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  • A Gingery Pork Belly and a Book Me-Me

    Posted on | August 24, 2008 | 15 Comments |

    Sra tagged me for a book me-me a while ago. The rules for this me-me are
    -Pick up the nearest book
    -Open to page 123
    -Find the 5th sentence
    -Post the next three sentences
    -Tag 5 people and acknowledge the person who tagged you.

    At the time I read Sra’s post, I had five books next to me- two were geek stuff, one poker book and two others which I could actually use, but both turned out to have the shortest sentences one could write in the chosen page and position. So I cheated and went to my bookshelf and pulled out the first foodie book I could find. Luckily that had some relatively long sentences I could copy.

    I was deep in this heightened, near-excruciating state of anticipation when all of a sudden I felt a spray of icy water in my face, a forceful, unending blast shocking in its temperature, its magnitude – its very existence.

    Where on earth was it coming from?

    Shaking my head, trying in vain to avoid the rush, I looked round to see that all of the guys were being hosed down as well.

    Intriguing isn’t it? These lines are from the book Don’t Try This at Home – Culinary catastrophes from the World’s Greatest Chefs.  It is a collection of kitchen bloopers and disaster stories by some of the world’s well known chefs. The above excerpt is by Neil Perry. This book is a good read, but as you would expect from any compiled work there are some entertaining articles and some real duds as well.

    I think everyone has already done this meme, so I am not tagging anyone, please consider yourself tagged if you want to take this on. Sra, thanks for the tag, it was fun..

    I wish I had a disaster story to go with this, but as it turns out I can do no wrong in my kitchen! Take this pork belly dish for example, this whole recipe is a real Chef Sig Original, I just made it up as I was cooking, but it turned out to be a masterpiece. What can I say, I am blessed with so much culinary talent that it is impossible to screw anything up..  Have I mentioned that humility is not one of my strengths?

    The difference between this dish and my other pork preparations is that, there are no dry spices in this one. It is made with all fresh ingredients, except for soy sauce. porkbelly


    • 1 – 1.5 lbs pork belly cut into large cubes
    • 1/2 cup Sliced Shallots
    • 6-8 cloves garlic
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced ginger pieces
    • 8-10 small Thai green chilies (adjust according to your need for heat)
    • 2 roma tomatoes chopped fine
    • 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1/2 cup sliced shallots for sautéing
    • salt to taste
    • sliced green onions for garnish


    Crush the shallots, garlic, ginger and green chilies to a coarse paste using a mortar and pestle or use a food processor.

    Place a pressure cooker or a large pan with a tight fitting lid on the stove and heat it up. Place the pork belly pieces fat side down and cook for about 5 minutes, till some of the fat melts and forms an oily layer. Turn the pork pieces and slightly char on all four sides. Remove the pork pieces and keep aside.

    Pour most of the fat out from, and leave just a tbsp in the cooker or the pan Add the sliced shallots to the oil and saute till soft. Add the crushed ingredients from the first step and saute for 2-3 minutes. Now add the chopped tomatoes and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Add the pork, soy sauce and salt and mix well.

    Close the pressure cooker and cook on high till the first whistle (when the pressure cooker has reached the full pressure). Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 12 more minutes. Release the steam and open the pressure cooker, mix well to combine.

    If using a regular pan, add a cup of hot water along with the meat and bring to a boil. Cook covered on medium heat for about 45 minutes till the meat is completely cooked. Remove the lid and cook uncovered till the gravy is thickened.

    Garnish with green onions , serve warm with white rice and some steamed bok choy, or other greens for a delicious meal.

    The tomatoes and soy sauce together gave this a dark red color we loved! I didn’t intend it to be ginger pork, but the gravy had a distinctly strong ginger taste since I went a little overboard with the amount of ginger. It was delicious though, I have to try this same with chicken for a ginger chicken version.


    I am sending this over to the Original Recipes Round Up event at Culinarty.

    Category: MeMe, Pork

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    15 Responses to “A Gingery Pork Belly and a Book Me-Me”

    1. musy
      August 24th, 2008 @ 6:29 pm

      Very simple garnish and yet looks so amazing! Love the color of this dish! With such yummo stuff, you really don’t need to be humble :grin:

      He he, i wonder what you would have written if you had picked up those two geeky books instead :-D

      :) Thanks musy! I almost wrote the lines from the geek books… that would’ve made a funny read… :)

    2. Siri
      August 24th, 2008 @ 7:20 pm

      Interesting Meme Sig.. :smile:

      Thanks Siri! :)

    3. indosungod
      August 24th, 2008 @ 8:42 pm

      Sig, I want to have a taste of that even though I don’t eat pork all that much. Any other meat substitutions you can think of? Got try this have a few more vacation days left :)

      I am positive that chicken will be great with it! I have to try that myself, but I can just imagine the taste :) … Enjoy the rest of the vacation, I got one more week to go before mine… :)

    4. Rajitha
      August 24th, 2008 @ 9:57 pm

      “What can I say, I am blessed with so much culinary talent that it is impossible to screw anything up.. Have I mentioned that humility is not one of my strengths?”

