Alright, I am in no way claiming to be a pork belly expert. I assure you, until recently, my attempts at cooking pork belly in my at-home kitchen, had never really ended up the way that I would hope for. You see, my husband is Colombian. He is actually the one who first introduced me to pork belly altogether – well, in his culture, what is most popular is referred to as “chicharrón”.
I had eaten his heritage’s version of (fried + crispy) pork belly, many times. Both in the United States and while we were in Colombia. So like any loving wife, I wanted to learn how to make it for him, on occasion, in our home. He had asked his mom how she makes it, and the first time that we attempted it in such a fashion, well it was a disaster. The second time, not as bad, but still, not. good. I don’t know what my problem is with dishes that consist of boiling meat in water. . . it just doesn’t work for me.
But anyways, like my baked chicken journey (read about that, here, lol), I was never going to quit in terms of manifesting some form of my own delicious-tasting pork belly at home!
Recently, I was watching Chef David Chang‘s Instagram Stories – he was cooking a pork belly dish for his pregnant wife. I mean, I tune-in for all things David Chang, but that day I was even more astute.
Here are the screenshots from his Instagram Stories:
Okay, so after seeing these cooking tips by Chef Chang, I decided that I was going to scrap everything that I once had thought about cooking pork belly, and now use this as inspiration to re-attempt my own creation! …What transpired, turned out – PRETTY DANG GOOD. Here is what I did:
*Note: Instead of soy sauce, I used coconut aminos.
COCONUT AMINOS INFO/
Coconut aminos is made from coconut sap. This is a nutrient-rich juice that comes from making wounds in coconut blossoms. Coconut sap is a low glycemic (index of 35) sweetener with taste similarities to that of soy sauce. It is also super rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as an abundant source of amino acids.
*Note: Instead of brown sugar, I used coconut sugar.
COCONUT SUGAR INFO/
Coconut sugar is naturally low on the glycemic index (about the same as coconut aminos), unrefined and high in nutrients. It is a healthier alternative to high fructose sweeteners or processed cane sugars, and has a soft caramel flavor – similar to light brown sugar, dissolving in warm liquid.
- 3 lbs. pork belly
- 2 tbsp. grass-fed butter*
- 1.5 cups coconut aminos*
- 2 tbsp. arrowroot flour*
- 3 lemons’ juice
- garlic* powder
- 6-7 star anise* pods
- ginger* powder
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar*
- 1/4 cup garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup raw ginger slices
- Cut pork belly in to about 2-inch pieces.
- Coat very generously in both garlic and ginger powder.
- Melt butter, once liquid – squeeze 3 lemons’ juice in to the melted butter and mix.
- Place the garlic/ginger-coated pork belly pieces in to a ziplock bag.
- Pour the butter/lemon mixture in to bag.
- Drop the star anise pods in to the bag as well.
- Close bag, massage lightly to evenly distribute all ingredients.
- Place in to refrigerator and leave overnight or at least 6 hours.
- Heat a deep pot on medium heat, wait until a drop of water instantly disintegrates when it touches the heated pot surface.
- Place porkbelly pieces (not including the star anise pods that were inside the bag) in to heated pot with nothing else, let brown for about 7-8 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of coconut sugar evenly – let melt with heat.
- Once coconut sugar is melted, add in the garlic cloves and ginger pieces.
- Then sprinkle in the 2 tbsp of arrowroot powder evenly stir to disperse.
- Let simmer for about 10 minutes, then pour in the coconut aminos liquid.
15. Cover the pot with lid and let simmer for about 35-40 minutes or until cooked and liquid has emulsified.
16. Serve over rice and/or with pickled sides.
PRINTABLE (right click to download):
I served this bowl with steamed rice on the bottom; and the pork belly is accompanied by my homemade spicy cucumber salad (you can find that recipe – here), traditional sour dill pickles, pickled paprika okra, sautéed shiitake mushrooms (you can find that recipe – here), pickled white onions, and taegu (Korean appetizer of sweet/spicy seasoned codfish).