Lazy Man’s Braised Pork Belly

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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.

Procedure:

  • Bring some water to boil.
  • Cut the slab of pork belly into pieces.

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  • 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.

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  • Add soy sauce, then oyster sauce, then vinegar, then honey into the pan. Stir and mix well.

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  • 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.

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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?

32 Comments

  1. I really am not a fan of pork. I try to avoid it as much as possible – don’t like the taste. And for that reason my parents and relatives laugh at me condescendingly for that.

    But, I must say your pork belly and macaroni looks really good. So macaroni is still a fashionable dish in Malaysia. Always ate macaroni in soup at the school canteen 😀

    • Huh? I always thought macaroni in soup is something unique to my school! I have never seen any restaurants or shops sell it! I guess it is unique to all schools and not just my school. Unless we went to the same school.

      Which school did you go to in Malaysia, by the way? What are the odds?

      • I ate macaroni soup all the time in Malaysia and Singapore. The macaroni was boiled soft, served with what I presumed was lightly tasting chicken soup free of Ajinomoto. Now that you mention it, I haven’t seen it at restaurants either. And not in Melbourne either.

        I went to Sri Inai in PJ. Please tell me something different, because I don’t think you went there 🙂

        • LOL! Nope! Not the same school. Phew!!

          You know, I sometimes cook macaroni like that, because I sometimes miss school food! 😀

  2. You are amazing, haha, every time I try to “make up” some recipe it ends up tasting like… nothing. I think I need to add more salt, spices and sauces i general, hahaha.

    • That’s it. If you want more taste, add more seasoning LOL! If you home cook, no matter how heavy you go with the salt, I bet it is still much less compared to eating out, so you would be fine.

  3. I will eat that! I think this is good. I mean there’s soya sauce and oyster sauce for savoury flavour and honey for sweetness and vinegar for a touch of sour. How could it not be tasty? And with addition of macaroni, okra and peas, you have yourself a complete one dish meal. Yum! 😀

  4. I love pork belly but, unfortunately, I don’t eat them when they’re in a wobbly state like that! 😀 It has to come with crispy skin! XD

    Hope your mom don’t see this post of yours *wink wink*

    • I love both ways. Sometimes wobbly is great, especially when you put them in your mouth and it melts instantly, heaven!! 😀

    • Well, many people do think that pork belly is unhealthy to eat, with all those fatty bits and whatnot. I respectfully disagree. I think everything that we eat is unhealthy if not eaten in moderation. So my advice to you would be: try to cook some! 😀 😀

  5. I dont Youtube Jamie or Gordon.. Too canggih for me.. Usually I google in local blogs.. Feel safer.. Lastime everything was from kuali.com. Now I google blogs, haha.. Eh your lou fei chue yok looks so good.. Like what my mil cooks leh.. Usually she puts in LOTS of boiled eggs too.. Oooo and spices like star anise and that long thingy, dunno wats that.. But seriously, you braised pork dish ok wor, looks very yap mei..

    • Jamie is not too bad, as long as you don’t listen to him when he give you inaccurate estimates. Can still learn some interesting home cooking twist from him. Gordon, I only watch him for entertainment, when he F*** here and F*** there. 😀 😀

      I don’t have those spices, so have to make do with just see yau and hou yau. Still nice lah, don’t care about those delicate flavors! 😀

  6. Looks so good! We just made something similar to this but in the Filipino adobo style, with their soy sauce and cane vinegar. So yummy! Your twist over pasta looks quite interesting.

    • I watched some travel shows on the Philippines, it seems like adobo is inspired by the Filipino Chinese, I won’t be surprised if they are similar!

      The pasta is sort of an enforced twist. The pork didn’t seem enough by itself as a meal, and the only thing I have is pasta, so anything goes! 😉

  7. You really go with the flow. That’s good, no need to stock up on spices which will go to waste after not being used for a long time. I do eat food like this, just not the fatty bits. Like the siew yoke I ate during dim sum, I spit out the fatty bits. So do you spit out the fatty bits in between the layers of meat in the pork belly or you swallow them all?

    • Are you kidding me?? The fatty bits is part of the components that make pork belly delicious! You need to eat the lean bits AND the fatty bits together to feel heavenly! 😀 😀

  8. wow, porky porky!!! I just had very nice roast pork for lunch just now and now I am seeing another favorite if mine – the braised pork!! not quite exactly the braised pork I have been having, you didn’t use star anise but vinegar!! and definitely none i have had it with pasta together, hehe!!

    • Haha, like I said, I only cook with what I have. I won’t go out of my way to get a piece or 2 of star anise just for 1 dish. Will have to make do with 80% of the taste.

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