Crispy pork belly, with a warm, soft center, gently scented with five spice and ginger.
That's what I made today.
This preparation was not easy to crack, but I managed. Although I looked at dozens of recipes, this is damn near exclusively my own concoction.
In a nutshell, I cut belly into cubes. Boiled it, rubbed it with spices and salt, and pressed it overnight. The next day I fried it in peanut oil and ate it down with a dab of Beaver brand Chinese hot mustard.
Crispy five-spice belly
Mirepoix (a carrot, a stalk of celery and 1/2 onion, rough chopped)
1 heaping tspn five spice powder
1 heaping tspn ground ginger
2 tspns salt (divided use)
1 cup peanut oil
Cut the belly into cubes. Bring mirepoix and 6 cups water to a boil. Simmer the bellies for 15 minutes. Remove bellies from water and cool slightly. Score the flesh side of each cube, and poke holes in the skin with a fork.
Regarding scoring, I docked (poked with a toothpick) the skin and scored the flesh of the first batc h of crispy belly I made. I simmered it whole.
Round two of crispy bellies were cut into cubes and simmered. Then scored and docked.
After scoring and docking, I rubbed the flesh with the spices and salt (equal parts five spice, ginger and salt). The skin was rubbed with salt only. The cubes went into the cooler to be pressed/marinated overnight. Pressing gives a shape that is easier to manipulate and it pulls some of the excess fat.
Heat the peanut oil. I cut some of the cubes into rectangles, and fry until crispy. The kitchen smelled of five spice and cooking pork. Really delicious.
So, $30 worth of pork, two recipes I'll absolutely make again, and two pounds in the freezer.
I have had my fill of pork belly. Call me porked out.
But, I do (heart) belly.