Sticky Asian pork belly skewers

ASIAN PERSUASION: Delicious pork skewers
ASIAN PERSUASION: Delicious pork skewers

For the skewers:

1.5kg free-range pork belly

5 medium carrots

2 onions

half a bunch of celery

bulb of garlic

50ml cooking oil

5 sprigs of thyme

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper

Sticky Asian glaze:

100ml Indonesian soy

60ml soy sauce

100ml sweet chilli sauce

10ml sesame oil

30g fresh coriander, and some extra for garnish

30g fresh ginger

2 limes

black sesame seeds for garnish

bamboo skewers

Roasting the pork belly:

Give the belly a rub with the cooking oil and season generously with salt and pepper.

Wash the vegetables and roughly chop into about 2cm x 2cm chunks. This makes the bed for your pork belly and gives it loads of flavour. Place the vegetables in the bottom of a roasting pan with the thyme and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper.

Lay your pork belly on top of the vegetables, and cover the roasting pan with foil.

Roast the pork belly at 150°C for two hours.

Once the belly is done, remove it from the oven, take off the foil and leave it to cool to room temperature. Then remove the pork belly from the roasting pan, and place it on a cutting board.

With a sharp knife, make an incision underneath the skin of the pork belly, and moving the knife between the skin and the meat of the belly, remove the skin.

Cube the pork into cubes about 2cm x 2cm.

Asian glaze:

Mix together the Indonesian soy, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil. Add the juice and zest of the limes.

Chop the coriander and finely chop the fresh ginger and add to the sauce mixture.

Making the skewers:

Get a medium-sized pan onto the stove top on a medium-to- high heat, and drizzle in about a tablespoon of cooking oil. Once the pan is hot, put the cubes of pork belly in, taking care not to let the hot oil splash you.

Fry the cubes until golden brown, and strain off any excess fat. Pour 200ml of the Asian glaze into the sizzling pan, and coat the cubes in the glaze, leave on the heat about another minute, until the sauce has reduced and makes a sticky coating on the pork belly cubes.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool slightly, so as not to burn your fingers on the piping-hot gaze. Once it has cooled slightly, pierce about four cubes onto each skewer, depending on how many skewers you would like to make and the size you require. Sprinkle generously with sesame seeds and coriander, drizzle with the extra glaze to serve.

These are amazing served as- is for snacks or as Asian- inspired tapas. For a more substantial offering, I usually serve them up with a noodle- and-vegetable stir-fry.

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