Here’s another one of those recipes influenced by our recent trip to the Caribbean and by requests we’ve been getting on Instagram. Braised Pork Belly came to the Caribbean via the Chinese indentured laborers who were brought to the West Indies to supplement the labor shortage after the abolition of slavery. While this pork dish wasn’t as common when I was growing up on the islands, we did see it being served a few times during the Barbados Food and Rum Festival (done a bit different though).
Here’s my take on this lovely pork dish.
3 lbs pork belly
1 tablespoon veg oil
2 cloves garlic (leave whole)
3 scallions (chopped 2 inch pieces)
1 cup water
3/4 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup dark soy sauce
1/3 cup rock sugar
1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine
3 thick slices ginger
This recipe is very similar (from memory) to the way my godfather’s cook would prepare it when we would go visit when I was a kid on the islands.
- cut the pork belly into 1 inch pieces
- put in a deep pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a gentle boil for 5 mins (we’re trying to get rid of some of the impurities)
- remove off the stove, drain and while running cool water over it, rub each piece to clean
- heat the veg oil on a medium flame (in a deep heavy pot) and go in with the scallions, ginger and garlic.. cook for 2-3 mins
- add the cleaned pieces of pork and stir well.. turn up the heat to high
- add the light and dark soy sauces,cooking wine and water and bring to a boil
- as it comes to a boil, reduce to a very gentle simmer and add the rock sugar – cover the pot
- allow this to slowly braise for 2.5-3 hrs – stir every 2o mins or so
- if you find that the liquid is drying up too fast you can always add a bit more water
- you’ll have tender pieces of pork with a lovely gravy
There’s no need t add any salt as the soy sauces will add enough to properly season this dish, but you can always taste it near the end and adjust to your liking. If you can’t source the Chinese cooking wine, a dry sherry will work and brown sugar can always replace the rock sugar. I found all the ingredients I used in this braised pork belly at a local Asian supermarket.