Pork Belly Bánh Mì
- 1/2 cup tamarind paste
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 3 tbsps sugar
- 2 lbs pork belly
- 1 French baguette
- Approximately 1/2 cup cucumber slices, for garnish
- Approximately 1/2 cup shredded carrots, for garnish
- Cilantro, roughly chopped or torn, as needed for garnish
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
1. Combine the tamarind paste, soy sauce, grated ginger, sugar and a pinch of pepper. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning if needed.
2. Score the pork belly skin with a very sharp knife. (Note: Your butcher can likely do this for you.) Season the skin with salt and pepper. Pour a couple of tablespoons of the sauce into a large oven-safe pan or baking dish. Place the pork belly in the baking dish skin-side up and coat well with more sauce, rubbing it into the scored skin. Store remaining sauce for later use. Cover the baking dish and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight, or at least 2 hours.
3. Remove pork from the fridge at least 20 minutes before cooking to allow the meat to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300° F.
4. Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup of water to the pan, depending on its size. Cover the pan with a lid or foil. Place in the oven and cook pork for 90 minutes. The meat should be tender and yield easily when pierced with the blunt edge of a spoon or fork.
5. Raise the temperature of the oven to 350° F, uncover the pan, flip the pork and cook for another 15 minutes. Then flip and cook skin-side up again for another 15 minutes to help caramelize the skin. If you’d like more crispness and caramelization, you can finish the pork belly under the broiler for about 2 minutes. Remove the pork from the oven and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes.
6. Cut the baguette into 4 portions and slice open. Lightly warm in the oven or toaster oven if desired. Once the pork has rested, slice it into portions, following the score marks in the skin to make the slicing easier. Spread a small amount of the reserved tamarind sauce onto each baguette portion and layer with shredded carrots, cucumbers, cilantro and pork belly slices. Serves 4.
courtesy of winespectator.com