Pork Recipes

Chinese Braised Pork Belly Recipe

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Braised pork

Before I start with my Chinese pork belly recipe here’s some trivia:

Question: Which country consumes the most amount of pork in the world?

Answer: China, 54.2 million metric tons in 2006.  Total world consumption 98.9 million metric tons.

That’s more than 50% of all pigs in the world.  I guess that makes sense since a lot of Chinese dishes have pork.  Dim Sum, pork short ribs, BBQ pork, pork knuckles, roast whole pig, pepper and salt pork chop, minced pork, etc. You get the idea.

Personally, I love pork,  I think it’s one of the most flavorful meats out there.   It also has great texture, can be cooked in a variety of ways, and it’s inexpensive compared to beef.  In fact, North Carolina loves pork, pulled/chopped pork is a staple here.

So here is my Chinese braised pork belly recipe.  It’s fairly quick and easy, although the cooking time is a few hours long.  The tip is to set everything up early, pop it in a crock pot, set it and forget it. Generally if I’m lazy, I’ll make some rice, put some pork on it and eat away. But in this post I’ll show you a few other easy things you can make with it for a more comprehensive meal.   So here we go!

Braised pork ingredients

Recipe

Difficulty Level: 1 – Heat, stir, and have a beer.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3.5 hours
Real people serving size:4

Braised Pork Belly
Ingredients:

2-3 lbs pork belly
1 Medium chunk of Rock Candy (half the size of a golf ball) or 2 tablespoons of sugar
6 cloves of garlic (smashed)
3 slices of ginger
4 whole star anise
1 tsp of whole peppercorns
2 whole red chillies (totally optional, I like it a little spicy)
3 tbs shao xing cooking wine
1/2 cup of soy sauce (or 1/4-1/2 cup of dark soy sauce depending on salt level)
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tbs salt as necessary
1 tbs vegetable oil
4 cups of water (just enough to almost cover the pork belly)
4 hard boiled eggs (or more if you love eggs)

Chinese Braising Spice Packet
As an alternative you can also use our Chinese Braising Spice Packet. It contains all the dry ingredients in a simple convenient spice pouch. Just place it in with the wet ingredients and you’re done. Try it today.

Special Offer: Buy One Get One Free

Directions:
First dry the pork belly and give it a good sear in the Dutch oven (or stainless steel pot), at least 15 min. Then add the ginger and garlic and brown a little in the oil. Then dump in all the other ingredients and set it on low and braise for 2-3 hours. Your cooking time will vary depending on your stove and what your “low setting” is, so check after 1.5-2 hours and you can test how tender the pork is. The longer you cook the more tender it will be. I love to be able cut it with a fork, so I braise it a tad longer, generally 2-2.5 hours. You’ll probably never have to go over 3 hours, otherwise your low setting is waaayyy tooo low.
If you prefer using the oven then pre-heat to 325°F and bake for 2-3 hours. You can also cook the pork belly in a slower cooker (crock pot) but it’ll probably take longer.
Last tip, the boiled eggs get a little tough during the process so you can put it in at the beginning for more flavor or during the last hour for a softer but less flavorful egg. (picture shows 2 hour egg) You can also take it one step further by taking a cup of the braising liquid and reducing it down until it’s thick. It makes a great sauce for the pork belly and rice.

Bok Choy
Ingredients:
1tbs oil
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
10 baby bok choy stalks

Directions:
It’s super easy.
1. Cut off the ends of the bok choy and wash. Some people might like it whole so you can leave it whole also.
2. Heat oil, make sure it’s hot!
3. Put in minced garlic and stir, maybe 30 seconds, make sure it doesn’t burn.
4. Toss in the bok choy, stir and toss. Should be a few minutes. It generally cooks fast and continues to cook once the fire is off. But you can cook it on your personal taste some people like it really soft, I prefer it slightly crunchy.

(optional) If you don’t want to stir fry it simply salt some boiling water and boil it for a minute or two. Once the green color brightens start thinking about taking it out. It should cook pretty fast in boiling water.

Plating
Once everything is cooked get a bed of rice, place the pork belly, egg, and some bok choy on top of it. Drizzle some sauce (great on rice) on top of the pork belly. Garnish with some preserved mustard and cilantro. Then pig out! That’s it.  Oh you can also put the braised pork belly in ramen!

