From My Kitchen: Pork Belly Adobo

You already know, I love me a good cook book! I have countless ones in a special shelf in my living room, and periodically I’ll pick one out to cook something I haven’t cooked before. My newest one is called Lemongrass & Lime by Chef Leah Cohen. Not only was she one of the earliest contestants on Bravo’s Top Chef, but she also owns two of my favorite restaurants here in New York City, called Pig & Khao and Piggyback. One of the dishes served at Pig & Khao is Porkbelly Adobo, a phillipino dish that had me oohing and aahing. I waited patiently for a few years to get my hands on the recipe, and finally Chef Leah came out with a cook book, and lo and behold: there was my recipe. I finally had a chance to make it, and while it was a touch short of the greatness of the actual dish at her restaurant, it was so friggin delicious! Cook with me….

What you’ll need:

  • 1 2/3 cups light soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup coconut vinegar
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6 Bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/4 Apple Cider vinegar
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 pounds pork belly
  • 6 cups canola oil
  • 6 poached eggs
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine one cup of the soy sauce, the coconut milk, coconut vinegar, 1/3 cup of water, the oil, 2 tbsp of the sugar, 3 garlic cloves, 1 1/2 tsp black pepper, and one bay leaf in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic and bay leaf. Set aside.

Combine the remaining 2/3 cup soy sauce, 12 cups of water, the salt, apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 cloves of garlic, 5 bay leaves, the star anise, black peppercorns, and the remaining one tsp pepper in a large Dutch Oven. Bring to a boil, then cover and transfer to the oven.

Cook until the pork is tender, but not falling apart, about 2 hours. Start checking at 1 hr and 45 minutes. remove the pork from the braising liquid and put on a baking sheet. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours.

Cut the pork into slices, according your desired thickness. Heat the oil in a wok or high sided frying pan/saute pan until it reaches 375 degrees. Fry the pork, two pieces at a time, until golden brown. Remove and drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

Serve with rice of your choice, a poached egg, fresh cilantro and chopped green onion.

Bon Appétit!

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