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 siu.
The first 3½ hours are done covered with tin foil at 160℃/320℉, basting every hour, and then – after final basting – finished with another 45 minutes at 180℃/355℉ without the tin foil (or until the char siu starts to caramelize 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 siu.
After resting and slicing we served the char siu with mini flour tortillas (which worked well as a 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).
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 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 siu. The kimchi ketchup clashed a bit with the sweeter char siu marinade but turned out to pair very well together with the deep-fried Lechon Kawali (the crispy fried pork belly at the bottom of the 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.
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.
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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