You can apply this braising recipe to almost any cut of pork or type of meat. In fact, Chinese people usually use this braising liquid with a hodge podge of meats. I also use this recipe for intestine, ribs, pork knuckle, ham hock, etc. And some people even save it and continually use it and reuse to to increase the flavor of braising liquid.

Good Luck and post any questions or suggestions you have about this recipe.

Korean Tacos Recipe

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Korean Tacos
Kogi Korean Taco Recipe?  Kalbi Tacos? Has Asian fusion finally descended on the simple and delicious Mexican Taco!
Absolutely, in fact the craze started in California with a Korean taco truck and then a Baja Fresh test case in my old stomping ground of Irvine, CA.  I really love tacos and I really love Korean BBQ so why not try my own take on the new age Asian fusion tacos.  With my version I went with a shot gun approach and made a bunch of different sauces and fillers.   This enabled me to make a variety of combinations, like a taco bar.  My favorite combinations are at the end of the of the post.

Here’s my quick break down on tacos in general, they are essentially made of three very important parts:

  1. Tortilla (corn, flour) – Corn is my personal preference for tacos but you have to make sure that they are fresh.  Tortillas don’t hold for too long before getting stale and your neighborhood grocery store probably doesn’t have a high turnover rate so they get hard and stale.   I recommend finding a Mexican store and buy them there. It’s probably cheaper and since the turnover is higher it’s fresher.
  2. Filling (beef, fish,pork, vegetables, etc) – I like pork a lot for my traditional tacos and will make some pork tacos in the future but for these Asian fusion tacos, I’m going to use beef.  Korean BBQ mainly revolves around beef short ribs but you can use rib eye, boneless beef rib meat, flank steak, or skirt steak.
  3. Sauce (salsa,etc) – Salsa is a very personal matter and there are millions of salsas in the world so pick your favorite or try one of mine.  I did purchase the Kimchi directly from the store to save time and I recommend you do the same. I also made some soy based and mayo based sauces to spread over the tacos in the recipes below.

So here goes.

Recipes

Difficulty Level: 5 – Some prep, some mixing, and a little cooking.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1.25 hours
Real people serving size:4

Korean Kalbi Meat
Ingredients:

2.5 lbs boneless rib meat (or any type of steak that’s on sale)
1 bottle Korean BBQ Kalbi marinate (I know it’s from a bottle but from my experience it’s a lot easier and taste just as good from the bottle, but feel free to use your own recipe)

Directions:
Marinated the beef over night in a zip lock bag or container and flip it once through out the process.  After all the condiments and sauces are done then start cooking the beef.  I usually cook it on the grill at a medium heat, but you should be careful because the sugars from the marinate will caramelize quickly and can easily burn.  Aim for medium or medium rare depending on your preference.  The last few minutes I usually turn the fire to high to nice char on the meat.

Korean Sangchu Lettuce Salad
Ingredients:
1 head lettuce
2 green onion
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp Korean red pepper flakes

Directions:
1. Shred the lettuce into quarter inch width strips and shred the green onion to as thin as you can get it.
2. Mix the rest of the ingredients and mix with the lettuce and green onion.

cucumber salad

Red Thai Pepper Cucumber Salsa
Ingredients:
1/2 English cucumber
2 Thai chili peppers
2 tbs rice vinegar
3 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt

Directions:
1. Shred the English cucumber
2. Remove Thai chili pepper seeds and julienne
3. Dissolve salt and sugar in rice vinegar
4. Mix them together and sit for 30 minutes

Asian taco sauces

Sweet and Spicy Mayo Dressing
Ingredients:
3 tbs mayonnaise
1.5 tbs sugar or powered sugar
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp paprika

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together and set aside. Adjust sweet and spicy as needed.

Red Onion Salsa
Ingredients:
1 red onion
1 small yellow onion
1/2 cup cilantro
1 tbs white vinegar or rice vinegar
1/2 lime
1 tsp salt

Directions:
1. Dice red and yellow onion and coarsely chop cilantro.
2. Mix in vinegar, juice of the lime, and salt and let sit for at least 30 minutes.

Roasted Jalapeno Salsa
Ingredients:
1/2 medium Yellow onion
1 small Bell pepper
1-2 Jalapenos
1/2 head garlic
5 medium tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon Salt
and Black Pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Grill and char the onion, pepper, jalapeno, tomatoes, and garlic until black. About 25 minutes.
2. Remove all or some of the seeds from the jalapeno (depending on how spicy you want it) and remove skin from garlic.
3. Add everything in a blender with the tomatoes add a pinch of pepper and salt to taste. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.
4. If you want a little more of a kick add in a clove of raw garlic and blend again. You can also add more tomatoes or some water to the consistency that you personally like it.
5. Let sit for a hour or two then re-taste and season as necessary. The flavors will melt together and taste more full.

