Never one to pass up a chance to make pork belly, this recipe is from a recently purchased Thai cookbook called True Thai, by Hong Thaimee. It’s a good book with a lot of great recipe ideas.
There’s not a ton to say about the dish, except, of course, that it’s delicious.
What you’ll need:
- 0.25 cup vegetable oil (from my experience 2T is more than enough)
- 3 or 4 shallots, sliced thin (a small onion works in a pinch, too.
- 2T minced garlic
- 1 cup palm sugar (try to use this because it’s different than brown sugar, and it’s available in most Asian markets)
- 2 lbs pork belly, cut into one-inch cubes. (Just halve the recipe if that’s too much meat.)
- 0.25 cups mushroom sauce
- 2T black or dark soy sauce
- Salt (not that you’d need it with the soy sauce and mushroom sauce)
What to do:
Heat the oil in a large, high-sided frypan. Over medium heat sauté the shallots for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Be careful that the garlic doesn’t scorch. It will ruin the dish if it does, and you’ll have to start over.
Add the palm sugar and continue stirring until the sugar has melted and caramelized to a dark amber. Note that most palm sugar comes in flying-saucer-shaped chunks, so it’s best to chop them up before using in this recipe.
Now for the best part: add the pork belly, then mix well.
Add enough water to just cover the pork, and add the mushroom sauce, black soy sauce and salt (I wouldn’t), and mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a simmer for 40 or so minutes. Stir every once in a while.
After 40 minutes have passed, and the pork is done, there may still be a lot of liquid in the pan. This is easy to fix: just remove the pork with tongs, and turn up the heat to boil some of the excess liquid away. When it’s cooked down to a flavorful thick syrup, reintroduce the pork belly and stir the pieces so they’re covered.
Serve hot over rice or noodles.