CRISPY ROAST PORK BELLY WITH JAPANESE PICKLES
FOR THE PICKLES
200ml rice wine vinegar 100g sugar ¼ telegraph cucumber (or 1 small cucumber), thinly sliced ¼ small daikon, peeled, thinly sliced 1 shallot, thinly sliced (I used red shallot) black sesame seeds to garnish (optional)
Combine the vinegar, sugar, cucumber, daikon and shallot in a sealable plastic bag and seal, squeezing out the air. Refrigerate for 2 days before using, garnished with black sesame seeds, if desired.
FOR THE SEASONING
½ teaspoon sea salt ½ tablespoon brown sugar 1 tablespoon five spice powder
Mix the ingredients together and set aside.
FOR THE PORK
1kg pork belly 5cm piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced 3 spring onions, cut into 5cm slices 6 kaffir lime leaves, plus extra to garnish if desired 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar 300g coarse sea salt wholegrain mustard to serve
Wash the pork belly carefully and put in a large saucepan. Cover with water and add the ginger, spring onions and kaffir lime leaves.
Bring to the boil then simmer for 30 minutes or until the juice runs clear when a skewer is inserted in the pork belly. Remove from the heat, drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain on paper towels.
Use a skewer to prick holes all over the skin of the pork. Turn over to the flesh side, sprinkle over the seasoning and rub in.
Put the pork into a container, skin side up, and dab the skin dry with paper towels. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Remove the pork belly from the fridge and put it on a large sheet of foil. Fold the sides of the foil up around the pork to enclose it snugly.
Transfer the foil-enclosed pork to a baking tray and dab the skin with paper towels, then brush with the vinegar. Spread the sea salt over the skin (the foil edges will stop it from falling down the sides). Put in the oven to roast for 1 hour, then remove from the oven.
Switch the oven to grill and medium-high heat. Move the shelf so it’s at least 25cm from the grill.
Fold down the foil and scrape all the salt off the top and sides of the pork. Return the pork, without the foil, to the baking tray.
Put the pork back in the oven under the grill for 20-25 minutes, rotating the tray once, until the skin is golden, crispy and puffed.
Slice the pork and serve with the pickles and some wholegrain mustard, surrounded by kaffir lime leaves for decoration, if desired.
WINE A dark, juicy pinot noir, such as the Akarua Pinot Noir 2015.