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We've been dying to do a pork belly recipe for a while now but hadn't decided what kind of treatment we wanted to give it. Since we were still coming off of Hot Ones Season 10, we decided on what turned out to be a pretty easy braised pork belly recipe that features Bravado Spice's Aka Miso Ghost Reaper Hot Sauce. We know we say this a lot, but this one really is a showstopper, and frankly a great way to flex on your friends and family when they come over. Go Straight to the Recipe
We start by frying the pork belly cubes. There are also plenty of recipes where the meat is boiled, but we found we liked the texture at the end better when it's fried. The edges of the meat especially benefit from frying. Also, we kept the belly in about 2 1/2 in. squares rather than the thin strips you often see in Korean style pork belly.
Really, Bravado Spice's Aka Miso Ghost Reaper Hot Sauce was the natural choice for this dish. The red miso gives a distinctly fermented funky flavor, the sesame oil in the hot sauce adds a great nutty smokiness, and of course the ghost peppers & Carolina Reaper peppers add an unapologetically intense heat. We added three tablespoons and got a deliciously spicy pork belly that will clear out your sinuses, but you can roll it back to half that and still get an excellent version.
Let's talk about braising for a second: the idea is to cook a tough cut of meat by covering it about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way in liquid, covering it and cooking it until it's fall-off-the-bone tender. The braising process cooks the meat in liquid that has been flavored with its own juices. Here we use some water, soy sauce, and Mirin. Mirin is a slightly sweet Japanese rice wine and a staple in Japanese cooking. If you don't have any, or can't find any near you (pretty much any asian grocery store worth its salt will have it) try white wine or rice vinegar, though you'll need to counteract the sourness with about a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar for every tablespoon you use.
Once the meat has braised for a couple hours, you can remove it from the heat and should have a relatively thick liquid left at the bottom the pot. If you want to thicken it a bit, you can continue to cook the liquid down even more or add a bit of corn starch slurry (1/2 tsp + 1 tbsp water will work great.) We chose to garnish with some sliced green onions and sesame seed and it was delicious. Some toasted sesame and thin sliced Chinese garlic chives would also be a great option. We REALLY hope you get to try this recipe. Enjoy!
Vegetable oil for frying.
1. Heat the oil to 350°. Cut the pork belly into 2 in. cubes and fry in the oil until lightly browned. 2 Remove from the oil and drain.
2. Place the fried pork in a large pot and add the water, soy sauce, mirin, black pepper, ginger, scallions, garlic, and Bravado Spice Aka Miso Ghost Reaper Hot Sauce. Mix well. The liquid should cover the bottom half of the pork. If you choose to use a slow cooker, set the heat on high.
3. Cover and braise for 3 hours. A relatively thick sauce should form.
4. Remove from heat and serve over rice. Optionally garnish with sesame seeds and chopped scallions. Enjoy!