Pork belly is seared, braised, glazed, baked, sliced and arranged over stir fried noodles. This five-spice braised pork belly is also great with rice.
Sam cut her birthday cake last night after her sister lighted the singing candles and the celebration began. Part of me misses the baby who learned to talk in full sentences before she was a year-and-a-half old. The other part of me is proud that she has taken the first steps toward independence. Work, freelance photography and a budding videography business.
Sounds incredibly fantastic? It is. But don’t think in terms of glam. It’s all work. Hard work. The really fantastic part is that she loves what she does. Ah, youth! To be able to do all of that and still manage to have fun.
Sam is at work now and she won’t be back for another few hours. For the rest of us who are at home, we toasted her with this birthday noodle dish. I did not set aside any for her because she doesn’t eat meat. However, I will cook another delicious vegetarian noodle dish before she gets home from work.
This five-spice braised pork belly with noodles and bok choy is not difficult to cook. But because the dish has three components — meat, noodles and greens — the preparation is a bit involved.
Start by searing all sides of the chunks of pork belly. Pour in the sauce, bring to the boil, cover and simmer until tender. It takes about an hour and a half.
Scoop out the pork and arrange on a baking tray.
Reduce to sauce until pasty the brush all over the pork.
Bake in a preheated 350F for 10 minutes then take out and cool.
While the pork cools, blanch the boy choy in salted water.
In another pan, cook egg noodles according to package directions. Drain, bathe in cold water then drain again.
Stir fry the noodles in sesame seed oil. Season them with equal amounts of soy sauce and hoisin sauce.
Then, cut the pork belly into quarter inch slices.
To assemble the dish, lay the blanched boy choy on the sides of a platter. Spread the stir fried noodles to cover the plate.
Arrange the sliced pork belly on top of the noodles and start digging in.
Five-spice Braised Pork Belly With Noodles and Bok Choy
Cook the pork
Pat the pork belly dry with paper towels.
Heat the cooking oil in a shallow pan.
Sear all sides of the pork belly in hot oil until browned.
Pour in the soy sauce, rice wine and bone broth. Bring to the boil and cook, uncovered, for about five minutes.
Stir in the sugar, ginger, garlic, five-spice powder and hoisin sauce. Lower the heat, cover the pan tightly and simmer for an hour to an hour and half, turning the pork belly halfway through the cooking.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Transfer the pork belly to a baking dish.
Boil the sauce, uncovered, until thick and reduced to about a quarter cup.
Brush the reduced sauce all over the pork belly.
Bake the pork belly in a preheated 350F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or just until the glaze caramelizes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
Blanch the bok choy
Rinse the bok choy well. DO NOT separate the stalks. Just make sure there is no soil hiding between them.
Boil about four cups water with one teaspoon salt in a shallow pan.
Cook the bok choy in the salted water for about five minutes. Scoop out, drain and set aside.
Stir fry the noodles
Throw out the salted water and pour another four cups into the pan. Bring to the boil.
Cook the dried egg noodles just until done. DO NOT allow to get soggy.
Drain the noodles. Dump in a bowl of iced water and leave for a minute until the noodles are cold. This stabilizes the starch to allow the noodles to be stir fried without sticking to one another. Drain well.
Heat the sesame seed oil in a wok or frying pan. Stir fry the egg noodles to coat every strand with oil.
Pour in the soy sauce and hoisin sauce. Stir fry until the coloring is even.
Assemble the dish
Arrange the blanched bok choy on the sides of a platter.
Spread the noodles to fill the plate.
Cut the pork belly into one-fourth inch sliced and arrange on top of the noodles.
Serve the five-spice braised pork belly with noodles and bok choy immediately.