Sunday dinner – slow roasted pork belly with arugula & fennel salad


It’s been a week already, I still haven’t got my last Sunday dinner blogged! That’s so bad, not because I am lazy, I am just too busy and no time to write. Well, the good thing is, I still have time to cook, which is more important!

Last Sunday, I cooked a roasted pork belly, I’ve been thinking to cook that one for quite some time, and I’ve finally made it last week. I should have cooked more, but just because the piece that I’ve found is quite pricey, so I ended up with this small piece. 

Make sure you give the pork belly a good wash, and dry it before starting to cook. We need to score the skin of the pork belly with a sharp knief to create this diagonal checks pattern, not too deep, something around 5mm. Cutting like this helps to have a crunchy skin, which is important and you don’t want the skin ended up like a piece of rubber. Season the pork belly with salt, pepper, fennel seed, and maybe some herbs that you like, such as oregano or thyme.

Use a bake tray or a pan that you can put in the oven later on, hit it up with olive oil, then put the garlic, one whole fennel bulb that chopped into strips, let them fry a bit and season them with fennel seed, the herbs at your choice, salt and pepper, place the pork belly in the pan with skin side facing down, until the skin is slightly brown. Flip the pork belly over, pour some white wine in and let it cook for few minutes. Now, pour in some pork stock or vegetable stock to cover 2/3 of the pork belly, put it into the a pre-heat oven under 160C to slowly roast it for 2.5 hours. 

I found it a bit too burnt for the skin, it is crunchy, just I wonder if it will help if I can wet the skin every now and then with the sauce / oil to keep it moist. I will try it out next time. I serve the pork belly with arugula and fennel salad, I think to tie back with the fennel in the pork belly.

Orange Pork Rib with Orange Salad

We’ve done a small party at home on Saturday night, and I was cooking for 8 of us. Nothing new, just trying to re-cook some dishes, as some of my friends would love to try my cooking. I was planning to cook two different salad as starter, but I ended up with making only one. Having the ingredients ready at home, it’s good to cook something that can go with this salad. Since the salad is with oranges as one of the key ingredient, I am thinking to cook something with orange as well. How about pork ribs with orange? I think taste wise should go very well together, so let’s do it!

First of all, season the pork ribs with salt and pepper, let them sit for a while. Put some butter in a hot pan, then fry the chopped onion until they turned brown. Place the pork ribs in the pan and fry each side of the ribs, then cut one entire garlic in half and let it sit on the pan. You can switch off the fire now and start preparing all ingredients for the grilling part, of course you also need to preheat your oven with 210C. Place ginger slices and orange slices in the pan, get them evenly distributed nicely in the pan. Then, put the sauce in, make sure the sauce is on every single rib. The sauce is a mix of light soy sauce, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Place the pan in the oven and grill for 30-40 minutes under 210C, or until the pork ribs turn golden brown. You might need the turn the ribs in the middle of the way.

For the salad, it’s super easy! Just place arugula in a big salad bowl, then cut the fennel bulb into thin strips, and the orange in slices without skin. Mix them well and serve with the salad dressing with olive oil, mustard, honey, balsamic vinegar and fresh lemon juice.

The taste of the salad and the pork ribs go really well together, as they are both with orange flavour and the sauce for pork ribs vs the salad dressing are very similar. I’ve also tried the orange from the pork ribs, also taste very good with the ginger flavour with the rich taste from the marinated sauce.

Easter Saturday dinner – Grilled Herring with Orange, Fennel and Arugula Salad

One of our couple friend got too many herring by mistake and they are off for Easter holiday, so they gave us five herrings. So I have to cook something with the herrings during this Easter holiday.

That’s what I came up with, grilled herring with orange, fennel and arugula salad.

Let’s get the herring clean and get the filet out from the whole fish. Chop the head and tail off, then cut the fish open and get all the inner parts out, then cut from the bone and slide the filet off. Well, actually there are still a lot of bones, it is so tough to clean up all the tiny little bones. Pre-heat the oven and meantime can get the salad ready.

Cut the fennel bulb into thin slices, place them into a big salad bowl. Then, cut half of a red onion into thin slices, place them into the bowl as well. Then, remove the skin from two oranges, and then cut them into regular slices. Lastly, put arugula into the salad bowl, mix everything well together. Now, get the dressing ready, this dressing can be used for both the salad and the fish. The dressing will be with olive oil, mustard, honey, a bit of salt and lemon juice.

When the oven is ready, switch to 210C and place all herring filet in a tray, no need to season with salt because the herring is quite salty. Just season with pepper and olive oil. Grill them in the oven for 10 minutes or until they are done. Squeeze some lemon juice on top, and garnish them with chopped basil and parsley. Serve the fish together with the salad and some bread.