This is one of those dishes that impresses people more than it should. That is to say, it’s very straight forward to make, but it tastes delicious and looks fantastic on the plate.
The pork belly is cooked long and slow, so the Chinese/Japanese flavours of ginger, soy and garlic cut through the richness of the meat. The remaining stock is then used to cook brown rice with mushrooms, risotto style.
All you need is to add some steamed greens (bok choy, asparagus, broccoli or whatever takes your fancy), and dinner’s served. This recipe serves four, but it’s easy to scale up should you need to feed more people.
ASIAN BRAISED PORK WITH MUSHROOM AND BROWN RICE RISOTTO
For the pork:
800g boneless free range pork belly (approx 200g per person. It will shrink during cooking)
2 Tbsp canola or other flavourless oil
1 litre chicken stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice wine (sake or similar. At a pinch you can use sherry)
3 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
4 whole star anise
For the risotto:
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 spring onions, whites and greens separated, whites chopped finely
250g brown rice
500ml chicken stock
50g mixed asian mushrooms chopped (eg. shitake, oyster, etc)
100g mushrooms extra (I used portabello)
Green part of the spring onions finely sliced lengthwise
- Cut pork belly into 5cm pieces
- Heat canola oil in a large deep frying pan or casserole dish with lid
- Fry pork belly in the pan until well browned. Remove and set aside
- Reduce heat and add first portion of chicken stock, soy sauce, rice wine, ginger and star anise to the pan. Bring to the boil, then return pork to the pan. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 2 hours or until meat is very tender.
- Remove pork from the pan and set aside. Pour remaining stock into a measuring jug and set aside.
- Heat second portion of canola oil in a large, heavy based saucepan. Add garlic and white parts of the spring onions, and saute until spring onions have softened (this should only take about 30 seconds)
- Add brown rice and stir for about 2 minutes.
- Pour over 500ml chicken stock and 500ml of the leftover pork stock. Add chopped mushrooms and bring to a simmer. Cook until much of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just tender.
- Heat the remaining 500ml of pork stock in a large frying pan. Add second portion of mushrooms and spring onions, and return pork to the pan until heated through.
- Ladle the risotto onto deep plates, top with the pork, and spoon over mushrooms and spring onions. Reduce the remaining stock slightly, then pour over the top. Serve with steamed greens.