Char Siu with Pickled Carrot and Mooli

The second dish that we did was based on Jeremy Pang’s recipes I found on BBC Good Food: oven roasted char siu (BBQ-ed pork belly) with pickled carrots and mooli.The recipe is easier than I thought it would be: just mix all ingredients for the marinade, rub it into the rindless pork belly set in a roasting tin, cover and chill overnight. The next day just put the roasting tin with the marinated pork in the oven and after 4+ hours you will have a delicious and sticky char sui.

The first 3 1/2 hours are done covered with tin foil at 160C/320F, basting every hour, and then – after a final basting – finished with another 45 minutes at 180C/355F without the tin foil (or until the char siu starts to caramelise around the edges). Which each basting session you will see the marinade become darker, thicker, stickier and more fragrant.

Due to the long oven time, pretty much all fat from the pork belly had rendered and sat nicely in a pool at the bottom of the roasting tin. It left us with succulent, lean slices of deliciously spiced char sui.

IMG_2876After resting and slicing we served the char sui with mini flour tortillas (which worked well as substitute for the Peking duck wraps I had in mind as the substitute for the steamed bao buns from the recipe. We deemed the buns way too filling for our pork belly extravaganza).

IMG_2882

We followed the lead on the suggested wasabi mayonnaise (6 tablespoons mayo mixed with 1 teaspoon wasabi paste). As we had some spare time, we also did a kimchi ketchup and a miso mayonnaise based on delicious dips served with a burger I had at Copper Restaurant (Ubud, Bali) last year. The miso mayonnaise followed the same ratio as the wasabi version and for the kimchi ketchup we added 2 teaspoons of kimchi juices and about a tablespoon of very finely shredded kimchi to 6 tablespoons of ketchup. Both mayo dips went very well together with the char sui. The kimchi ketchup clashed a bit with the sweeter char sui marinade, but turned out to pair very well together with the deep-fried Lechon Kawali (the crispy fried pork belly at the bottom of above picture).

The pickled carrot and mooli (a.k.a. daikon or rammenas) were okay but nothing special. The minimum infusion time of 1 hour is too short to get any flavor into the vegetables; we actually infused for 3 hours, but it got better only after a couple of days in the fridge.

Recipe accuracy:
The recipe was very easy to follow and the measures of ingredients work well together. You will be able to fill at least 12 wraps/pancakes.

Suggested tweaks:
For a quick fix of refreshing acidity to this dish, I’d rather revert to seriouseats.com’s “Quick-Pickled Cucumbers with Rice Vinegar” recipe I made for my Sous Vide Pork Neck Buns dish.

Verdict: 9/10; Will definitely be made again.

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