I’ve had pork belly several times in a restaurant but it always seemed like it was something that would be difficult to make at home. However, when I saw it for sale in the grocery store last week I thought that I might give making it a go. I looked over a bunch of recipes and decided on one from Food and Wine. It fit my criteria of not appearing too complex and didn’t require prep work for the day before. I did have to make a special trip to the asian grocery store for kim chi but I’ve been meaning to go there to get some “essentials” for a while so that wasn’t a hardship. I think the most difficult aspect of this recipe was probably the final timing of crisping the pork belly pieces while finishing of the rice grits. Other than that it was actually kind of easy to make and something I definitely do again.
A couple comments on the “rice grits”. For those who might not be familiar with these, this is basically the part of rice that get broken in the milling process. In the American South they are called rice grits and when this term is used it typically means the Carolina Gold rice variety. In many many other places this is referred to as “broken rice” and you can actually buy it at an Asian grocery store, which is what I did. It is typically the broken pieces of a long grain rice variety. The final product in this recipe ends up being risotto like without all the drama of the technique of properly cooking risotto. I make an alteration from the original recipe which said to pitch the liquid you cook the pork belly in. I sieved this and skimmed the fat off it. Then added enough additional broth to it to match the amount for cooking the rice and cooked my rice in it. It just seemed like a less wasteful thing to do and I think it enhanced the flavor of the rice. Another alternation I’d make next time if I was making it just for my family would be to add more kim chi. We are fans of spicy food and could have stood to have the rice a bit more spicy.
Otherwise is probably the best dish I’ve made so far in the New Year. I encourage you to give something like this a try because it is super delicious and a great “treat”.