Whole Braised Pork Belly Black Vinegar Caramel
Luscious Pork cooked all in one pot. It’s decadent and finger-licking good and makes a great meal with rice and salad or as an entree/ appetiser with a bit of spicy Asian style slaw. It’s not a new recipe its a reworked older one that I have lazied up a bit. I love the older recipe if fact there is a link below but this one takes half the effort for a very similar result.
Seems the way to go.
The recipe includes Black Vinegar. It’s an interesting ingredient that originated in China. This inky Black Vinegar is sometimes described as Chinese balsamic because it is fermented in pots and barrels but it tastes nothing like balsamic at all and is made with amongst other things fermented rice. In fact it has a very unusual flavour that can be described as almost smoky with and sour vinegar taste. It adds an intensely interesting flavour to dipping sauces and in marinates and braises like this. There are several kinds but the Chinkiang named after the city Zhenjiang on the Yangtze River, not far from Shanghai, is in my opinion the best.
So this Whole Braised Pork Belly Black Vinegar Caramel is an easy one pot dish. I’ve skipped the marinating and moved straight to the cooking.
Yes it is rich and best shared with a few people. It is soft and easy to cut and totally awesome with rice and a crunchy herby, chilli loaded salad.
What makes it very good as a starter is the fact you can cook it ahead of time and reheat it when needed if that is something you’d like to do. Cut it into the sizes you want to serve (up to 12 people 1.5 kg). Transfer to a container with the sauce and reheat when needed. You can reheat in a microwave or a pot or even in the oven. Add a little bit of water to the sauce if it needs it……not too much.
Here’s the video…..easy.
- 1.5 kg Pork Belly
- 2 Tablespoon oil (any kind)
- 80 gm sugar (4 tablespoons)
- a pinch of salt
- 4 Tablespoons ginger grated
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 40 ml dark soy (2 tablespoons)
- 80 ml light soy (4 Tablespoons)
- 80 ml Shoashing Chinese Cooking wine (4 Tablespoons) or dry sherry
- 150 ml black Vinegar **
- 40 ml sesame oil
- 1 cup sliced green onion
- 2 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds toasted
- Rice and salad to serve
- You will need an oven proof baking dish big enough to fit the pork belly in.**
- Set the oven to 190 C / 375 F
- Heat the baking dish on the stove top. Add the oil and seal the Pork belly ( this is for extra taste and colour.) Once browned turn off and set aside.
- In a bowl mix the sugar, ginger, garlic, light soy, dark soy, black vinegar, sesame oil and a pinch of salt. Stir together well.
- Pour over the Pork belly. Turn the belly skin side up and cover with foil.
- Put into the oven and bake for 1 hour. Take the dish from the oven and test the pork with a fork. If it falls apart easily it is ready however if it is still a little resistant return to the oven for a further 30 minutes. Test again. One hour should be enough unless the Belly is very thick and meaty like the one in the video.
- Serve immediately. If cooking ahead (which is also great) once chilled you may scrap off a bit of the fat that settles on the top before reheating in the sauce . this can be done on the stovetop or in the microwave ( both covered to stop the Pork and sauce from drying out).
** Chinkiang Black Vinegar is the Black Vinegar to hunt down. There are a number of brands in the Asian Grocery Store but this one is the best and most amazing flavoured.
** You can marinate the Pork first if you like. Shake off the marinade and reserve. Seal the Pork as above and then add the marinade bake in, baking under foil as above
If you would rather cook Pork Belly cut marinated and in smaller pieces get the recipe here. This is an alternative way to cooked braised Pork Belly and it is wonderous. This recipe also comes with a perfect salad for this dish.