Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Crispy Pork Belly

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Pork Belly seems to be one of the most sought-after cuts of meat. The Iron Chef show is who really brought this cut to the forefront. In restaurants today, it’s become one of the hottest items to order.

Once you’ve ordered the Pork Belly, you’ll most likely always order it no matter the style it’s being served. It’s that delicious!  I sometimes think we may be a little slow when it comes to trying new things. Many Asian cuisines, have for many years, implemented Pork Belly into a variety of their dishes.

I have a great and easy way to prepare Crispy Pork Belly at home so it will come out tender, golden, with a crispy top. This recipe doesn’t require scoring the skin in any way. This will allow you to slice it later and it will retain its integrity. I think it’s worth mentioning, that Shaoxing rice wine is available in most Asian markets today.

If you love Asain cuisine and want to make delicious Asian dishes at home, Shaoxing rice wine should be a pantry staple.

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Kosher Salt

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 4 to 12 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 13 hours 15 minutes
Yields: 10 large pieces
Equipment: Roasting pan with rack,  9 x 9 glass baking dish, whisk

Ingredients:
1 (2-pound) pork belly
1 cup of Kosher salt, coarse grind

Marinade:
1/4 cup of soy sauce, low-sodium
1/3 cup of Shaoxing rice wine
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
1/4 cup of orange juice
2 cloves of garlic, minced

Directions:
Using a paper towel, pat the skin of the Pork Belly completely dry. Whisk together all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and then pour them into a baking dish that’s just big enough to hold the pork belly.

Carefully place the Pork Belly into the baking dish making sure only the meat touches the marinade. The skin on the top must remain completely dry. If the marinade level is too high, then discard any extra by pouring some of it off. Place the baking dish with the pork belly and marinade into the frig for at least 4 hours to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.

Completely line a roasting pan with foil. Pour an inch of water into the bottom of the pan. Place a wire rack on top to hold the Pork Belly.

Remove the baking dish with the marinated pork belly from the frig. While the pork belly is still in the baking dish, spread 1 cup of Kosher salt evenly over the fat cap of the pork belly as seen in the pictures above.  Next, transfer the Pork Belly onto the wire rack. The Pork Belly will cook above the water and the drippings will fall into the water.

Note: If one part of the Pork Belly is slightly lower or shorter on one side, use an oven-safe item to prop up that side so the pork will cook evenly. Bake for around 40 minutes.

Adjust oven temperature to 470-degrees F.

Remove the Pork Belly from the oven. The salt should have formed a crust that can easily be removed. Refer to the side by side picture of the Pork Belly with the removed salted fat cap.

Place the Pork Belly back into the oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes. The skin should be bubbly and crisp.  Using an instant-read thermometer, the internal temperature should be 165-degrees F.

Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Crispy Pork Belly is a great appetizer and one I know you’ll make over and over.

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Beef And Broccoli Stir-Fry

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Asain cuisine is known for its perfect balance of flavors. Incorporated are salty, sweet, hot, and bitter (or sour) ingredients performing together like a musical symphony like my Beef And Broccoli Stir-Fry.

The key to cooking any type of Asain cuisine is to have all your ingredients ready and all the prep work made in advance. Once the cooking starts everything moves really fast.

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Tamari

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Sesame Oil

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Shaoxing Rice Wine

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Basmati Rice (1)

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Cilantro

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Limes

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Garlic

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Wok

Beef And Broccoli Stir-Fry

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) saucepot, 1 (3-quart) saucepot, 2 large mixing bowls, 1 medium-size mixing bowl, 1 small mixing bowl, Wok, chef’s knife, 1 (1-gallon) resealable plastic baggie

Note: For best results, marinate the flank steak the day before.

