Do you ever wander through the grocery store in search of unique finds? Is the grocery store an adventure for you? Do you get excited by the idea of an ethnically diverse inventory? Call me crazy, but I do. So you can imagine my delight when I was wandering the aisles the other day and happened upon a small bit of pork belly. While not unheard of, it is hard to find, and particularly difficult to find less than a full slab, so I snapped up a chunk right quick! This piece just happened to be high meat, low fat (well, as low fat as pork belly can be…). Now my culinary mind began to wander… what to do with this little gem? This time, I decided to take my foodie exploration on a little trip to Asia. Tender and crispy pork belly, gingered soy sauce, fresh veggies on top… mmmmmm…. Get me home, pronto!
Now if we could just do something about this checkout line…
Asian Pork Belly Cabbage Wrap
For the braise
- 12 oz pork belly or salt pork
- 1/4 c Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 c Tbsp ponzu
- 1 c water
For the sauce
- 1 Tbsp soy
- 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Sriracha
- 1 Tbsp Ponzu
- 1 Tbsp Mirin
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp reduced braising liquid
For the toppings
- 6 leaves cabbage
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 celery, thinly sliced
- 2 green onions, diced
- 1/4 c cilantro, chopped (optional)
- 2 Tbsp slivered almonds or peanuts
First, make the pork belly braise. Score the pork belly on the fat side to make diagonals. This will help the fat reduce. Place the liquids in a small dutch oven, and add the pork belly, fat side up. Allow the liquids to come to a simmer, then reduce heat and cover and cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn the belly pork side down and add some water to cover the belly 1/2 way if the liquid has evaporated. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes, checking water levels occasionally. Finally, turn the pork belly fat side up, and cover and simmer an additional 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer until reduced by half, and syrupy. Allow sauce to cool slightly.
When pork is tender, but not falling apart, slice into 12 thin slices, and crisp slices in a hot frying pan for 2-3 minutes. Put 2 slices in each cabbage leaf, and top with carrots, celery, green onions, cilantro, nuts and sauce.
Serves 2-3 people.