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Homemade typical Cantonese roasted style – roasted pork belly & char siu 

Usually, I cook Western food and put it on my blog. The other day, one of my best friend was asking me, why don’t I cook more Chinese food. The reason is, I used to cook Chinese food since I was a kid, and I feel Western food is more challenging for me. My friends then said that, actually there are a lot of challenging Chinese food and I should cook more on my Sunday cooking and for my blog. OK! Here you go!

I always want to make this sous vide version of char siu 叉燒, and my husband loves to eat roasted pork belly 燒肉. Let’s do both, the top selling meat at those Cantonese roasted restaurants. 

I have to get everything ready 5 hours before dinner time. First of all, it takes 4 hours to cook the sous vide pork collar butt.  For the roasted pork, it takes 1.5 hours. So, let’s get everything going right after lunch. I bought all the ingredients, back home and start getting things ready. 

I started to marinate the pork belly, make sure there is no hair on the skin. Wash it and dry it, then you have to score the skin. Use a sharp knife to score the skin diagonally, or you can use the tip of the knife to stab it. Keep stabbing and make sure it go through the entire skin. Mix some Shaoxing wine and Rose Wine, wipe them evenly all over the pork belly. Then season it with salt, pepper and five-spice powder. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours, of course the longer the better. 

Now, I go to work on the sous vide char siu. Same thing like the pork belly, mix some Shaoxing wine and Rose Wine, wipe them evenly all over the pork belly. But then season it with salt, brown sugar and five-spice powder. Place them into the vacuum bag and seal, then bathe them in the hot water under 70C for 4 hours with the sous vide slow cooker. 

1.5 hours before the pork collar butt will be done, we can start to prepare the pork belly. Place the meat on a foil with skin up, wrap the foil around the meat by leaving just the skin open. Clean the skin and wipe with some white vinegar, then cover the entire skin with kosher salt. Place the meat with foil on a tray and grill it under 210C for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Then, remove it from the oven and clear up all the salt on the skin. Stab the skin once more time, and remove the foil. Place the piece of pork belly directly on the rack in the oven under 250C for 30 minutes. When it’s done, remove it from the oven and let it sit for a while to cool down, that also help to maintain the juice inside the meat.

Now, when the pork collar butt is done with the sous vide cooking after four long hours. Coat them with a layer of char siu sauce, then a layer of honey and place them in the oven under 250C to grill for 5 to 10 minutes,  turn over the meat in-between to make sure both sides are nicely grilled.

I served them with some lettuce, as I always love the idea of Korean BBQ, eat the roasted meat with vegetables. Lovely!

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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.