When the weather is hot, sometimes you just don’t have the appetite to eat. That’s why I like to have something cool and spicy to help get my appetite going. I tried this dish, pork belly with chili garlic sauce (蒜泥白肉), at a Chinese restaurant a long time ago and had always wanted to recreate it at home. It didn’t take as much as work to cook the pork belly as I thought, but it did take a little bit of practice to slice the pork belly thinly. You’d want to slice it thin for better texture. My husband likes to eat just the pork belly but I like to pair it with cucumber for some crunch and to help balance the spiciness.
Ingredients for the pork belly (serves 4):
- 1 pound pork belly
- 2″ piece of ginger (about 2 thumb size), sliced 1/4″ thick length wise
- 3 green onion, cut in to 2 inch pieces
- 2 dried chili pepper
- Water as needed
- 1 cucumber, sliced thinly (for serving)
Ingredients for the chili garlic sauce (makes about 1/2 cup):
- 4-6 large cloves of garlic, mashed
- 1 tbsp chili oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 cup of stock or water (you can use the water for boiling the pork belly)
- Rinse the pork belly and pat dry.
- Add pork belly, ginger slices, green onion pieces, and dried chili pepper in a pot. Fill the pot with water until pork belly is fully submerged. Place the pot over high heat and bring water to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook the pork belly for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and leave pot on the burner for another 10 minutes before removing the pork belly. Let pork belly cool completely (reaches room temperature), then slice the pork belly as thinly as possible width-wise. I find the pork belly easier to slice when you place it on the side, so the skin is either facing towards you or away from you.
- To make the chili garlic sauce, combine all ingredients together and mix well.
- To serve, you can use the chili garlic sauce as a dipping sauce or drizzle the sauce over the pork belly slices. Garnish the plate with cucumbers to help cleanse the palate and balance the spiciness.