Pork belly cut like bacon rashers were seasoned, battered and deep fried. Crispy bacon-cut pork belly is good with aioli, lemon sauce or sweet sour sauce.
A postscript to Father’s Day. Alex cooked pork belly, one of Speedy’s favorite meat cuts, because she was working on Father’s Day and couldn’t do any home cooking last Sunday which also happened to be her father’s birthday. Well, two days late means nothing compared to the delight of eating this dish.
Light crisp batter and succulent meat underneath. The trick? The correct cooking temperature and just enough frying time to prevent overcooking the meat and turning it into a dry mess. It’s really great that the thickness of the pork slices was ideal. Had they been any thicker, I doubt if they would have turned crisp. And had they been any thinner, they would have likely dried up.
No, we didn’t slice the pork belly at home. You’d need a meat slicing machine to cut semi-frozen pork belly with such preciseness and to come up with slices with uniform thickness. We bought the pork already sliced. Not as thin as sukiyaki-cut beef. The slices were about an eighth of an inch thick.
The pork slices were marinated in ginger ale with Alex’s special lemon lime pepper seasoning. Then, a beaten egg was stirred in, corn starch was added to make a light batter and the battered pork belly slices were deep fried. The technique is similar to how we cook mushroom fries.
Magnificent, really. And so versatile. Because while Alex made lemon butter sauce to go with the meat, it turns out that the crispy bacon-cut pork belly was just as delicious with sweet and sour sauce. Try pairing it with aioli or Chinese-style lemon sauce too.
Crispy Bacon-cut Pork Belly
- 400 to 500 grams boneless pork belly cut into 1/8 thick slices
- 2 to 3 teaspoons herb salt
- 1/2 cup ginger ale
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup corn starch
- cooking oil for frying
Place the pork belly slices in a shallow container large enough so that the pork slices are spread evenly. Sprinkle the herb salt over the meat.
Pour in the ginger age. Tilt the container around a bit to distribute the herb salt as evenly as possible.
Cover the container and allow the meat to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.
Drain the pork slices and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Beat the egg and pour over the pork. Mix. Make sure the pork slices are evenly coated with egg.
Dump the starch over the egg-coated pork. Mix until you get a thin batter coating all the pork slices.
Alternatively, stir the beaten egg and starch together before mixing in the pork.
Heat enough cooking oil in a frying pan to reach a depth of at least two inches. The ideal temperature of the oil should be 350F.
Fry the pork belly slices, in batches if your frying pan is rather smallish, until the batter is crisp and golden brown, about five minutes per batch, at which time the meat should be cooked through.
Serve the crispy bacon-cut pork belly by itself as an appetizer or over rice as a main dish.