Pork Belly for Ko Kimchi Consommé

I know it sound sacrilegious, but a lot of people I know are disgusted by pork belly. They think the discernible layers of meat and fat are disturbing. On the other hand, I have friends who love pork belly – sometimes it’s the only thing they order.

I stand definitively on the pork belly love side: it has the richness of bacon with the added bonus of meaty heft. When done right, pork belly has that magic ratio of yielding melt and just enough bite. I didn’t always love pork belly though. My mom does this dish with braised taro and pork belly that my dad absolutely loves. She doesn’t make it much, but when she does my dad can inhale the whole plate himself. I on the other hand would only eat plain rice when she made that dish.

It might have been the taro, the fat of the pork belly or the combination, but for some reason, I just didn’t like it. Now though, my tastebuds have grown up and adventurous and I don’t find much that I don’t like anymore. I love taro and pork belly and I think maybe just being exposed to them when I was a stubborn kid opened my eyes a little.

It’s at good thing my eyes are wide open now because if they weren’t, I wouldn’t get to enjoy pork belly as much as I do. The recipe for the pork belly for the Ko kimchi consommé dish is slightly different from the one Chang has for the pork buns and ramen. The belly’s roasted at a constant 270˚F instead of starting out in a hot oven and finishing in a low one. The belly roasted at a constant 270˚ turned out fantastic. After 3 hours in the oven, I pressed the belly between 2 loaf pans to ensure a neat presentation.

Tomorrow: Ko Kimchi Consommé with Pork Belly, Napa Cabbage and Oysters

20 Comments add yours

  1. Pork belly is a sign that the universe is essentially a caring and loving one.
    Heart disease shows that the universe is capricious.

    At least heart disease isn’t a guarantee!

    steph on May 25th, 2010 at 9:09 am
  2. This weekend, unfortunately before checking out your great blog, I followed the cookbook’s recipe for roasting pork belly for the steamed buns, and may have completely ruined a beautiful 4-lb piece of belly. At the very least, there is a ridiculous amount of burnt, charred, edges, and I haven’t cut in yet to see how the inside looks, but I should have probably trusted my instincts that an hr at 450 to start was not a good idea.

    Anyway – any thoughts/recommendations for take 2? A constant 270 for a couple hours? 250 for an hour and then 300 for 1/2 hour? 250 for 3+ hrs and then then a short time at 400 or so? (All these seem to be techniques you’ve followed, and just wondering what your preferred method is at this point.)

    Thanks!

    Hopefully you were able to salvage some of your belly!

    I really liked the 250˚F for 3 hours then blasting up to 400˚. Make sure you cover the belly with parchment paper while your roasting at 250˚ and when you blast it up keep a close eye on it, it doesn’t need a lot of time at 400˚.

    Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

    Thanks! Should work. The cookbook method seemed off to me, but I figured I’d trust it. Obviously a mistake. What you suggest makes much more sense intuitively, anyway. Do you flip the pork, or leave it on one side (I assume fat side up) for the whole time?

    Much appreciated – love the blog.

    I leave it fat side up the whole time. During the 400˚ stage, I baste it with the fat that’s cooked off of it.

    Hope your belly turns out great!

    steph on May 27th, 2010 at 7:21 pm
    Adam on May 25th, 2010 at 11:04 am
    steph on May 25th, 2010 at 9:21 am
  3. love the cutting board!!!

    Thanks!

    steph on May 25th, 2010 at 9:23 am
  4. i noticed one interesting thing, the skin was left on in these pics??? and i know that it should be removed before roasting. or am i not seeing it clearly? just got the book myself and as we speak… roasting a pork belly

    No, there is no skin on the bellies. I can’t buy skinless belly here in Vancouver and always skin them myself. When you roast the fat it tends to crisp up a bit and look like skin.

    steph on June 3rd, 2010 at 9:02 am

    ah ok from the before roasting pics i thought that was the skin. must be just that layer of fat :-)

    i myself tried this recipe for the first time yesterday. i cooked it for the exact times for the most part as the book suggests. the times were perfect as well as the doneness of the meat. my only complaint was that it was too salty. i had it marinating over night (about 18 hours) before i roasted it. whats worked best for you? next time im going to do it for the minimum he suggests which is 6 hours and i think that should do it

    Definitely rinse of the salt and sugar rub, which he doesn’t mention in the book. That helps with the saltiness. I’ve marinated overnight, then rinsed which work well. Then again, I’ve marinated for 3 hours before with success too!

    steph on June 5th, 2010 at 8:58 am
    Reuben on June 3rd, 2010 at 11:43 am

    sounds great, last question :-)

    when you did it for 3 hours did you also rinse? or did you leave on the rub since it was such a short marinade

    thank you

    I rinsed off the salt and sugar. It was still very tasty!

    steph on June 7th, 2010 at 2:30 pm
    Reuben on June 5th, 2010 at 11:17 am
  5. Do you guys put the sugar and salt just on the top fatty part? Or to you put is all around the side and underneath the belly?

    Do you rinse it off before cooking it?

    The salt and sugar is rubbed all over the pork and it is rinsed off before cooking.

    steph on June 5th, 2010 at 9:04 am
  6. Does anyone know a good butcher in Vancouver who sells whole pork bellies?

    It’s not in Vancouver, but I’ve heard a lot of restaurants get their supply from Sloping Hill Farm.

    steph on July 6th, 2010 at 11:21 am
  7. Did you notice any differences in taste or presentation of the pork belly between this recipe and the pork belly steamed bun recipe? Would love to hear your thoughts!

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