White-cut pork with garlic sauce

White-cut pork with garlic sauce

By
From
The Real Food of China
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Leanne Kitchen

Another punchy Sichuan dish but this time potent with garlic, not spice. It’s easy to make (you just need to cook the meat the day before, then chill and slice it finely) but depends, for optimum success, on the best pork money can buy. Choose a cut with a good ratio of fat to lean: belly, shoulder or neck all work well. It rightly needs some skin in the equation too, as the contrasting textures of melting fat, soft meat and slightly chewy skin, all cut through with a hot jolt of garlic sauce, are nothing short of sublime.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 kg piece boneless pork belly, skin on
coriander sprigs, to serve (optional)

Sugared peanuts

Quantity Ingredient
80g small, raw red-skinned peanuts
1 tablespoon sugar

Garlic sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1 large head garlic, cloves peeled and coarsely chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons clear rice vinegar

Method

  1. To make the sugared peanuts, preheat the oven to 180°C. Put the peanuts on a baking tray and roast for 15 minutes, or until golden, then cool. Rub off some of the skins — you don’t need to be too fastidious, but get rid of the skins from about half of the peanuts. Combine the peanuts with the sugar in a food processor and, using the pulse button, coarsely chop. Set aside.
  2. To make the garlic sauce, combine the garlic, soy sauce, sugar and vinegar in a food processor and process until a smooth purée forms. Thin with 2–3 teaspoons water if necessary — the sauce should have a thick, flowing consistency.
  3. Put the pork belly in a saucepan large enough so the pork can lie completely flat, then add enough water to just cover. Place over a medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook the pork at a bare simmer for 2–2½ hours, or until very tender — do not let it simmer hard or the meat will be tough. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the pork to cool in the liquid. Drain the pork well, reserving the liquid for another use if you like, then wrap the pork in plastic wrap and refrigerate. The pork can be cooked up to 2 days in advance.
  4. When ready to serve, use a large, sharp knife to cut the pork as evenly and thinly as you can, slicing the pork against the grain. Arrange the cut pieces neatly on a platter (reserve any less than perfect pieces or scraps for a salad or some other use). Drizzle some of the garlic sauce over the pork and scatter over some of the sugared peanuts and coriander sprigs, if using. Serve immediately, with the remaining garlic sauce and peanuts on the side.
Tags:
China
Chinese
Asia
Asian
Real Food of China
Leanne
Kitchen
Antony
Suvalko
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