Ingredients

  • 1kg pork belly piece, cut in half
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2.5cm piece of root ginger, unpeeled, washed and finely sliced
  • 1 bay leaf, roughly crushed to release flavour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander, to garnish
  • 6 lime wedges, to garnish

For the spicy nanban-style dipping sauce:

  • 50ml soy sauce
  • 50ml rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

Method

  1. Place the pork belly halves, crushed garlic, ginger slices, bay leaf and salt in a large pan and fill with water, covering the pork belly by 2cm. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 90 minutes, skimming any scum off the surface as it cooks. Near the end of the cooking time, preheat the oven to 130ºC.
  2. Remove the pork belly from its cooking liquor, place it on a rack over a deep tray and roast in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Then, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.
  3. Once cool, wrap the pork in plenty of cling film and refrigerate it until you are ready for the final cooking step and serving. The pork can be prepared up to this point three days ahead.
  4. When you are ready for the final cooking stage, make the nanban-style dipping sauce by adding all the ingredients to a bowl and mixing well to dissolve the sugar.
  5. Take the pork out of the fridge and unwrap. For a wondrously crispy crackling, blow-torch the skin. When cool enough to handle, cut the pork belly into 2.5cm cubes.
  6. Heat the sunflower oil until very hot, around 170ºC. Deep-fry the pork belly cubes in batches for 3 minutes until golden brown (do not fry for much longer or the meat will dry out and become tough), placing them on a plate lined with kitchen paper while you cook the rest.
  7. Serve the crispy pork belly cubes with a sprinkle of finely chopped coriander, lime wedges and the spicy dipping sauce.

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