Braised shaoxing pork belly with greens

4
2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500g of pork belly strips, sliced into lardons
  • 4 spring onions, cut into 2cm pieces, green tops reserved for garnish
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 15g of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp of Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tbsp of light soy sauce
  • 1l water
  • rice wine vinegar, to taste
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard leaves, roughly chopped
  • 100g of sugar snap peas
  • 1 red chilli
  • 250g of rice noodles
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Method

1
Start by blanching the pork belly lardons – this is a common technique used in China to remove impurities from the meat. Bring a pot of water to the boil, then blanch the meat for a minute or two. Remove the pork belly, rinse under cold water and set aside
2
Pour a splash of oil into a large casserole pot, and put it over a medium high heat. Fry the garlic, ginger and spring onion pieces with a pinch of salt for a minute to release the aromas, then add the pork belly and dark soy sauce and fry for another minute
3
Add the light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and water, along with another good pinch of salt (not too much though – the broth will reduce and therefore get saltier over time!) Bring to a boil, then add your pork belly lardons back into the broth and simmer gently for 60-90 minutes with a lid on, depending how soft you like your pork belly. Keep skimming off any impurities as the broth cooks – this will give you a clear, clean broth at the end
4
When the pork is cooked, taste the broth for seasoning and adjust as required – rice wine vinegar will help cut through the richness of the broth, but you may want to add more salt and pepper too
5
Cook the noodles in a separate pan, according to the packet instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water to stop them sticking together, and toss them with the sesame oil
6
Take the spring onion tops you reserved for garnish and thinly slice them lengthways. Dunk them into ice water and they will crisp and curl up. Remove and drain on kitchen towel
7
Meanwhile, cook the Swiss chard and sugar snaps in the broth for 1 minute
8
Serve the broth, rice noodles, pork belly lardons and greens in a nice big bowl. Garnish with spring onion and thinly sliced red chilli