I bought a slab of pork belly over the weekend. I was thinking of making roasted pork (again) when I bought it because I felt like it at that moment. But when I was getting ready to cook it, I decided to cook something else because I didn’t feel like making roasted pork anymore. This kind of thing happens to me all the time.
- 1 slab of pork belly
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 5 okras (ladies fingers)
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (or whatever vinegar/wine)
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- some water
Yes, I’m going making braised pork belly. Actually, I totally made this recipe up, on the spot, so if you feel like following it, follow at your own risk. I wasn’t planning on it, so I did not watch any videos beforehand to learn. And notice how there’s no garlic or five spice or some other exotic herbs? That’s because I didn’t buy them and hence don’t have them.
- Bring some water to boil.
- Cut the slab of pork belly into pieces.
- Pour the boiling water over the pork and blanch them for a minute or two. This cleans the surface and removes excessive porky taste.
- Heat some oil over medium heat and stir fry the pork until slightly browned.
- Add soy sauce, then oyster sauce, then vinegar, then honey into the pan. Stir and mix well.
- Add half a cup of water into the pan and set to high heat. Once water starts to boil, turn down to low heat, cover the lid, and let the pork slow cook for 30 minutes.
- While the pork is cooking, soak frozen peas and cut okras into pieces.
- At the 20 minutes mark, the water should be almost evaporated and the gravy would be quite thick. Add the vegetables in and mix the things up. Continue to cook for the last 10 minutes. The vegetables should release some water and we wanna cook those water away too.
Then your pork belly is done. You can serve it over rice, or you can be a bit eccentric (like me) and do a east meets west combo and serve it over some boiled elbows macaroni.
So so delicious, and you know what? This kind of dish is something that you can probably only taste at the comforts of home. I reckon none of the restaurants/cafes would dare to risk it and serve you Chinese braised pork over Italian pasta. Heck, if I see something like this on a restaurant’s menu, I probably would steer clear of it! 😀 😀
In case you haven’t noticed, this is my style of cooking. I don’t stock up on exotic ingredients. Whatever I have at my disposal are basic ingredients and seasoning, and I mostly cook with whatever I have. I realize most established cooks will insist on using some special herbs or spices to bring the dishes to a-whole-nother level, but I don’t really care about that kind of fine details. My only concern is to cook something edible and doesn’t taste horrible.
I also realize many people who want to start cooking nowadays usually look to the blogs and Youtube to learn up some theory first. And then they see Jamie and Gordon start talking about fennel and thyme and coriander and whatnot, and they are deterred just by seeing and hearing those complicated herb names. (I hope) I’m here to bridge that gap. For
idiots beginners in cooking, you can watch Jamie Oliver’s videos but omit those exotic stuff. Trust me, if you do not add thyme or rosemary to your roast chicken or something, it will still be 80 to 90% as delicious. Let’s just master the basics and cook something edible first before we worry about kicking Gordon Ramsay’s butt, yeah?