Pork belly, you can never go wrong with it. That should be made into a bumper sticker, right?! No, seriously. You can cook pork belly in so many ways, season or marinate it with almost anything, and it will always turn out good. (Well, not unless it’s burnt and dried as a charcoal!) Growing up, it’s normal to have a pork belly dish on the table for every special occasion or festivity. But more than that, I think it’s one of those dishes that you know you shouldn’t eat too much, but you just cannot stop eating anyway…? 😉
Slow cooking is one of my favorite ways to cook pork belly. But in those days when you are short for time, this dish, salt and pepper pork belly, would be your best friend. All you need is salt and pepper to season it, some garlic, chilies and spring onions – oh, and sesame oil.
You can use either a wok or a frying pan to cook this dish. I tried using both, and then I tried my Dutch oven. Guess which one I ended up using regularly? 😉 I think wok is the best, BUT I am HOPELESS in cooking any protein (except shrimp) in a wok. I always OVERCOOK it. 🙁 If you are in a better shape than me, then WOK away! 😀 I will stick to my Dutch oven (for now). 🙂
Shallots is also a good substitute for the green onions. Just make sure you keep an eye on them, because they tend to burn fast. As for the chilies, if you don’t have fresh ones, chili flakes would do just fine. (But it’s lovely to see the small slices of red chilies in the plate, though 🙂 )
I always serve salt and pepper pork belly with rice; either saffron or coriander rice would be good (in my opinion). 🙂
- 1/2 kilo (or 500 grams) pork belly, without skin and bone
- 2 small cloves garlic, minced
- 3 stalks spring onions, sliced thinly (use only the light part and save some for garnish)
- 1 to 2 chilies
- 1 to 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 to 1 1/2 tsp sea salt (or salt flakes)
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Slice the pork belly into thin squares. Keeping them thin is the key to cooking the meat quickly.
Turn the stove into medium high and heat up a pan. Once ready, pour the sesame oil and add the sliced pork belly in the pan. Fry them until they are browned and cooked. Take the cooked pork belly out of the pan and set them aside.
Pour out the oil from the pan and leave just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat down to low.
Add the garlic, chilies and spring onions and cook until fragrant. Turn the heat up and add the cooked pork belly slices, salt and the pepper. Stir to combine evenly.
Take off the heat and transfer in a plate to serve. Garnish with more spring onions, if desired.
- Adapted from Adam Liaw's 'Asian After Work: Simple food for every day'