Chinese Caramelised Pork Belly Recipe: A Delicious Dish for Pork Lover – Seaco Online
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Chinese Caramelised Pork Belly Recipe: A Delicious Dish for Pork Lovers

If you're looking for a dish that's both sweet and savoury, Chinese caramelised pork belly might be just what you need. This dish is a staple in Chinese cuisine and is popular all over the world. It's made by cooking pork belly in a mixture of brown sugar, soy sauce, and spices until it's caramelised and tender.

A sizzling wok caramelizes chunks of pork belly in a fragrant mixture of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and sugar. The glossy, mahogany-hued pork glistens with a sticky, sweet glaze, emitting a mouthwater

To make this dish, you'll need a few key ingredients. Pork belly is the star of the show, and you'll also need brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a few other spices. You can also substitute some of the ingredients if you don't have them on hand or want to try something different. For example, you could use honey instead of brown sugar for a slightly different flavour.

Cooking Chinese caramelised pork belly takes a bit of time and patience, but the end result is well worth it. The pork belly is cooked low and slow until it's tender and caramelised, and the sauce is thick and rich. You can serve it with rice or noodles and some steamed vegetables for a complete meal.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese caramelised pork belly is a sweet and savoury dish made with pork belly, brown sugar, soy sauce, and spices.
  • You can substitute some of the ingredients to change the flavour of the dish.
  • This dish takes time and patience to cook, but the end result is a tender and flavourful meal.

Ingredients and Substitutions

A kitchen counter with ingredients: pork belly, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, and green onions. Possible substitutions: brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup for sugar, and pork shoulder for pork belly

When making Chinese caramelised pork belly, it's important to select the right cut of pork belly. You should look for female pork belly, as it has a better fat-to-meat ratio than male pork belly. Pork shoulder can be used as a substitute, but it won't have the same melt-in-your-mouth texture as pork belly.

Selecting the Pork Belly

When selecting your pork belly, look for a cut that has a good balance of fat and meat. The skin-on pork belly is the best cut of pork to use for an authentic hong shao rou due to its perfect fat and meat ratio.

Sweetening Agents

Brown sugar is the most commonly used sweetening agent in Chinese caramelised pork belly recipes. However, honey can be used as a substitute for a sweeter flavour. When using honey, reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe as honey is sweeter than sugar.

Soy Sauce Varieties

Light and dark soy sauce are both used in Chinese caramelised pork belly recipes. Light soy sauce is used for its saltiness and to add colour to the dish, while dark soy sauce is used for its rich, caramel flavour. Tamari can be used as a substitute for soy sauce for a gluten-free option.

Aromatic Additions

Garlic and ginger are essential aromatic additions to Chinese caramelised pork belly recipes. Star anise and cinnamon are also commonly used to add a warm, spicy flavour. Sesame oil and rice wine can be added to enhance the flavour of the dish.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also add seafood to your Chinese caramelised pork belly recipe. Shrimp or scallops can be added to the dish for a seafood twist. However, be sure to adjust the cooking time and seasonings accordingly to ensure that the seafood is cooked properly and complements the pork belly.

Preparation Techniques

A large wok sizzling with caramelized pork belly, surrounded by soy sauce, sugar, ginger, and garlic. Steam rising, creating a savory aroma

Marinating the Pork

To prepare the Chinese caramelised pork belly recipe, the first step is to marinate the pork belly. Cut the pork belly into 3/4 inch thick pieces and marinate it in a mixture of soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, ginger, garlic, and five-spice powder for at least 30 minutes. You can also add some seafood to the marinade, such as shrimp or squid, to enhance the flavour.

Boiling and Blanching

After marinating the pork, the next step is to boil and blanch it. Place the pork belly in a pot and cover it with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Skim off any impurities that rise to the surface. Simmer the pork belly for 10 minutes, then remove it from the pot and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Caramelisation Process

The final step in preparing the Chinese caramelised pork belly recipe is the caramelisation process. Heat a wok over medium heat and add sugar and water to it. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then let it simmer until it caramelises. Add the pork belly to the wok and toss it to coat it in the caramel. You can also add seafood to the wok at this stage, such as scallops or mussels. Serve the pork belly with Chinese coleslaw and extra caramel drizzled over the top.

