My last attempt at cooking pork belly at home was almost exactly a year ago with delicious but messy results. The time it takes to cook pork belly (which usually benefits from slow cooking such as braising and roasting) doesn’t really appeal to my sensibilities, which accounts for why I don’t do it too often. I bought this piece on a whim (a.k.a. I was shopping on a hungry stomach and slightly buzzed from an after-work cocktail and biking past the Japanese market on my way home) and was at a loss for how to cook it. I even emailed my mom asking about some dishes she had cooked when I was a kid; it was kind of difficult to verbalize what I was talking about when I don’t know how to spell the Chinese pinyin words for what I meant (“pork with the sauce (“tang”) that I put on rice”) and when she doesn’t know the English words for certain ingredients (“You mean use soy sauce to cook pork for a while thing?”).
Anyway, I remembered that I had a bunch of five-spice powder leftover from the last pork belly and just Googled a recipe, which turned out to be the very simple and very delicious Five Spice Braised Pork Belly.
Some minor changes to that recipe: I only had a little less than a pound of pork belly, but kept the measurements of the other ingredients the same which yielded a little more soup. I also used a large shallot instead of a medium onion and used the soy sauce plus brown sugar substitution.
Sauteing diced onions then adding ginger and five-spice powder. Smelled wonderful.
Put the pork belly on top, cover with water, soy sauce, fish sauce, and smashed garlic. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for a couple hours. The recipe said at least 3, I was impatient and did 2.
Ladle the reduced soup/sauce and it’s good to go.
I think next time I will try a crispy version, but I haven’t yet found pork belly with skin on. It’s also tough to find a pork belly recipe that doesn’t use a ton of ingredients I don’t have on hand and I’m super lazy. So… yeah, that about says it all.