Twice Cooked Honey Soy Pork Belly with Radishes and Kale

This is so tasty.

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Why radishes and kale? Because those are two vegetables that happened to come out of my vegetable patch, but they really did work well in this dish 🙂

Pork belly is something that I have only cooked once before. The success of that recipe and now this one means that belly rashers are rapidly becoming one of my favourite cuts of pork. Pork belly is best cooked slowly which means that you would have difficulty in over-cooking it, unlike some other cuts of pork.

For this recipe the first step is to brown the meat with Chinese five spice. That makes your kitchen smell really good right from the word go. The pork is then slowly braised in pineapple juice, making the meat beautifully tender. The final step is to add the sauce ingredients and simmer the whole lot for half an hour to impart even more flavour into the meat. It takes a while to get to your plate but it is worth it.

I used my new 5 litre/quart cast iron ‘french’ casserole pot to cook this in and it was the ideal size.

Serve with your choice of rice for a filling meal.

Ingredients – serves 4:

  • approx 1kg/2.2 lbs boneless pork belly rashers, cut into 3cm/1 inch chunks
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 and 1/2 cups pineapple juice, preferably unsweetened
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine (Shao Shing), or dry sherry
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3-4 radishes, finely sliced
  • 4 medium black kale leaves (or a Chinese green such as bok choy or wombok), stalks removed and then leaves finely sliced
  • cooked rice, to serve (I used basmati)

Method:

  • Heat your oven to 150C/130C fan forced/300F.
  • Put the pork, oils and five spice powder into a large bowl and toss to coat the pork in the spice.
  • Put a large flameproof, ovenproof casserole dish, (for which you have a lid), on the stove top over a medium heat. Add the pork and cook, turning regularly using tongs, until the pieces are lightly browned all over.
  • Add the pineapple juice to the dish and stir.
  • Put the lid on and carefully transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours, stirring halfway through the cooking time. Top up with a little extra pineapple juice if required.
  • Remove from the oven and place back on the stove top over a medium heat. Add the soy sauce, honey, Chinese cooking wine and garlic. Stir and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should reduce to a thick consistency. If it gets a little too thick then just add a dash of water and stir.
  • Add the radishes and kale to the dish and toss to coat in the sauce. Cook for a few minutes until the kale is wilted.
  • Serve on a bed of rice and enjoy!

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