Uyen Luu’s pork belly with coconut milk and greens

It’s rare that I make a recipe more than once in a year; I am renowned for reading new ones whilst eating something I have never tried before, and yet there are probably only twenty things that I repeat. Which means that half of the things I read, Post-it enthusiastically or turn the corners down on, are failures, either of my technique or in the simplicity/deliciousness of the dish. So the fact that I made this back in April and then, as soon as it turned cold again, started to hunt around for the recipe in my magazine pile, suggests that this is a bit of keeper.

The recipe comes from Waitrose Food, in a piece about chefs’ favourite storecupboard ingredients and, true to that purpose, you need a very short shopping list, just one pot and about 90 minutes. It is perfect just as it is, but if you want to make it go a bit further, cook some steamed rice to go with it. It is also simple enough for midweek, special enough for the weekend and, like the Locatelli stew, reheats well for lunch. Add it to your list; I promise you won’t regret it.

Makes enough for 4 (the recipe says 6, which might be possible with rice) 

Cupboard (or things you may already have)
onion, 1 medium
sunflower oil, 3 tbsp
freshly ground black pepper (you’re unlikely to need salt because of the fish sauce)

Shopping list
fresh ginger, 30g
skinless pork belly, about 1kg (or about 1.2kg if you buy it skin-on and remove the skin yourself)
chilli flakes, 1 tbsp
coconut milk, 400g tin
fish sauce, 2-3 tbsp
greens (the recipe specifies kale or cavolo nero; I have also used spring greens too), 200g

How to
1. Peel and trim the onion, then slice it horizontally into 4 thick rings. Peel the ginger and slice it into thin matchsticks.

2. Heat the oil in a large lidded frying pan, add the onion and ginger and cook on a low-medium heat until softened. Remove the pan from the heat and take out the onions and ginger.

3. Whilst the onion is cooking, remove the skin from the pork (if necessary) then cut it into 3cm cubes. Return the onion pan to a medium-high heat, add the pork (you’ll probably need to do this in batches) and brown it all over.

4. Add the onions and ginger to the pork, with the chilli flakes, stir in well, lower the heat a little and cook for another 10 minutes.

5. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for 30 minutes.

6. Add the fish sauce, cover and simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring every so often. Start prepping your rice now, if you’re making some.

7. Trim the greens, removing any thick stalks, then chop into thin strips and add to the pan. Season with black pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.

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5 Responses to Uyen Luu’s pork belly with coconut milk and greens

  1. margaret21 says:

    Oh, I do like the sound of this. I often see the Waitrose magazine, but this passed me by, so thanks for pushing it centre stage.

  2. mistimaan says:

    Such a tasty and delicious recipe…….loved it 🙂

  3. I have just made this and it was delicious, perfect for a friday night supper on a cold night. My one quibble was how long it took to cut the skin off the pork.

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