Not too long ago, I had a client who loved pork belly. I mean LOVED pork belly. He insisted on having the protein at least 4 times a week. My husband also loves pork belly, but I don’t think even I could feed it to him four times a week every week. I no longer cook for him anymore but I do have a couple of pounds of pork belly stored in the freezer so I decided to make a new Asian dish. I personally prefer my pork belly tender with crispy skin so we are going to use two different cooking techniques using the instant pot and stovetop. Braised until tender and finished with an amazing sauce, this twice cooked black pepper pork belly just might make me a bigger fan of the meat.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Whenever I need to braise meat, I always turn to the pressure cooker. You can always use the oven or even prepare this on low heat on the stovetop but the pressure cooker just makes life easier. Since the pork is going to be tossed in the sauce later, we’re just braising the meat in water. Save the remaining liquid after it’s done cooking for pork stock! Just be sure to skim the fat since pork belly is a very fatty cut. Once the pork is falling-apart tender, let it cool slightly so that it doesn’t fall apart under the pressure of your knife. Cut into chunks and coat the pork in corn starch, shaking off the excess. The cornstarch will create a lovely crust, giving it that crunch that I love.
Now it’s time to make the sauce. Inspired by Chinese and Thai recipes, this twice cooked black pepper pork belly uses shallots, Thai chile, garlic and ginger for the aromatics. Saute all of the vegetables until softened, about 1-2 minutes. Your kitchen will already be smelling like the streets of Bangkok. Add back the pork along with the sauce, season with a generous amount of black pepper and finish with scallions. Toss everything to coat and service the black pepper pork belly with a bowl of rice.
Can I just say, MM-HMM this black pepper pork belly is so good! You already know it’s going to be tender but all of the aromatics and sauce add so much flavor that sends this dish through the roof. Delicious.
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