by Mike Peters, Owner/Chef, The Tasty.

The pork belly’s initial cooking renders some wonderful fat; once it’s chilled, harvesting that bounty is child’s play. It’s a nice touch to substitute it for the neutral oil called for in the finishing step.

The Pork Belly:

  • 1–2 pounds fresh pork belly, skin off
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger root
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Select a heavy baking dish just large enough to comfortably contain the slab of pork belly. Even better if it has a tight-fitting lid.

Surround the meat with the salt, sugar, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and ginger, and pour over the stock. Cover (use aluminum foil if your dish is lidless), bake for about 3 hours or until you can pierce the belly easily. Remove from oven and let cool, then refrigerate to firm it up.

The Vinaigrette:

  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger root
  • 1 garlic clove, grated or minced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • salt and ground pepper, to taste

Whisk ingredients together.

Correct seasonings, and set aside.

The Glaze:

  • ¼ cup white miso
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Whisk together and set aside.

To Finish:

  • 1 sheet nori
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (or rendered pork belly fat)
  • 6 perfect local eggs
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • half a bunch of arugula, ready for salad

Toast nori sheet over gas flame briefly to crisp. Finely chop and set aside for garnish.

Coat asparagus with 1 teaspoon sesame oil and grill (or broil) till just tender. Slice pork belly into 2-inch squares. Heat a frying pan or griddle until very hot, lather with oil or fat and crisp up pork on both sides. Glaze, then dish up on hot plates, along with asparagus, and keep warm. Fry eggs sunny side up in oil or fat. In a separate bowl, toss arugula and scallions with vinaigrette. Divide to plates, sprinkle with nori and enjoy.

Serves 6.

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