DIY Best Bite: Pepper-salted pork belly

Friday night’s Cooking for Solutions gala included a dynamic duo of pork lovers: Kevin Gillespie and Tony Baker.

This week’s best bite hails from Friday’s Cooking for Solutions gala at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Kevin Gillespie—from Atlanta’s Woodfire Grill, but probably better known from his stint on Bravo’s “Top Chef”—served up one of my favorite meats, pork belly. This bite of succulent pork belly was dusted with spicy peppers and served over a tangy bok choy salad.

Kevin Gillespie’s crispy pork belly was probably the best bite of the night!

If you missed out on the Cooking for Solutions gala, read below the fold for the recipe if you’d like to make this delicious dish for yourself at home.

Pepper-salted pork belly with marinated bok choy
Courtesy of Kevin Gillespie (Woodfire Grill, Atlanta) via Monterey Bay Aquarium

Ingredients:
For the spicy salt rub:
2 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
2 tsp. Chinese five spice powder
1 tsp. Szechuan peppercorns
1 dried arbol chile

For the marinated bok choy:
4 heads baby bok choy
2 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal (about 1/4 cup)
1 jalapeño, shaved in coins on mandoline
2 tsp. ginger, finely minced
1/2 tsp. black bean sauce
1/8 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp. salt
2 pods dried arbol chile
1 tsp. lemon juice
Sugar

For the pork belly:
3/4 pound pork belly, cooked, cut into 12 even-sized squares
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. spicy salt rub
Oil, enough to fill tabletop deep fryer

Directions:
For the spicy salt rub:
Combine all ingredients in a spice grinder and grind to a very fine powder. Sift powder and discard any large pieces. Yields about 1/4 cup.

For the marinated bok choy:
Using a sharp knife, separate green leaves from stems of bok choy, and reserve leaves to the side. Trim off and discard tough ends from stems, then slice stems into 1-inch pieces. In a large bowl, combine green onions, jalapeño, ginger, black bean sauce, sesame oil and salt. Finely crush the dried chile pods and stir into the mix along with the bok choy stems. Set aside for 15 minutes to marinate.

Stack bok choy leaves and slice crosswise into very thin strips. Add bok choy chiffonade to green onion mixture along with lemon juice and a pinch of sugar, tossing to combine.

For the pork belly:
Heat deep fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a plate with a double layer of paper towels. Lightly toss pork belly pieces with cornstarch and shake off any excess. Drop pieces in fryer, one by one, and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, transfer pork belly to paper towels and immediately dust both sides with spicy salt rub.

To serve:
For each plate, place a small mound of bok shoy salad in the center. Top with pork belly and serve.

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One Response to DIY Best Bite: Pepper-salted pork belly

  1. Pingback: Best Bites: Cooking for Solutions edition | Off The Menu

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