Here is one of Spice Temple’s classic dishes that I think is perfect for summer, served with rice and perhaps some steamed Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce (page 399). The pork itself is easy to cook – just remember to allow a day or two beforehand for the skin to dry out – and it has many uses. By the same token, the red onion, coriander and peanut salad is great with, say, the meat from a store-bought roast chook, shredded off the bone and tossed through, to make a super-quick dish for a busy weekend.
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) pork belly
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
½ spring onion (scallion), thinly sliced
Large handful of roughly chopped coriander (cilantro), leaves and stalks
Handful of unsalted peanuts, toasted in a dry frying pan and crushed
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan
1½ tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
2 teaspoons peanut oil
Place the pork belly on a wire rack set over a plate (to catch any drips) and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least a day to dry the skin out; 2 days would be even better.
Remove the pork from the fridge about 3 hours before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F).
Put the pork belly on a chopping board. Using a sharp knife, score the skin deeply in a diamond pattern and rub generously with salt. Return the pork belly to its wire rack and place in a roasting tin.
Roast the pork for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 170°C (325°F) and roast for a further 20 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and the skin is blistered and crispy.
Remove the pork from the oven, cover with foil and set aside in a warm place to rest for 20 minutes.
Cut the pork belly into 2 cm (¾ inch) cubes. Place all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and toss together, then add the pork and mix through. Divide between four plates and serve.
Cook more from this book
Barbecued lamb cutlets with lemongrass and ginger by Neil Perry
Flourless chocolate cake by Neil Perry
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Everything I Love to Cook: 150 home classics to return to
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