On my daily trek into the containment zone, (walking to the Duncan Donuts in the local megamart for coffee), I notice that the meat counter is decimated of all chicken, beef, and most pork products, except for some sliced pork belly. It was sliced a generous 1 1/2″ thick and about the length and width of a slice of bacon.. Talking to the butcher, (from 6 feet away, more like a shouting match than a conversation), I learned that most people just did not known how to cook it, or considered it too much trouble.. Well I DO know how to cook it, and am more than willing to suffer the pain and agony of watching my instapot cook it..
Again, the recipe steals from so many places, Korean, China, Japan, I can see diplomatic incidents around which would try me in absentia, for the high crime of cultural assassination.. That said, “It is ALL about the taste.”
In Korean cuisine, pork belly meat without the skin is known as samgyeop-sal (삼겹살), while pork belly meat with the skin on is known as ogyeop-sal (오겹살). The literal meaning of samgyeop-sal is “three-layered meat” as sam (삼; 三) means “three”, gyeop (겹) means “layer”, and sal (살) means “flesh”, referring to what appears to be three layers that are visible in the meat. The word o (오; 五) in ogyeop-sal means “five”, referring to the five-layered pork belly meat with the skin-on.
Pork belly is consumed both at restaurants and at home, grilled at Korean barbecue, or used as an ingredient for many Korean dishes, such as bossam (boiled pork wraps) and kimchi-jjigae (kimchi stew).
Samgyeop-sal-gui (삼겹살구이) or ogyeop-sal-gui (오겹살구이) refers to the gui (grilled dish) of pork belly. Slices of pork belly meat are usually grilled not marinated nor seasoned. It is often marinated with garlic, and accompanied by soju. Usually diners grill the meat themselves and eat directly from a grill. It is typically served with ssamjang (wrap sauce) and ssam (wrap) vegetables such as lettuce and perilla leaves to wrap it in.
And the cooking liquid from the first cook, when cooled and defatted is a glorious stock for a tofu and kimchi soup…
Instapot Braised Pork Belly
- 2 tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 tbsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp Gochugaru Korean Red Pepper
- 1/2 cup Water
- 1/4 cup Sake (optional)
- 1 tbsp Sesame Oil Toasted
- 1/2 cup Mirin
- 1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
- 6 cloves Garlic Minced (~ 1 tbsp)
- 2 lb Pork belly skin on washed
- 2 inch Ginger Peeled, sliced thinly
- 1 tbsp Neutral oil
- 3 cup Chicken Stock or water
- 1 tbsp Sambol
- 6 ea Scallions Washed, cut to 1"
- 1 ea onion Medium, peeled diced
- Combine all the rub ingredients in a small bowl and mix well
- Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well
- Pat the pork belly dry, score the skin / fat cap and rub with the spice mixture, rub all sides, and work it into the meat, and into the scores
- Set the instapot to saute, and add the neutral oil whence the oil starts to spider
- Add the pork belly skin / fat cap down. We are looking for good color and rendering of fat (3-5 minutes)
- Continue to brown the pork belly on all sides
- add the onion, ginger, scallions, and 1/2 the sauce
- add chicken stock to just cover
- cancel saute, lid up and cook with High Pressure for 35 minutes
- After 35 minutes allow a natural release for 15 minutes, thence vent and open
- Remove the pork belly and reserve the cooking liquid. (This is a fantastic stock after cooling and defatting)
- Return the pork belly to the pot, add the rest of the sauce and 1/2 cup of water
- Bring to a simmer and hold ther for 1-2 minutes
- exit saute, lid up and set to high pressure for 15 minutes
- after cooking, quick release and vent the pressure, and unlid.
- Select saute once more, we are looking to reduce the sauce to a thick consistency.
- as the sauce reduces, flip the pork belly a couple of times to coat with sauce
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