Sweet Soy Dressing
Ingredients:
1 cup soy sauce
1 tsp vinegar
3 tbs white or brown sugar

Directions:
1. Mix together, dissolve, and reduce to a thick syrup. (or just go to the Asian market and pick up a bottle of sweet soy sauce and reduce if needed)

Asian tacos

Plating
Well this one is simple warm up the tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds and lay everything out on the table. Then dig in. There’s no secret to putting together a taco but don’t get greedy as all the condiments may make the taco a little unmanageable. Try your own fillers and sauces and combinations.

My favorite combinations were:
1. Beef, Korean salad, Sweet soy sauce (nice sweet and savory flavor)
2. Beef, Sweet and spicy mayo, Cucumber salad, and Kimchi (tart spicy and creamy)
3. Beef, Red onion salsa, Roasted jalapeno salsa, and Kimchi (hot and fresh)

Good Luck and post any questions or suggestions you may have about this and other asian enticement recipes. Now go make your own Korean taco with exotic fillings today.

Shredded Pork and Sichuan Preserved Vegetable Noodle Soup

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I often get Sichuan preserved vegetables and pork noodle soup when I go to Taiwanese restaurants, but then I figured out the recipe and how to make it, with the help of my aunt of course. It’s often referred to in restaurants as preserved vegetables with shredded pork or pork with sichuan preserved vegetables noodle soup. This Chinese noodle recipe has very little prep time and makes a good portion for all your family members or guests. Make it a noodle party!

Now the main ingredient is the Sichuan (szechuan) preserved vegetables. Now what is a preserved vegetable? In this case it is the root or steam of a mustard green, pickled in chili powder and salt. You can also buy them uncut in local Asian supermarkets, usually next to the fresh tofu or fresh fish cake. Or you can buy it in the can. I use the White Rabbit brand cans because they are already shredded for me. White Rabbit also sells preserved vegetable whole in cans so make sure you pick the ones that say shredded on it.

Recipe

Difficulty Level: 1 – Heat, stir, and have a beer.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Real people serving size:4

Ingredients:
1 can shredded szechuan (sichuan) preserved vegetables 12oz (make sure it’s the shredded kind)
1-1.3 lbs shredded pork
1 tsp soy sauce
0.5 tsp white pepper
1.5 tsp corn starch
1 tsp sesame oil
2 14 oz cans of chicken broth
2 cans of water or use more chicken broth
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 green onion (for garnish)
Add white pepper to taste
a handful of dry Chinese flour noodles (not chow mien noodles, not egg noodles, not udon, not spaghetti)

Directions:
First you want to marinate the shredded pork. Sometimes your butcher can cut it into strips for you but often Chinese markets will have pork loin pre-cut into strips. Or you can cut them into strips that are a few inches long and 1/4 inch thick.
To marinate the pork simply add the soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper and corn starch together. It should be a light marinate, that just coats the pork. Let that sit for 5-10 minutes.
The reason we add corn starch is because it helps to break down the pork. I’m not sure why it acts as a tenderizer but it does. I’ll have to research that and get back to you in a later post.


While pork is marinating, heat a big pot and add in 2 cans of chicken broth and 2 cans of water, bring to a boil.
Open the can of preserved vegetable and rinse 3 times with a colander, otherwise it’ll be really salty.
Now stir fry the pork in a pan with vegetable oil until it is brown.
Now combine all of it in the pot. Add pork and preserved vegetables to the broth and let simmer for 30 minutes. If it’s too salty then add more water or chicken broth.
When you’re 10 minutes away start boiling hot water for the dry noodles.
Done!

Options
One of the easiest option is the type of noodle that you can use. I prefer Chinese noodles but in reality you can use any type of noodle. You can also substitute chicken for the pork. Or for a vegetarian version you can leave out the pork and replace it with some other vegetables like bok choy, spinach, bean sprouts, etc.
Oh and if you have pork and preserved vegetables left over with no broth, then you can save it and make fried rice from it! Yes I love fried rice.

That’s it, so easy yet so good.  Either way I hope you enjoyed the Chinese pork and vegetable recipe.