Get a little extra complexity into your pork belly with this fun variation on the classic recipe. Pork belly is a favourite dish in Japanese and other East Asian cuisines, and this recipe adds additional umami flavour by incorporating barley miso into the braise, as well as freshly ground ginger for a hint of sweet spiciness.
800g pork belly with skin on, boneless
1 knob ginger
1 bunch spring onions
1 tbsp groundnut oil
5 tbsp barley miso
3 tbsp light soy sauce
Cut the pork belly into large chunks – there is no need to pull out the ruler, but aim for about 2.5cm wide pieces. Blanch the pork belly pieces in boiling water for about 2 minutes, then drain and rinse well. This gets rid of any impurities and makes sure there’s no scum floating in your stew later.
Rinse the ginger and slice into fairly large pieces, skin included. Reserve a thumb-sized portion – peel, julienne and set this aside for garnish. Trim the spring onions and separate the lighter bottom parts from the dark green tops. Finely chop the green parts and set aside with the julienned ginger for garnishing later.
In a large heavy-based saucepan, heat up the groundnut oil. Over medium heat, fry the ginger pieces until golden and fragrant. Push aside and add the pork belly, frying until just lightly browned.
While the pork is frying, combine the barley miso, light soy sauce, mirin and water in a separate bowl, stirring to make sure everything is well mixed.
Pour the miso mixture into the pot and bring everything to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer gently for 2.5 hours, until the pork is very tender
Dish out into a large serving bowl and finish with the chopped spring onions and julienned ginger. Eat with plain rice or noodles, making sure to scoop the sauce over generously.