Sumptuous and tender vinegared black belly of pork served with apple slices pickled in Shiragiku Vinegar and sweet maple syrup.
300-400g whole piece belly pork
1/2 tsp each of salt Katsuobushi (dried skipjack tuna flakes), mixed
100ml Mizkan Shiragiku Vinegar (add 1 tbs maple syrup to mimic a black, sweet vinegar), or use Chinkiang Black Vinegar
6 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp sichuan peppercorn whole
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tbs sea salt
5g grated ginger
5g grated garlic
15ml (1 tbsp) black tahini or black sesame paste
1/2 tbsp black treacle or molasses
200ml apple juice
4g (1/2 tsp) sichuan peppercorn whole
3 star anise
2 apples – ‘Granny Smith’s’ or tart apples
1. Heat your oven to 130C.
2. With a very sharp pointed tool (e.g. steel chop sticks) pierce the top of the pork belly fat as many times as possible keeping perforations as evenly as possible. This will allow the fat underneath near the pork meat to rise through the holes to the top and make the skin extra crispy.
3. Mix together the apple juice, vinegar, tahini paste, and treacle in a saucepan and bring to the heat adding the star anise, peppercorns, cinnamon, ground allspice, ginger, garlic and salt. Turn off the heat before the mix boils. (Using the Mizkan Suehiro Vinegar will introduce a low acidity though without the sweetness of an aged vinegar…hence the maple syrup addition).
4. Now pour the hot mix into a small casserole tray . Season the underneath of the pork belly with salt/katsuobushi mix then place it into the tray with the apple juice-vinegar mix making sure the belly fat is facing up and cover with aluminium foil.
5. Bake at 130C covered for 90 minutes then turn the oven off completely for 60 minutes leaving the pork inside
6. Remove the tray from the oven after the 60 minutes, then turn the oven back on to 180C.
7. Remove the foil lid from the dish/tray and place the uncovered pork into the oven to cook further and to crisp up the skin. This can take from 30/50 minutes depending on how fatty your pork was originally and the performance of your oven. After 30 mins have a look at the pork and keep tapping the skin to see if it has hardened.
8. When crispy the pork should be bubbly and brown in the middle with blackened edges so remove it from the oven and let sit in the sauce. This can be served straight away after straining the liquid to use as a sauce or leave for 24 hours to allow the sauce to coat the outside of the pork.
1. Mix together half the water (keep the other half cold) in a saucepan and bring to the heat adding the star anise, peppercorns, sugar and salt and turn off when sugar has dissolved. Add the cold half of the water to cool.
2. Core the apples, cut them in half lengthwise, and then slice them 2 mm thick with a mandolin or sharp knife and place in a glass bowl then pour the pickling liquid over the apple slices and let infuse for at least 60 minutes.
3. Drain and serve with the pork.
Ronald Laity is Mizkan’s Culinary Development Chef. A lifelong foodie, he has worked as a lobster fisherman, fishmonger, cheese maker and dairy hand, before finally falling in love with Japanese culture and cuisine, immersing himself in Japan for 6 years. Since being back, Ron has contributed to the UK Japanese Culinary scene, whether at Yakitoria, Samurai Sushi, Senkai, Feng Sushi, Bincho Yakitori and United Ramen, before joining Mizkan. Ron loves experimenting with authentic Japanese ingredients and developing new ways to bring those flavours to life.
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