American Pork BellyChon
Prep Time: 105 minutes
1 pork belly (skin-on)
1/4 cup baking soda (or more as needed)
1/4 cup water (or more as needed)
coconut vinegar (as needed)
garlic (Crispy, as needed)
cilantro leaves (as needed)
480 grams lemon grass (finely diced)
180 grams salt
660 grams shallot (peeled and diced)
660 grams garlic (peeled and diced)
10 grams black pepper (ground)
300 grams cilantro root (minced*)
1,320 grams coconut vinegar
125 grams shallot
50 grams garlic
10 grams thai chiles (red, stem removed)
7 grams black peppercorns
45 grams salt
115 grams sugar
1. Using a jacquarding tool or a sharp carving fork, pierce the skin of the pork belly all over, fully piercing the entire surface of the skin. Make a slurry out of baking soda and water and rub all over the skin side of the belly. Wrap the belly and place in a fridge overnight. The following day, remove the belly and thoroughly rinse off the baking soda paste. Pat dry and pour coconut vinegar over the belly – if it bubbles, rinse belly again to remove excess baking soda. Place the belly on a rack-lined sheet tray and refrigerate for one hour to dry.
2. For the BellyChon Paste: Using a mortar and pestle, pound lemongrass and salt until the lemongrass is well broken down. Add the ingredients one by one and continue to pound until it forms a paste.
3. Flip the belly over so it’s skin-side down and rub with the BellyChon Paste. Roll the pork belly tightly, skin-side out, and truss.
4. Cooking Method: Place belly on a rack and into a CVap, set to 170°F, browning 4, and cook for about 5 hours or until tender. Remove pork from the pan and let cool completely.
5. For the BellyChon Dipping Sauce: Blend all ingredients in a blender until fully incorporated.
6. Heat a deep fryer to 350°F. Deep-fry the entire cooled-and-dried belly for 20 minutes until the skin is puffed and crisp. Let rest for 15 minutes and cut off the strings.
7. Slice the fried belly into 1” slices and serve with Filipino-style garlic fried rice and BellyChon Dipping Sauce.
8. Garnish with crispy garlic and cilantro leaves.
Courtesy of the National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa.