Mar 30, 2021 • 34M

XO Soused - Cantonese crispy pork belly

Andrew Wong and Mukta Das
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A fortnightly chat about techniques and dishes from a professional Chinese kitchen, their history and their cultural setting
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What is the difference between Cantonese crispy pork belly and British roast pork belly with crispy crackling? How does a chef achieve the ‘digestive-biscuit-y’ quality of the Cantonese style finish rather than the toothy crunch of the British dish?

Should we serve it with infused soy or mustard sauce?

Why is the fat in the cut as crucial to Chinese cuisine as the meat? How did pork become so important? How is pork’s popularity in China connected with not eating beef?

And how exactly has Andrew recreated Cantonese crispy pork belly for vegetarian diners?

With a 50:50 ratio of pork and fat, pork belly still isn’t as fashionable in British cuisine as it is in Chinese gastronomy. This is the first of several episodes dealing with unusual cuts of meat from the Chinese kitchen, and special skills and techniques that such cuts demand.

A thick cut of Cantonese crispy pork belly on its side on a white plate, with a serving of mustard sauce in a small white bowl and small portion of crispy belly skin, crisp-side up
Andrew scrapes the blackened and charred skin after roasting the cut in an oven on maximum heat (400 degrees in a professional kitchen). The scraped skin is then covered in oil before the cut is roasted again for a final hour before being hung to cool, and then sliced and served with mustard sauce

Intro and outro music: 遊子 [wanderer] by mafmadmaf.com

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