This pork belly bao is adapted from David Chags’ book MOMOFUKU here I’ve cooked the pork belly Momofuku way and the rest was inspired by this little citrus lime from the Philippines called calamansi.
Calamansi (also spelled kalamansi) is used extensively in Filipino cooking– it’s squeezed on Yakisoba, used to marinate meat and used to make desserts. It also has multiple purposes outside of the kitchen as well.
It is pretty similar to lemonade and just as refreshing. It tastes like a lemonade-limeade hybrid, but more tropical and aromatic. That is why it is perfect for this recipe and add fresh coriander leaves on it, and it taste like heaven.
THIS IS NOT A FAST RECIPE. Plan on an afternoon. Or you can slow-roast the pork belly one day and make the buns/finish the pork belly the next day, which is what I did.
Pork Belly Bao and Spicy Hoisin Calamansi sauce w/ Pickled Cucumber, Radish and Fresh CorianderPrint Recipe
- 1 pound skinless pork belly
- 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 thick Kirby cucumbers, cut into 1/8-inch-slices
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- fresh coriander leaves
- 1 pack radish
- 1 pack spring onions
Put the pork belly in a roasting pan that holds it snugly, fat side up. Combine 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl and rub all over the pork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, and no longer than 24.
Heat the oven to 450ºF. Discard any liquid that has accumulated in the roasting pan and put the pork belly in the oven. Cook for 1 hour, basting it with the rendered fat halfway through until it's golden brown. Turn the oven temperature down to 250ºF and cook until the pork is tender, another 1 hour and 15 minutes or so.
Transfer the pork to a plate, decant the fat and the meat juices from the pan and reserve it for the buns.
Allow the pork to cool slightly. When it’s cool enough to handle, wrap the pork in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and put it in the fridge until it’s thoroughly chilled and firm. (You can skip this step if you’re pressed for time, but the only way to get neat, nice-looking slices is to chill the belly thoroughly before slicing it.) Combine the cucumbers with the remaining sugar and salt in a small mixing bowl and toss to coat. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Use right away or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
When you're ready to make the buns, cut the pork belly into 1/2-inch-slices about 2 inches long. Warm them in a pan over medium heat for a minute or two, until soft and heated through.
Use the pork right away.
To make the pickled cucumbers combined the vinegar and sugar and add the sliced cucumbers and marinate until you are ready for assembly