My best friend, Roxanne’s, boyfriend moved back to London from LA last week and hosted a homecoming at a pub just down the road from Jimmy and my place on Friday night. Which was awesome as we were able to walk there and home, in the rain of course because, well it’s summer in London. We’ve had a sharing roast there before that was delicious but they’re quite well known for their pizza so Jimmy and I tried those on Friday but Roxy (who recently discovered she has an intolerance to wheat and dairy) opted for the pork belly that came with a sweet soy glaze, Asian salad and sesame dressing. I enjoyed my pizza so it wasn’t a standard case of food envy but her meal ended up being the inspiration for our “roast” dinner on Sunday.
Chinese 5 Spice Pork Belly with Asian Slaw
400g pork belly
Chinese 5 spice
1/4 red cabbage
1/4 savoy cabbage
1 large carrot
1 small red onion
3 small garlic cloves
2 red chillies
1. Make small slits with a knife into the skin of the pork belly.
2. Cut the pork belly if it doesn’t fit in a roasting dish. Place skin side down into dish and sprinkle Chinese 5 spice, white pepper, sea salt and caster sugar over the pieces. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight, although we didn’t and it still tasted amazing).
3. Once the meat has marinated pre-heat the oven to 230 degrees.
4. Turn the pieces of meat to be skin side up, crack some sea salt over and place in the middle of the oven. Cook for 30 minutes.
5. Whilst the pork is cooking start making the slaw. I used my food processor which wasn’t a complete success but the aim is to get all the veges shredded to a similar size and shape.
6. Shred both cabbages, carrot, onion, garlic and chillies and mix well. Add some of the mint leaves.
7. Squeeze the juice of the limes and drizzle sesame oil over the veges. Mix again and leave to sit so that the flavours come together.
8. After the pork belly has been cooking for 30 minutes turn the oven done to 180 degrees and cook for another 35 minutes. At this point the juices should start running clear so it’s almost ready.
9. To ensure there’s a layer of crispy crackling move the pork belly to the top oven shelf for 15 minutes.
10. Crush a handful of peanuts.
11. Taste the slaw and add more lime juice or sesame oil if needed.
12. Put a serving of the Asian slaw on each plate, place pieces of pork belly on top, crack some black pepper and sprinkle crushed nuts over the plate.
13. Finish with remaining mint leaves.