Karlie Verkerk - XO Pork Belly
with Rice Cakes
Spicy XO Sauce
½ cup grape seed oil
2 tbsp dried shrimp, rehydrated in shaoxing wine and diced
4 dried chillies, rehydrated in warm water
4 long red chillies, diced
2 brown shallot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
300g smoky bacon, roughly diced
4 tbsp shaoxing wine
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp lime juice
Crispy Pork Belly
800g pork belly
1 tbsp Murray River salt flakes
2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns, ground in a mortar and pestle
Grape seed oil
¼ cup coriander stalks, finely sliced
1 spring onion, finely sliced
120g rice flour
60g tapioca flour
Grape seed oil, for frying
Celery, finely sliced on an angle
Spring onion, finely sliced on an angle
- Preheat oven to 180°C
- For the Spicy XO Sauce, heat oil in a wok over low-medium heat. Add shrimp, chillies, shallot, garlic and bacon and cook until ingredients start to soften, about 5 – 8 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to the canister of a stick blender. Using a stick blender, pulse sauce a few times to purée slightly. Reserve 4 tablespoons for serving and set the remaining mixture aside until needed.
- For the Crispy Pork Belly, score skin of pork belly in 3cm strips both lengthways and widthways. Massage the pork belly with salt, peppercorns and grape seed oil and place in a roasting dish. Roast in the pre-heated oven until pork skin is just starting to crisp up, about 50 minutes.
- Remove pork from oven, slice into bite-size pieces and set aside until needed.
- Heat several tablespoons of grape seed oil in wok until hot. Flash fry the pieces of pork belly, skin side down until crispy, about 1 – 2 minutes. Drain on paper towel and set aside, keeping warm, until needed.
- Heat a separate clean wok over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon grape seed oil, coriander stalks and spring onion and fry until just softened, about 2 minutes. Add cooked pork belly and enough of the XO sauce to coat the pork thoroughly. Remove the pan from the heat and set aide, keeping warm, until ready to serve.
- For the Rice Cakes, place all ingredients, except oil, along with 2 cups water, into a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a spatula, until a thick, paste consistency.
- Transfer the mixture to a 20cm x 20cm shallow baking tray lined with baking paper. Use wet fingers to flatten the surface.
- Place the baking tray into a large steamer basket and steam over a large saucepan or wok of simmering water for 15 minutes. Remove from steamer basket, turn out onto a chopping board and cut the rice cake into 2cm wide strips. Cut each strip on an angle into 2cm long diamonds.
- Heat a few tablespoons of grape seed oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Once starting to smoke, add rice cakes and fry until lightly golden, about 2 minutes each side. Drain on paper towel and set aside, keeping warm, until ready to serve.
- To serve, place 5 rice cakes in the bottom of each bowl and top with Crispy Pork Belly, fresh celery, coriander and spring onions. Serve with reserved Spicy XO Sauce in a jug on the side.