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 but I still have a couple of pounds of pork belly left 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. Braised until tender and finished with an amazing sauce, this twice-cooked black pepper pork belly just made me a bigger fan of pork.
Twice Cooked Black Pepper Pork Belly
- 1 ½ lb pork belly
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 cup celery sliced
- 4 shallots thinly sliced
- 2 Thai chile sliced
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tbsp ginger minced
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 2 tsp black pepper
- ¼ cup scallions
- Place pork belly fat side up in the instant pot or pressure cooker with ½ cup water. Pressure cook on high for 45 minutes. Release the steam and let the pork cool slightly. Cut the pork belly into 1-inch chunks. Season with salt and pepper and toss in ¼ cup cornstarch, shaking off the excess.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a saute pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the pork belly and cook until browned on both sides. Remove from heat.
- Add the celery in the same pan and saute for 2 minutes. Add the shallots, Thai chile, garlic, and ginger and saute until softened, about 1-2 minutes. Add the pork back to the pan.
- Combine soy sauce with sugar and mirin in a small bowl. Pour sauce over the ingredients in the pan, tossing to coat. Sprinkle the black pepper evenly and add the scallions. Toss to coat once more and remove from heat. Serve immediately.
**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. The pork is going to be tossed in the sauce later so we're just braising the meat in water. Save the remaining braising liquid 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.
For more stir fry inspiration check out this Thai basil shrimp with coconut!