Crispy pork belly bacon with egg-fried rice and burnt chilli sauce Burnt chilli dipping sauce with crispy garlic
SERVES 2 MAKES ABOUT 800ML
150g pork belly, skin removed 1tbsp cassia bark (or ground cinnamon), toasted
3 fresh bay leaves
1tbsp coriander seeds, toasted 1tbsp white peppercorns, toasted
1tbsp fennel seeds, toasted 1 bulb garlic, sliced in half horizontally, plus 4 garlic cloves, pounded to a paste
2 banana shallots, sliced in half 2litres vegetable oil
1 large egg, beaten
150g cooked jasmine rice, cold 20ml soy sauce
4tbsp burnt chilli dipping sauce, to serve (see recipe, right)
10g chives, chopped, to garnish
First, blanch the pork belly to remove impurities. In a large pan, heat enough water to submerge it. When simmering, add the pork belly and 2tbsp of salt. Simmer for 10-12 minutes until the pork is warm throughout, skimming off any scum. When cooked, rinse the pork belly under cold running water.
Bring a separate large pan of water to a simmer and add all the spices, the garlic bulb, shallots, remaining salt and warm pork belly, making sure they are all completely submerged. Cover and simmer for 3 hours. When cooked, remove the pork belly from the pan and set aside. Strain and reserve the liquor.
Heat the oil in a large, deep pan to 160C/310F. Carefully submerge the pork belly and deep-fry for 8-10 minutes until the belly is crispy (be careful of spitting fat). Remove the belly from the oil and set aside to cool, then slice widthways to get half-crispy, half-soft thick chunks of pork-belly bacon.
Heat 2tbsp oil in a large wok to a high temperature. Fry the garlic paste until golden brown, then add the beaten egg and stir a few times so it scrambles in big chunks. Add the rice and scrape constantly, making sure it doesn’t stick to the wok (lower the heat if this happens). Stir-fry the rice for a further 3-4 minutes until it darkens a little and smells a little smoky. Add the soy sauce and 30ml liquor from braising the pork belly – just enough to loosen the rice.
Serve the rice in bowls, topped with the pork belly, burnt chilli dipping sauce and a good sprinkling of chives. 1litre vegetable oil
1 large garlic head, peeled and crushed
500g long red chillies, pricked with a fork
100ml fish sauce (or soy sauce) 50ml oyster sauce (optional) 50ml distilled white vinegar
50g palm sugar (or soft dark brown sugar) coriander leaves, chopped, to garnish
Heat the oil in a large saucepan until it reaches 180C/350F.
While this is heating, prepare a tray lined with kitchen paper, plus a sieve placed on top of another pan that is deep enough to contain the used oil.
Check the oil is hot enough by dropping in a little garlic and seeing how it reacts; it should fizz lots but then settle quickly to a gentle bubble. If it makes a loud noise, the oil is too hot. When ready, add all the garlic and stir carefully with a longhandled spoon to separate any clumps. Fry for about 1 minute until the garlic begins to turn golden brown, then very carefully pour the oil through the sieve and set aside. Tip the garlic from the sieve onto the kitchen paper; it will crisp up as the oil drains off and cools.
Char the chillies under a hot grill, but keep an eye on them as if they’re black all over they will end up being very bitter. Allow to cool slightly, remove the stems and blitz in a food processor straight away – the residual heat from the still-warm chillies makes the sauce come together better. Add the remaining ingredients (except coriander), plus 6tbsp of the garlic oil, to a food processor and blitz until combined; the sauce should be a light red– orange colour and taste sweet, sour and hot. At this point, the mixture can be stored in a sterilised jar in the fridge indefinitely. If you are serving immediately, top with crispy garlic and coriander leaves.