I was scrounging around in the Asian food market the other day, looking for fresh thai chilis so I could make this. I never did find thai chilis, but I did find out that the Asian market has fresh pork belly. As I have stated before on this site, bacon is its own food group. And pork belly is definitely included in that food group.
For those of you not familiar with pork belly, it is the part of the pig that bacon is made from. It is has been a part of Asian cooking forever, but has only recently become known in American restaurants. There are a lot of ways to cook it, although some sort of braising seems to be the most popular. I love a good braise, but I don’t have time on a Friday to braise. I decided to marinate the pork belly and grill it.
The marinade I used is an old, old recipe for me. I don’t even remember where I got it. It’s great on pork, chicken, vegetables. There are a lot of onions and garlic in it, but the sugar makes a glaze and tempers the flavor. So before you think I put too much onion in, trust me. It’s not too much.
I served this with 101cookbooks’ grilled fava beans, which were an excellent side.
Grilled Pork Belly
2 lbs pork belly, skinned (save the skin for chicharrons)
1 large or 2 small shallots, diced
1 sweet onion (I used baby vidalia), diced
1 green onion, sliced, include greens
3 cloves garlic, diced (I used black garlic)
1 red chili, diced
1 kaffir lime leaf, diced (can substitute 1 tbsp grated lime peel)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice or white wine
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the pork belly into 6-8 pieces
- Mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. It will not all dissolve
- Marinate the pork belly in the marinade overnight in the refrigerator, or for at least 2 hours
- Prepare grill for direct grilling (charcoal or gas)
- When the grill is hot, place the pork belly on well-oiled grate
- Grill about 5 minutes per side, brushing on additional marinade as needed, until pork belly is browned and crispy
- Be aware that the fat dripping onto the coals will make the flames flare up. Keep the cover on except when marinating