1 kg pork belly with the skin on
1 tbsp olive oil
4 spring onions, roughly chopped in half
a thumb of ginger, peeled, and roughly chopped
1/2 red chilli, roughly chopped
750ml (1 1/2 pints) chicken stock
100ml (1/3 cup) soy sauce
60ml (1/4 cup) mirin
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
5 cm peeled and grated ginger
Steamed / fried pak choi
Egg noodles: 1 nest per person
sprinkling of sesame seeds, sliced red chilli and spring onion
1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and once it's nice and hot, place the whole pork belly in the pan skin side down.
2. Once deliciously golden, turn it over and sear on the other sides too. The idea is just to get a lovely colour, but you aren't focusing on cooking the meat at all.
3. Put the seared pork belly, still whole, into a heavy bottomed pan with a lid. Cover with water and add the spring onion, ginger and red chilli.
4. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer with the lid on for about 2 hours. During this time skim off any fat that floats to the surface. This bit is kind of gross, but just think, that's fat you won't be gobbling.
5. Remove the pork belly from the liquid and leave to cool enough for you to chop it up, into roughly 2 inch chunks.
6. Clean the pan and pop the chopped pork belly into it.
7. Add the stock, the mirin and the sugar and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the pork is meltingly tender.
8. Add half off the soy sauce and if the sauce is looking too liquidy, turn the heat up to encourage it to reduce. Be careful it doesn't reduce too much or it will be too salty. Just keep tasting.
9. I like to make this the day before and then leave to cool in the fridge overnight. Of course it can be served straight away but I like to gently rewarm it the next day and then serve with the cooked egg noodles and pak choi.
10. Sprinkle over some fresh chopped chilli, some spring onions and sesame seeds et voila. Or as the Japanese would say..."ita daki mas".