Since Angelina's posts are primarily of home cooked meals, we decided to do a kitchen collaboration. With the help of some more bad ass local New Yorkers, we settled on a battle of pork belly. What would Angelina and I cook with pork belly in our own kitchens? Well, this is the first of what I came up with in my tiny kitchen back in Orange County...
A beer braised pork belly with mango jalapeño salsa and an apple and pear mint salad. Yum. The thick cuts of pork belly were marinated in light soy sauce, Worcestershire, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, crushed red pepper, green onions stalks, sliced jalapeños, and Sriracha. They were all thrown into a Ziploc freezer bag for a few hours. Check out this video on how to use green onions made by yours truly.
To braise the pork belly, season them with salt and pepper. Then they are seared on each side. An entire bottle of OB, a Korean brand of brown lager, is added to the pot. To the beer I tossed in the marinade. It took a good 20 minutes or more for all of the liquid to simmer down. The result was a spicy, sweet, and flavorful reduction sauce. So good.
While the beer reduces down to a condensed sauce, chop up some ripe mango and jalapeños for a quick and simple salsa. Throw in some cilantro and season with fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. It may need a bit of oil to bind together, but I used the mango jalapeño jam from D-Lish Jams.
For simple and refreshing salad, slice up apples and pears, and toss with freshly chopped mint. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to keep the fruit from oxidizing and turning brown. Any types of apples and pears will do. I love Fuji apples and Korean pears because they are fragrant and crisp. Parsnips can also be used as a substitution for the pears.
After all of the beer simmers down, let the pork belly sit for a few minutes to cool down. The juices need to redistribute equally throughout the meat before slicing. I placed the slices of pork belly over strips of scallions for some bite and crunch. And the final reduced sauce can be drizzled over the top of the meat and around the plate for an extra touch of flavor and presentation.
The dish would have been great with a starch, either rice, noodles or even potatoes or steamed buns, but I decided to go without them this time. The salad and salsa were both great ways to cut the grease from the pork belly, so that was good enough for me.
I will post Angelina's kitchen creation on the next post (Pork Belly, Part 2). In the meantime here is a pork belly recipe and a mango salad from the Whisks & Ruffles archive. Some of my favorite posts by Angelina on Whisks & Ruffles include her seafood cioppino, her master recipe of Japanese ramen, and fancy mac & cheese. Angelina was born in Indonesia, and her husband Brian is Korean-American, so you may find some Indonesian and Korean influences in her home cooking. Yum!
Stay tuned for the second part of this blog collaboration. Until then, let's all get S.O.F.A.T.
ML - 20130221