Crispy Pork Belly in Cashew Gochujang Sauce over Crispy Rice
Pieces of slowly roasted pork belly are tossed in a sauce made from gochujang, a Korean fermented red pepper paste, cashew butter and melted butter. The rich pork belly is served on top of crispy rice with radish, cilantro, cashews and sesame seeds for an umami-filled dinner. I’ve been dipping just about everything in the tangy yet creamy and nutty sauce.
To make the crispy rice it is best to use day-old rice. The granules of rice are dried out more so they crisp up easily rather than steam when toasted in the remaining pork fat. I cut the green onion and
This recipe is based on a dish I had at the now closed Church Key in West Hollywood. It was a fun restaurant with a concept based around serving all sorts of foods on dim sum carts. As long as you were sitting in a spot in the dining room where the carts appeared frequently, then it was a great experience. Whenever I would stop in, I would hope that this dish would still be on the specials menu – I loved the flavorful combination of tender pork, spice, slather of creamy cashew butter and fresh, crisp greens. After the restaurant closed I decided to make my own version with the flavor profile at home.
For the pork belly:
2 pounds boneless, skinless pork belly
1 tablespoon sake
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
½ cup unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup gochujang
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted cashew butter
2 cups cooked white rice (day old is best)
½ cup halved cashew pieces
Handful cilantro leaves (or micro-cilantro)
¼ cup julianned green onions
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Pat the pork belly dry and place skin side down on a tray. Rub the sake and rice wine vinegar into the meat. In a small bowl mix together 2 teaspoons of the salt, the sugar and pepper. Evenly rub the spice mixture into the meat. Flip the pork belly so it is fat-side up, cover it with aluminum foil then refrigerate it for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
Let the pork belly sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before it goes into the oven. Preheat oven to 300°. Using a sharp metal skewer poke holes all over the skin, this will help it to crisp up. Place the pork belly on a roasting pan and cook for 2 hours, until the pork is cooked through and tender. Turn the oven up to 500ºF and continue to cook the pork belly until crispy, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Let the pork belly cool to room temperature. Wrap the pork tightly in plastic and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours and up to a few days.
When ready to serve, slice the pork into ½” pieces. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Brown the pork belly on all sides then remove to a paper towel lined plate.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the gochujang, sugar and cashew butter until completely combined. Keep warm until ready to use.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the pork belly and sauté until crispy on all sides, about 6 minutes. Remove to a large bowl, leaving as much oil in the pan as you can and return the pan to heat. Add the rice into the pan in an even layer and cook, untouched, until the bottom is crispy and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stir and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Divide the crispy rice among serving bowls and return the pan to heat.
Add the pork back to the pan and heat for an additional minute then add the gochujang sauce and toss to combine and divide among the serving bowls. Top each with the cashews, cilantro, green onions, radish and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.