Ingredients For the Marinade:
1/4 cup of soy sauce, low sodium
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
3 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of fresh ginger, minced

Directions For Marinating Flank Steak:
Place into the refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours to overnight. When ready to use, discard the liquid transfer the Flank steak to freezer to get hard but not frozen. Transfer to a cutting board and slice super thin.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds of flank steak, marinated and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of peanut oil (substitute Canola or vegetable oil)
1/2 cup of green onions, 1/4 cup green tops sliced on the bias, and 1/4 cup of sliced white parts
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of frozen broccoli florets, thawed, room temperature
1 tablespoon of Shaoxing rice wine (substitute a dry Sherry)
1 tablespoon of Tamari
3 tablespoons of soy sauce, low sodium
2 teaspoons of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of cornstarch (reserve 1 tablespoon to thicken the sauce)
1/4 cup of beef stock, unsalted, plus an additional 2 tablespoons

Ingredients For Cilantro Lime Rice:
1 1/2 cups of Basmati long-grain white rice, uncooked
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 clove of garlic minced
2 1/4 cups of water
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
3 limes, 1 zested, 1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges
1 cup of lightly packed chopped cilantro, leaves and tender stems, extra leaves for garnish

Directions For Cilantro Lime Rice:
In a large bowl add the Basmati rice. Cover with cold water. The water will become cloudy from the starch being released. Drain and repeat this proccess 2 to 3 times or until the water runs clear. Drain well.

In a saucepot over medium heat bring the water up to a slow boil. Add 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt and the zest of a 1 lime.

In another large saucepot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the rinsed rice and stir to coat with the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally until the rice has started to brown. Add 1 clove of minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

Pour the hot flavored water over the rice. Bring to a rolling boil, then cover (with foil first then secure the lid on top as seen in the above picture). Lower the heat to low to maintain a very low simmer.

Cook undisturbed for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit still covered for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Transfer the rice to a serving bowl. Pour lime juice over the rice and toss with chopped cilantro. Set aside.

Directions For Beef:
Note: Place the beef in the freezer for about 30 minutes before slicing. Having the meat is somewhat hard makes slicing the beef very thin will be much easier.

In the meantime start by prepping all the vegetables for the dish. Transfer all the prepped vegetables onto a large plate. Place the thawed broccoli florets into a large bowl.

In a medium-size mixing bowl add Shaoxing rice wine, soy sauce, 1/4 cup beef stock, Tamari, and light brown sugar, stir to combine. In another small mixing bowl add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of beef stock, whisk until it becomes smooth and paste-like.

Take the meat out of the freezer and slice the sirloin(s) into very thin slices, transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, whisk to combine. Dredge the slices of beef into the cornstarch mixture until the slices are evenly coated. Set aside.

Preheat a wok over medium-high heat, add the peanut oil and swirl it around the wok. The wok should be just starting to smoke. Add the minced garlic, Fresno chili, and ginger, cook for 30 seconds. Immediately add the slices of beef spreading them out into a single layer, don’t overcrowd. If needed, do this step in batches transferring the seared beef to a plate until the next batch is finished. Allow the sliced beef to sear, do not stir allowing the meat to brown. Once the meat starts to caramelize on one side, 3 to 4 minutes, using a pair of tongs, turn the slices over and brown another 3 to 4 minutes.

Add all the seared meat back into the wok.

Add the julienned bell pepper, sliced green onions (the white parts) and sliced red onion, frequently stirring, cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

Next, pour the Shaoxing rice wine mixture into the wok, stir to combine; cook for 30 seconds. Add the cornstarch *slurry and bring to a boil, cook for 1 more minute, or until sauce just starts to thicken. Finish by adding the broccoli florets, toss to warm through.

Remove the wok from the heat. Add sesame oil and toss.

To serve, ladle a generous helping of my Cilantro Lime Rice in the bottom of a porcelain serving bowl/plate. Top with my Beef And Broccoli Stir-Fry. Garnish with sliced green onions (tops) and/or cilantro leaves and lemon wedges.

Serve hot.

*Cornstarch slurry: A cornstarch slurry is a mixture of cold liquid with cornstarch. It’s used as a thickening agent and is particularly common in Asain dishes.

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