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Tocino Pork Belly

Tocino Pork Belly

Executive chef Devin Hashimoto is making the perfect marinade and sweet potato puree to go with mouth-watering pork belly.
Ingredients for Pork Belly
  • 1 Mugifuji Pork Belly, ½ Of A Full Slab
  • 10 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
  • 3 Shallots, Quartered
  • 3 Oranges, Juiced and Zested
  • 2 Bunches Micro Cilantro
  • 2 Limes, Juiced and Zested
  • 2 Bunches Micro Cilantro
  • 1 Bunch Micro Shiso (Optional)
  • 5 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons Toasted Whole Peppercorns
  • 2 Tablespoons Toasted Whole Coriander
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Cups Fish Sauce
  • 2 Cups Water
Ingredients for Tacino Sauce
  • 12 ounces sugar
  • ½ cup white distilled vinegar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • 1 ounce garlic, chopped
Pickled Amazu Vegetables
  • 2 cups rice wine vinegar
  • 6 ounces sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
Ingredients for Vegetables
  • 6 Easter Egg radishes or Purple Ninja radishes
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 carrot
Ingredients for Okinawan Sweet Potato Puree
  • 1 Okinawan sweet potato (average size around 20 ounces)
  • 2-3 cups whole milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions for Pork Belly

1. To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Set aside some of the cilantro or shiso for garnish.
2. Add the pork belly to the marinade and place in the refrigerator overnight for at least 24 hours, up to two days.
3. Preset the oven to 275 degrees. Place the pork belly in a braising pan, pouring the marinade to cover least half the pork belly.
4. Cover the pan with plastic wrap, then foil, and cook for up to four hours. After two hours have passed, check it every 30 minutes. Depending on the thickness of the pork belly, cooking time may vary.
5. After braising, let the pork belly cool. Then, trim off the edges, and cut into 5-ounce rectangular pieces (about 2 by 3.5 inches).
6. To warm up the pork, sear the fatty side on medium heat until it turns golden brown. Then, cut into five to six slices.
7. Pour three tablespoons of Tocino sauce over the pork belly and place back into the oven at 350 degrees.
8. After four to five minutes, use a thermometer to check that the pork has reached at least 165 degrees. Remove from the oven and set aside.
9. In a separate saucepan, warm the Tocino sauce. If the consistency is too thin, slightly reduce the heat.
10. Slice fresh Asian pears and set aside.
For the Assembly:
1. Once all the ingredients are ready to plate, take the Okinawan potato puree and place a dollop in the middle of the plate (around 1/8 of a cup).
2. On top of the potato puree, place the warm pork belly slices.
3. Then, arrange the pickled vegetables on top of the pork belly, and top with freshly sliced Asian pears.
4. Garnish with either micro shiso or micro cilantro.

Directions for Tocino Sauce

1. Put all the ingredients into a small saucepan and turn the heat on to dissolve the sugar.
2. Simmer and let 1/4 of the sauce evaporate.
3. Place in a blender and blend until smooth.
4. Reserve sauce for plating.

Directions for the Pickled Amazu Vegetables

1. Bring the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil, allowing them to dissolve.
2. Remove the mixture from the heat and add to a container to chill on ice.
3. Remove from ice when ready to pickle the vegetables.

Directions for Vegetables

1. Wash and dry all vegetables.
2. Trim the tops off the radishes. Using a mandolin or knife, slice them as thinly as possible into rounds.
3. Slice the cucumbers as thinly as possible into rounds.
4. Peel the carrots and then cut them into three-inch pieces. Cut off all four rounded edges to form a rectangle. Then, slice the carrots as thinly as possible.
5. Once all the vegetables are cut, place them into the cold pickling solution. For best results, allow vegetables to pickle for at least 24 hours.

Directions for Okinawan Sweet Potato Puree

1.Peel the sweet potato and dice it into one-inch pieces.
2. Then place into a small pot and cover with milk, just enough to cover the potatoes.
3. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, checking it until its fully cooked.
4. Then strain out the milk and add the potatoes to a blender. Slowly add milk into the blender until you have a smooth puree.
5. Season with salt and pepper.

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