      U can say that again sista :wink:

      The color of the gravy looks amazing…i can use it for a vegetarian dish

      :) LOL, I knew you’d get me… ;)

    5. Lore
      August 25th, 2008 @ 12:01 am

      Oh my, this looks mouthwatering! Thanks for sending it over to Original Recipes :smile: where we have this habit of celebrating creativity and not being humble about it :wink:

      Thanks Lore…. :) I knew it was just my kinda event when I saw the announcement.. Thanks for hosting, looking forward to the round up!

    6. sra
      August 25th, 2008 @ 12:12 am

      “I wish I had a disaster story to go with this, but as it turns out I can do no wrong in my kitchen! Take this pork belly dish for example, this whole recipe is a real Chef Sig Original, I just made it up as I was cooking, but it turned out to be a masterpiece. What can I say, I am blessed with so much culinary talent that it is impossible to screw anything up.. Have I mentioned that humility is not one of my strengths?” :grin: That was funny!
      Thanks for taking up the tag, Sig! I’d never have imagined it came from anything culinary – the opening line sounded like something exciting got a cold shower!

      :D did you like that opening line? I almost wanted to make a game out of it, ask people what the context is… it really sounds like the beginning of a steamy scene, doesn’t it?

    7. nina
      August 25th, 2008 @ 4:36 am

      :razz: This dish has color, texture and I’m sure…a lot of flavor. The perfect comfort food that I am craving right now.

      Thanks Nina! :) It is comfort food for me… :)

    8. Nirmala
      August 25th, 2008 @ 10:00 am

      What a confidence ? Good going Sig! This gravy looks very inviting and am gonna try it out with some veggies. Can I substitute butter for fat in this? The me-me is good too!

      LOL… I can be confident in the virtual world right? :D … You sure can try it with veggies, and use just regular oil if you like… Since the pork is already fatty I didnt want to add more oil…

    9. Mishmash!
      August 25th, 2008 @ 10:40 am

      This is one of those shots that makes you wanna hit the kitchen right away and start cooking this dish. Gorgeous picture with the absolutely inviting colour and texture…and that green onions, how pretty are they!!!!!I might need more chilies :P

      Thanks Shn! :) So what are you waiting for, go ahead and start cooking… :)

    10. Nate
      August 25th, 2008 @ 4:16 pm

      Great cooking! I can imagine having this with some taro, “kau yuk” style. Have you thought of using some star anise to flavor the sauce?

      Thanks Nate! I’d love to have it Kau Yuk style, next time… :) And yeah, I normally add star anise to the braised pork, my other pork belly recipe has it, but this time I was on a mission to try with just fresh ingredients… but I am sure star anise would’ve kicked it up a notch :)

    11. chiff0nade
      August 25th, 2008 @ 4:50 pm

      As a senior adviser at Serious Eats (the most powerful foodie website on the planet, and totally operated by Jews), I must tell you that “Gingery Pork Belly” is NOT acceptable to many of us.

      In fact, your post is VERY insulting to many of us.

      WHY can you not respect the fact that God’s “chosen children” do NOT . . . will NOT eat the filthy pig.

      Lynne Schnell and “therealchiffonde”
      Owners and Operators of the CassandraCrossing.

      Lunne Schnell is the ACLD Bridges Glen Cove Day Habilitation Site Coordinator

      If this is insulting to you, I suggest that you stay away from my site!

    12. Mamatha
      August 25th, 2008 @ 6:55 pm

      Sig, this pic seriously has me drooling! Love the color of the gravy.

      Going by all the yummy pork dishes on your blog, I’m sure you can answer my question. At this Vietnamese restuarant that we frequent, I get a grilled pork dish that’s simply out-of-the-world. It’s crisp on the outside and succulent on the inside. In an attempt to try it at home, I got pork stew cut from the grocery store and the texture was no where close to what I get at the restaurant. In fact, I was so put off by what I made I haven’t cooked pork at home since. Can you tell by my description, what cut may have been used at the restaurant or what cuts are best suited for grilling? Could it have been pork belly?

      Thanks Mamatha! From your description, it has to be the pork belly… Pork belly has the most amazing texture and taste…… though I’ve never had it grilled. Spare ribs are really good for grilling as well.

    13. Billy@atablefortwo
      August 25th, 2008 @ 8:43 pm

      wow, saw this on foodgawker, and I was drooling all over my monitor screen!!! It looks amazing, I bet it is sooooo juicy and tender. I WANT SOME NOW!

      :) Thanks Billy… welcome to my site…. It was juicy and tender, and I wouldn’t mind having some right now either… :)

    14. richa
      August 25th, 2008 @ 10:23 pm

      gotta’ agree, no wrong in ur kitchen indeed :wink:

      :) it takes a genius to recognize another one… ;)

    15. swati
      September 24th, 2008 @ 11:06 pm

      sigg!!!! how are u babes… missed visiting your blog for a while…and what a loss :) first of all hats off to u guys…. how do u howwwww … manage work home .. wonderfull cooking and blogging together… i need some personalized tutorial… seriuosly… me stays aways from non vegg.. but this looks so tantalizing types…. wooof…and i love love love ur cut straight reaction on comment 11… love you for this… and what a begining of the post…