Monday, June 30, 2014

sweet, sour, salty braised pork with hand pulled noodles

I’ve covered hand pulled noodles before on this site, so this is not a rehash of the noodle recipe, how to make the slurpy tasty noodles can be found in previous posts. The following is a tasty sweet, sour, salty braised pork dish that is unctuous, sticky and delicious. Served with the liquids and vegetables tossed through the fresh cooked noodles and topped with slices of the wobbly caramelised pork belly, makes for an insatiably devourable dish.

Pork belly, bones removed (put in the braise if you have them)
2 Oranges, zest and juice
1 Large chunk of ginger, peeled and grated
5 Cloves of garlic, grated
Large Bunch of coriander, leaves chopped and root set aside
4 or 5 large dried red chillies
1 Large fennel bulb, sliced thinly
1 Large onion, sliced thinly
3 Tbsp of fennel seed
6 Allspice berries
Soy sauce
Fish sauce
Oyster sauce
Palm sugar (or brown)
Rice wine vinegar
500ml Chicken Stock

Preheat the oven to 160ºC, fan forced.

Heat an oven proof casserole pan over a medium high heat, or use a large frying pan and transfer to a dish later, season the pork belly all over with salt and then place skin side down in the pan and brown for about 5 minutes, flip and brown on the flesh side.

While the pork cooks, grind the allspice and fennel seeds together. Combine about 2-3 Tbsp each of the fish, soy and oyster sauce, also grate the same amount of palm sugar, you may require more depending on how sweet your oranges are.

Remove the pork from the pan and set aside. Sauté the onion and fennel until translucent, add the garlic, ginger, dried ground spices, chillies and coriander root. Cook until fragrant. Pour in the orange juice and zest and reduce. Add the fish, soy and oyster sauce along with the palm sugar and chicken stock.

Simmer for a few minutes, taste and season with oyster sauce, sugar and rice wine vinegar. You want a good balance of sweet/sour/salty, you need enough sweetness so it will become a lovely sticky sweet and sour sauce.

Stir through a handful of coriander leaves, keep some aside for garnish, nestle the pork into the sauce and cover. Cook for 2.5 hours. Remove the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Slice the meat with a sharp knife and let it rest in the sauce while you prep and cook the noodles. Toss the cooked noodles with some of the soft fennel and onion and a good helping of the liquid, top with slices of melt in the mouth pork, garnish with mung bean sprouts, chilli oil and coriander leaves.

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