Yup, I made them. With such simple steps to brine the meat (mix 1 part kosher salt with 1 part sugar and let marinade), I was wary of how good the meat would be. But then again, it's pork belly, so it turned out superb. Word of advice, never doubt the powers of fatty meat.
One of the things I loved about making this was how easy and foolproof it seemed. I bought the buns from my local Chinese supermarket and steamed those. The pork belly was easy peasy, as were the quick pickles.
Here is the recipe for the pork belly:
- 1-2 pounds pork belly, skins removed
- 1/3 cup coarse salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
Remove the pork skins, if you bought them attached. Then, rub the salt/sugar mixture all over the meat. Let marinade, covered, in the fridge for more than 4, and up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. When you are ready to cook this, take the pan out of the fridge and rinse off the salt/sugar mixture. Clean the pan and stick it into the preheated oven. Roast for about 2 hours, or until the meat turns white/light pink. For the last 20 minutes of cooking, turn the oven up to 450 degrees to brown the outside. Take the meat out, let cool, and wrap in plastic wrap. Stick this in the fridge. We will need to let it solidify a bit before slicing.
Once cool, the meat should be firm and easy to slice. Cut, and re-warm it on a cast iron pan, about 2 minutes on each side, before eating. Place in a steamed bun with hoisinsauce, scallions, and quick pickles. Enjoy!
**One thing I did notice is that my tummy was, ahem, *gurgly, after eating 2 of these. Due to the high fat content of the meat, you may or may not wind up in bed for a snooze afterwards. Be forewarned!