By following these preparation techniques, you can create a delicious and flavourful Chinese caramelised pork belly dish that is sure to impress your guests. Don't forget to experiment with different seafood options to add even more depth of flavour to your dish.

Cooking the Dish

A wok sizzles with chunks of pork belly, caramelizing in a sticky, sweet sauce. Aromas of soy, ginger, and garlic fill the air

Stir-Frying Fundamentals

Before you begin cooking the caramelised pork belly, it's important to understand the basics of stir-frying. Make sure you have all your ingredients prepared and ready to go before you start cooking. Heat your wok or frying pan until it's smoking hot, then add a small amount of oil. Swirl the oil around to coat the pan, then add your ingredients in the following order: aromatics (garlic, ginger, etc.), meat, vegetables, and sauce. Stir-fry quickly and continuously until the ingredients are cooked through.

Braising the Pork Belly

To achieve a tender and juicy pork belly, it's best to braise it first before caramelising. Place the pork belly in a pot with enough water to cover it, along with some aromatics (such as garlic and ginger), salt and pepper. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the pork belly simmer for about an hour, until it's tender. Remove the pork belly from the pot and let it cool. Once it's cooled, slice it into bite-sized pieces.

Achieving the Perfect Crisp

To achieve the perfect crispy exterior on your caramelised pork belly, you'll need to broil it in the oven. Preheat your oven to 200°C. Mix together brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Rub the mixture onto the pork belly slices, making sure to coat them evenly. Place the pork belly slices on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, and broil them in the oven for about 5-7 minutes, until they're crispy and caramelised.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also try adding some seafood to this dish. Shrimp or scallops would be a great addition to the stir-fry, adding a delicious contrast to the rich and fatty pork belly. Simply stir-fry the seafood along with the other ingredients, making sure not to overcook them.

Serving and Pairings

A sizzling wok caramelizes chunks of pork belly, infusing the air with the rich aroma of soy, ginger, and garlic. Bowls of steamed rice and vibrant stir-fried vegetables await the perfect pairing

Accompaniments

Chinese caramelised pork belly is a dish that can be served with a variety of accompaniments. The sweet and savoury flavours of the pork belly pair well with a range of vegetables and grains. Here are some suggestions for accompaniments to try:

  • Rice: Steamed white or brown rice is a classic accompaniment to Chinese caramelised pork belly. The fluffy texture of the rice helps to balance the richness of the pork belly.
  • Vegetables: A fresh and crunchy vegetable side dish can help to cut through the richness of the pork belly. Try serving the pork belly with a Chinese coleslaw made with shredded Chinese white cabbage, Lebanese cucumber, carrot, and spring onions. Top with a dressing made with brown rice vinegar, Spanish onion, coriander, dill, and mint.
  • Seafood: For an extra burst of flavour, consider adding seafood to the dish. Shrimp or prawns can be added to the Chinese coleslaw for a seafood twist.

Wine and Beverage Suggestions

Chinese caramelised pork belly is a rich and flavourful dish that pairs well with a range of wines and beverages. Here are some suggestions to try:

  • Red Wine: A bold and fruity red wine, such as a Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon, can help to balance the richness of the pork belly.
  • Beer: A crisp and refreshing beer, such as a lager or pilsner, can help to cut through the richness of the pork belly.
  • Tea: A hot cup of tea, such as green tea or oolong tea, can help to cleanse the palate between bites of the rich pork belly.

Chinese caramelised pork belly is a versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of accompaniments and beverages. Try experimenting with different flavours and textures to find your perfect pairing.

Nutritional Information

Sizzling pork belly caramelizing in a wok with soy sauce, sugar, and spices. Steam rising, rich aroma. Ingredients laid out nearby

Caramelised pork belly is a delicious Chinese dish that is enjoyed by many people all around the world. While it is a tasty treat, it is important to be aware of the nutritional information of this dish, especially if you are watching your diet.

