We asked Chef Nam Pongpanich of Thai restaurant Soi 60 to share the recipe for one of her hottest items on the menu, in case you’d like to give it a go at home for your next dinner party. But, be warned – while it’s sure to be good, it might not be the same without one of Soi’s Siam Martinis or Passion Fruit Smash cocktails in hand.
60 Robertson Quay, #01-04 The Quayside
Makes 24 servings
• 1½ carrots, julienned
• ½ daikon, julienned
• 2 cups white vinegar
• 250g caster sugar
• Sea salt flakes
• 5 red shallots, coarsely chopped
• 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
• 25g (5cm piece) of ginger, coarsely chopped
• Vegetable oil
• 200ml Shaoxing wine
• 200ml light soy sauce
• ¼ cup dark soy sauce
• 60g rock sugar, crushed
• ½ bunch spring onions, coarsely chopped
• 750g piece of boneless pork belly, skin on
• 5 pieces star anise
• 3 whole cloves
• 1 piece cassia bark
• 3 pieces Chinese brown cardamom
• 1 licorice root
• 2 Lebanese cucumbers, thinly sliced on a mandolin
• 1 cup (loosely packed) coriander
• 24 soft mini-rolls, halved
• 180g mayonaise
• 30g sriracha sauce (available for purchase at Soi 60)
For pickled carrot and daikon:
1. Combine vinegar, sugar, 2 teaspoons of sea salt flakes and 250ml of water in a jug, and whisk together to create pickling liquid.
2. Place carrot and daikon in a sealable plastic container, and cover with pickling liquid. Cover and refrigerate to pickle for 5 days.
For master stock:
1. Process shallots, garlic and ginger in a food processor to create a coarse paste.
2. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat, and add shallot mixture. Stir occasionally while frying until golden (3 to 5 minutes).
3. Add Shaoxing wine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat by half (for 2 to 4 minutes), and then add soy sauce, crushed rock sugar, a large pinch of salt and 4.5 litres of water.
4. Tie spices (star anise, cloves, cassia bark, cardamom and licorice root) in a piece of muslin to form a parcel, and add to stock with spring onion. Reduce heat to low and simmer to infuse for 30 minutes.
5. Submerge pork belly in master stock and simmer until very tender (3 to 4 hours). 6. Carefully remove pork and transfer to a tray lined with baking paper. Place another piece of baking paper and tray on top, evenly weighted with food cans; refrigerate overnight.
7. Strain master stock and reserve for another use, if desired.
1. Preheat oil in a deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 175° Celsius.
2. Slice pork belly into 1.5cm-thick pieces and cut length to fit rolls (about 4cm).
3. Deep-fry in small batches until golden and crisp (3 to 4 minutes). Be very careful as hot oil will spit; a spatter guard is recommended. Drain on absorbent paper.
For sriracha mayonnaise:
Whisk mayonnaise and sriracha in a bowl to combine, then refrigerate until required.
For cucumber topping:
Rub 2 tablespoons of sea salt flakes into cucumber in a colander and set aside to drain excess liquid (30 minutes). Rinse well under cold running water, dry on absorbent paper and then set aside.
Spread rolls with pork belly, cucumber, pickled carrot and daikon, and coriander, and finish with sriracha mayonnaise. Sandwich with tops, and serve.
To read more about the chef behind this recipe, head here.
This story first appeared in Expat Living’s April 2015 issue.