Recipes

Twice cooked pork belly with soba noodles, nashi pear, pickled walnuts and apple soy

By Chef Benjamin Cooper

Benjamin Cooper

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Ingredients

Pork belly marinade

  • 2kg pork belly skin on – bone removed
  • 400ml shaoxing wine
  • 300ml healthy boy soy sauce
  • 80g fresh ginger, sliced and pounded
  • 80g garlic, smashed
  • 100g Korean pepper flakes
  • 50g chilli trimmings

Apple soy

  • 1L healthy boy soy
  • 800ml kecap manis
  • 1 litre cloudy apple juice
  • 4 granny smith apples – grated (skin, juice, seeds all kept)

Sweet pickle

  • 1 litre rice vinegar
  • 800g sugar
  • Large pinch salt
  • 80g ginger scraps

Beansprout pickle

  • 1kg beansprouts
  • 1 litre sweet pickle

Walnut pickle

  • 1kg walnuts
  • 1 litre sweet pickle

Final components

  • 500g sliced or cubed twice cooked pork belly + crackle (see ingredients below)
  • 250-300 g soba noodles cooked al dente
  • 100g daikon, julienned
  • 80g nashi pear
  • 50g spring onion, sliced in rounds
  • 30g red chilli
  • 40g ginger julienne
  • 150ml apple soy (see ingredients below)
  • 40ml sesame oil
  • 40g toasted sesame seeds
  • 50g pickled bean sprouts (see ingredients below)
  • 70g pickled walnuts (see ingredients below)
  • 50g picked coriander

Method

  1. 1.
    Pork belly marinade: Place all the marinade ingredients into a roasting tray and place the pork belly on top, skin side up and leave uncovered, to allow the pork skin to dry out. Place into the fridge and marinate for 24-48 hrs. After marinating 24-48 hours remove the tray from the fridge and rub the pork skin with oil and lemon juice. Coat liberally with salt, (don’t be afraid pork and salt are very good friends). Place the pork into a clean roasting tray with either a roasting rack or cut vegetables for a trivet. Then place the tray into the oven preheated oven at 140°C and cook for 2½ hours. When finished increase the temperature to 215°C – 220°C and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the crackling is irresistible.
  2. 2.
    Apple soy: Place all ingredients in a stainless steel pot and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for 30-40 minutes. Allow the mix to reduce by no more than ¼ of its original volume. Remove from the heat and place unstrained into a sterilised kilner jar. Allow to cool, then seal and refrigerate for 2 weeks prior to use.
  3. 3.
    Sweet pickle: Combine all sweet pickle ingredients and place in a container and set aside.
  4. 4.
    Walnut pickle: Blanch your walnuts three times in salted water on the third time rinse and then cover with sweet pickle. Store in well-sealed glass jars and set aside.
  5. 5.
    Beansprout pickle: Wash your beansprouts and trim. If the beansprouts are a little bit stringy blanch and quickly refresh with a little iced water and then drain. Cover with the sweet pickle. Store in well-sealed glass jars and set aside.
  6. 6.
    Final steps: Preheat oven to 220°C. Place the pork on a tray and roast till the pork starts to caramelize and the fat starts to render. In the meantime toss all the salad ingredients together and combine with dressing. Remove pork from the oven and place on your serving plate. Build the salad on top and serve. Garnish with the pork crackle. Devour with beer or sake or bubbles.