours, or until the meat is tender.

3. Remove the pork from the pan. Strain the cooking liquor through a fine sieve into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Skim off any excess fat and cook down until it has reduced by half.

4. Heat a heavy frying pan or griddle over a moderate heat, and sear the pork, fat side down, until crisp.

5. While the pork is cooking, make the spring green garnish. Finely shred the leaves and deep-fry in hot oil until crisp and golden. This will only take a few seconds. Drain on absorbent paper.

6. Drop the carrots into boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. They should still be quite crisp.

7. Heat the butter in a small pan and quickly stir-fry the cabbage leaf pieces and enoki mushrooms for about 30 seconds - until the cabbage begins to wilt.

8. To serve, arrange the pork pieces over the carrots, cabbage and mushrooms. Ladle over the cooking liquor, and scatter with the crisp-fried spring greens before bringing to the table.

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