PORK BELLY WITH A CHINESE CURING (CANTONESE LAP YUK)
One of China’s most popular dishes uses pork belly that has been marinated in Chinese herbs and spices for months or even years. This is an excellent dish to make at home in the fall and early winter.
After whipping up two batches, my mouth was watering! After the first batch was swiftly dispersed as gifts, I had to whip up a second batch for our use hastily.
In my opinion, it’s among the best examples of this Chinese cured pork belly or perhaps any Chinese cured meat.
Originally, Because I didn’t think it would be as popular as our Milk Bread or Pork Fried Rice, I didn’t plan on posting this recipe on the web. However, one night, I served up a piece of this cured pork belly with the rice, and Sarah and Kaitlin devoured it!
This homemade Chinese cured pork belly recipe needs to be preserved for future generations, so we determined right then and there.
- 3 slices of ginger
- 4 pcs. of bay leaves
- 2 pcs. of star anise
- 2 pcs. of cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp. of Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 tbsp. of salt
- 1/3 cup of dark soy sauce
- 1/2 cup of light soy sauce
- 1 cup of Shaoxing wine
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 3 1/2 lbs. of boneless pork belly
- 3 tbsp. of baijiu (a Chinese liquor; that can substitute whiskey)
- Put all of the ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat until the sugar has been dissolved. It should just take a few minutes to complete the process. Allow the temperature to drop to a safe level.
- The pork belly should be properly rinsed and dried with paper towels while you wait for the sauce to cool. Pork should be drier than possible. A shallow, rimmed dish is ideal for this task.
- The baijiu or whisky can be added once the sauce has cooled down. Make sure the pork is well submerged in the mixture before serving. Even a clean dish or bowl can be used as a weight to keep the meat in place. Refrigerate the pork belly for three days, turning it over once daily to ensure that the sauce is uniformly distributed throughout the flesh.
- Hang them up after three days to cure. Thread the string through the pork belly fat with a bamboo skewer and kitchen string. Tie a tight knot on the pork belly and hang it in a cool, dry place. Basements have ideal temperature and humidity levels (you want the temperature to remain between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity to be 65 percent). I opened the window during the day to allow fresh air to enter the room. The greatest time to make this cured pork belly is in the fall and winter!
- Pork should be allowed to dry for 4-6 days until the outer layer is totally dry and the inner is somewhat squishy when pushed—layer newspaper on the floor to catch any moisture that drops from the pork. Remove as much air as possible from a freezer bag before placing it in storage.
- Simply add rice and water to your rice cooker as you normally would to cook a batch of white rice, and you’ll have a delectable pork belly in no time. As a final touch, top the dish with a piece of pork belly and steam as usual. Your pork belly will be perfectly cooked once the rice is steaming. Slice it and add it to your rice!