Love sweet and savoury together, definitely my food heaven. Serve with steamed pak Choi and sticky jasmine rice.
1.25kg pork belly, trimmed of excess fat
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
Bunch of spring onions, greens and white separated
50g ginger peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves
Small bunch of coriander, leaves and stalks separated
1 tbsp Chinese 5 spice powder
1 cinnamon stick
85g dark brown sugar
4 tbsp of light and dark soy sauce
4 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 stem ginger balls from a jar, diced plus 2 tbsp syrup
1 chicken stock cube
450g plums, quartered and stoned
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the pork belly and boil for 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature, cut into 4cm squares and make sure they’re dry.
Heat some of the oil in a large oven proof casserole dish and brown the pork in batches. Once browned set aside.
Put the onion, spring onion whites, ginger, garlic and coriander stalks into a blender and whizz to a paste.
After browning the pork, wipe out the pot, add the paste with a splash of water and gently heat till softened. Stir in the five spice, cinnamon and 1 tsp ground pepper.
Fry for one minute, then add the sugar, soy sauces, hoisin, vinegar and ginger syrup. Return the pork and any juices, then crumble in the stick cube and add enough water to just cover. Stir in a third of the plums and bring to a gentle simmer while you heat the oven to 160°/140° fan/Gas mark 3.
Cover the dish and bake for 2 1/2 hours.
Lift the pork into an ovenproof dish, cover with foil and keep warm in a low oven. Put the sauce back on the hob and boil till reduced by half. Add the remaining plums and cook for a few minutes more, then return the pork.
Finely slice the spring onion greens and scatter over with the coriander leaves.