twice-cooked pork belly yak­i­tori skew­ers with nori jam

donna hay - - JAPANESE -

4 cloves gar­lic

1 cup (250ml) mirin (Ja­panese rice wine)

½ cup (125ml) soy sauce

1.5kg piece bone­less pork belly

4 green onions (scal­lions), cut into 3cm lengths mi­cro (baby) pur­ple shiso leaves and shichimi tog­a­rashi+,

to serve steamed Ja­panese rice, to serve (op­tional)

nori jam

1 ta­ble­spoon soy sauce

1 ta­ble­spoon sesame oil

¹⁄³ cup (75g) caster (su­perfine) sugar ¹⁄³ cup (80ml) rice wine vine­gar ¼ cup (60ml) wa­ter

2 onions, grated

4 sheets nori, cut into 2cm strips

Pre­heat oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Place the gar­lic, mirin and soy sauce in a roast­ing dish and mix to com­bine. Add the pork, skin-side up, cover with alu­minium foil and roast for 2 hours or un­til the pork is ten­der.

Re­move the pork from the oven. Re­serv­ing the cook­ing liq­uid, trans­fer the pork, skin-side down, to an oven tray lined with non-stick bak­ing pa­per. Cover the pork with a sec­ond piece of non-stick bak­ing pa­per and top with an oven tray. Weigh down with 2–3 cans or a heavy saucepan and re­frig­er­ate for 1 hour or un­til cold++.

While the pork is cool­ing, make the nori jam. Place the soy, sesame oil, sugar, vine­gar, wa­ter, onion and nori in a small saucepan over high heat. Cook for 10 min­utes, stir­ring, or un­til re­duced and sticky. Set aside to cool.

Place the re­served cook­ing liq­uid in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil and cook for 3 min­utes or un­til re­duced slightly. Re­move the rind from the pork and dis­card. Cut the pork into 4cm pieces and thread 2 pieces each onto 16 small bam­boo skew­ers, al­ter­nat­ing with a length of green onion. Brush each skewer with the mari­nade.

Pre­heat a char­grill pan over high heat. Cook the skew­ers, in batches, for 4–6 min­utes, turn­ing and brush­ing with the mari­nade, un­til charred and sticky. Serve with the nori jam, shiso, shichimi tog­a­rashi, any re­main­ing mari­nade and the rice, if us­ing. SERVES 4–6.

+ Shichimi tog­a­rashi is a Ja­panese spice mix, avail­able from Asian su­per­mar­kets.

++ The pork can be cooked up to a day in ad­vance – just re­frig­er­ate and weigh down overnight.

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