Slowly steamed pork belly produces really tender results and is served with cabbage-wrapped vegetable rice parcels.
For the pork belly
650g/1lb 7oz pork belly, skin removed
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2.5cm/1in fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
2 star anise
200ml/7fl oz vegetable stock
4 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
1 heaped tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cornflour blended with 2 tbsp water (optional)
micro herbs, such as shiso and coriander, to garnish
For the sticky rice
300g/10½oz glutinous or Thai sticky rice
300ml/10fl oz vegetable stock
1¼ tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp finely grated fresh root ginger
1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
¼ tsp ground turmeric
100g/3½oz smoked tofu, cut into 3mm cubes
50g/1¾oz Tenderstem broccoli, cut into small pieces
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, sliced
2 tbsp tamari or low-sodium light soy sauce
1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
1 spring onion, finely chopped
small handful coriander stalks, finely chopped, leaves reserved to garnish
For the parcels
6 Savoy cabbage leaves, blanched until tender then plunged in iced water and dried
6 garlic chives or normal chives, blanched and dried.
To make the pork belly, bring a wok or saucepan half-filled with water to the boil. Add the pork belly and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the pan, rinse under cold water and dry with some kitchen towels. Slice the pork into three pieces.
Heat a wok over a high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the rapeseed oil. When the oil begins to smoke, add the pork pieces to the wok and fry for about 1 minute on each side until browned. Add the dark soy sauce and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the ginger, Sichuan peppercorns and star anise and stir for a few seconds. Mix the stock, light soy sauce, rice wine and brown sugar together in a bowl, add to the wok and bring to the boil, adding cornflour if needed, then transfer the pork and sauce to a plate that will fit inside a large bamboo steamer with at least a 2.5cm/1in gap between the plate and the steamer.
Place the pork in the bamboo steamer over a wok or saucepan half-filled with water and bring to the boil. Steam for 1–1½ hours until the pork is tender. Check occasionally that the water hasn’t completely evaporated. Remove the pork from the steamer, transfer the juices of the pork into a bowl and keep warm.
Meanwhile, to make the sticky rice, wash the rice until the water runs clear. Add the rice and stock to a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer with a lid on for 15 minutes, or until all the stock has been absorbed. Turn the rice out onto a baking tray and leave to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Once the rice has cooled, stir 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil into the rice. Heat a wok over a high heat and add the rapeseed oil. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the carrots and turmeric and toss for 10 seconds. Add the smoked tofu, broccoli and shiitake mushrooms and toss for another 10 seconds. Add the cooked rice and gently stir to break up the rice. Season with the tamari, rice vinegar and the remaining ¼ tablespoon of sesame oil. Cook for a further 2 minutes until the rice is slightly golden. Sprinkle over the spring onion and coriander stalks.
To make the parcels, spoon the rice mixture evenly into the cabbage leaves and tie up each leaf into a parcel with the chives. Place on a serving platter along with the pork pieces. Spoon the pork cooking juices over the pork pieces. Garnish with the micro herbs and coriander leaves and serve immediately.
In other news – Mampintsha steals R20 000
Event organizer and owner of Gesh Lounge and Entertainment Bhekani Ndlovu said Mandla “Mampintsha” Maphumulo stole his money. Ndlovu booked him for The Weekend Shutdown on 29 December but the singer didn’t pitch.
“Mampintsha told me he was booked for another gig here in Empangeni and didn’t mind coming to Gesh Lounge afterwards. He demanded that I pay R20 000 before the event,” he told Daily Sun. Read more
Source: BBC Foods