Here is a table of the nutritional information for a serving of 100g of caramelised pork belly:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 369 kcal
Protein 15.3g
Saturated Fat 14.2g
Sodium 1,050mg
Vitamin C 0mg
Calcium 16mg
Iron 1.3mg
Carbohydrates 28g
Cholesterol 69mg
Potassium 279mg
Vitamin A 0IU
Fiber 0g

 

As you can see, caramelised pork belly is high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium. It is also a good source of protein and carbohydrates. If you are watching your cholesterol intake, you may want to limit your consumption of this dish.

To make this dish a bit healthier, you can try using leaner cuts of pork or adding more vegetables to the recipe. You can also consider using seafood as a substitute for pork. For example, you can use prawns or scallops instead of pork belly to create a delicious seafood version of this dish.

Cultural Context

A wok sizzles with caramelized pork belly, surrounded by traditional Chinese ingredients like soy sauce, ginger, and garlic

When it comes to Chinese cuisine, pork belly is one of the most popular ingredients used in a variety of dishes. Chinese-style pork belly is usually cooked with a combination of spices and aromatics, resulting in a flavourful and tender meat.

Traditional Variations

One of the most famous pork belly recipes in China is the Hong Shao Rou, which is a Shanghai-style braised pork belly. This dish is usually cooked with soy sauce, sugar, Shaoxing wine, and aromatic spices like star anise and cinnamon. Another traditional variation is the Mei Cai Kou Rou, which is a dish made with preserved mustard greens and pork belly.

Modern Interpretations

In recent years, there has been a surge in the popularity of Chinese pork belly recipes in restaurants all over the world. Chefs have been experimenting with different flavours and cooking techniques to create unique and modern interpretations of this classic dish. Some popular modern variations include Cantonese roast pork belly and twice-cooked pork belly.

Festive Significance

Chinese New Year is one of the most important festivals in China, and pork belly is often served during this time as it symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Braised pork belly with arrowroot is a popular dish during this festive season.

If you're looking to add a seafood twist to your pork belly recipe, you could try adding shrimp or scallops to your dish. The sweetness of the seafood will complement the rich flavour of the pork belly. However, it's important to note that not all pork belly recipes are suitable for seafood, so be sure to choose a recipe that complements the seafood you're using.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the secret to a perfectly caramelised pork belly?

The secret to a perfectly caramelised pork belly is to make sure that the skin is dry before cooking. You can do this by patting it dry with paper towels or leaving it uncovered in the fridge for a few hours. Additionally, using a combination of sugar and soy sauce in the marinade can help to create a sweet and savoury glaze that caramelises beautifully.

How can I make a simple Chinese caramelised pork belly at home?

To make a simple Chinese caramelised pork belly at home, you will need skin-on pork belly, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and Chinese five spice. Cut the pork belly into thick slices and marinate it in the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and five spice for at least an hour. Then, roast it in the oven until the skin is crispy and the meat is tender.

What's the best way to serve caramelised pork belly with rice?

Caramelised pork belly is best served with steamed rice and some stir-fried vegetables. You can also add some seafood to the dish, such as prawns or scallops, to give it an extra burst of flavour.

Can you recommend a slow cooker method for caramelised pork belly?

Yes, you can make caramelised pork belly in a slow cooker. Simply marinate the pork belly as usual and then place it in the slow cooker with some water or stock. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the meat is tender and the skin is crispy. Finish by broiling the pork belly in the oven for a few minutes to get that perfect caramelisation.

How do I achieve that crispy skin on Chinese pork belly?

To achieve crispy skin on Chinese pork belly, you need to make sure that the skin is dry before cooking. Score the skin with a sharp knife and then rub it with salt or baking powder to help draw out the moisture. Roast the pork belly in a hot oven until the skin is crispy and golden brown.

What are some tips for using five spice in braised pork belly?

When using five spice in braised pork belly, it's important to use it sparingly as it can be quite strong. Start with a small amount and adjust to taste. You can also add some seafood, such as clams or mussels, to the braising liquid to give it an extra depth of flavour.