Things haven’t been going right this week.
Four recipes have flopped. Photos haven’t been great. Posts haven’t gone up.
Now’s the time where I can either focus on those missteps, those mess-ups and throw in the towel. Or, I can focus on what has gone right. I can go to bed before 9pm, take Edgar for a nice long walk, and eat another bowl of bibimbap.
Because this turned out. Beautifully. Deliciously.
This was the first time I ever cured and roasted a pork belly, the first time I ever attempted bibimbap. I sent many texts to my former coworker, Kris, who is a master at pork belly (among other things), pleading and pestering. For months I watched him cure and roast pork belly (and smoke chicken wings and braise chicken thighs and cook perfect grits) but never paid enough attention to the exact process. I was busy baking burger buns.
Turns out, it’s way easier than I thought! All it takes is a little bit of time and a willingness to have 5 pounds of perfectly cooked and undeniably juicy pork belly on hand.
Pork Belly Bibimbap
Roasted Pork Belly, recipe follows
Crispy Sesame Rice, recipe
Garlic Spinach, recipe follows
Ginger Carrots, recipe follows
Sliced seedless Cucumbers
Chogochujang, recipe follows
For the Pork Belly:
5 pound whole pork belly
24 – 36 hours ahead of time, coat the pork in the 60/40 sugar/salt rub (I used 60 grams of brown sugar and 40 grams of kosher salt for mine). Any form of sugar can be used – brown, cane, coarse, even honey. The ratio should always be 60/40.
Rub the mixture into the pork and place on a wire rack over a large baking tray. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 24 – 36 hours.
When ready to roast, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap pork and place in preheated oven for 1- 1 and ½ hours, or until top is caramelized. Reduce oven to 300 and continue cooking until thermometer inserted into thickest part of pork belly reads 190 degrees, about another hour to ninety minutes.
Remove from oven and prepare remaining ingredients while pork rests.
For the Crispy Sesame Rice (adapted from Bon Appetit):
Cooked white rice
In a medium skillet, heat sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add cooked rice in an even layer, pressing down with a rubber spatula. Cook until bottom layer is golden and crispy. Remove to large bowl.
For the Garlic Spinach:
4 oz. fresh spinach
1 clove garlic, minced
In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add spinach and garlic and cook until spinach is wilted and garlic is fragrant.
For the Ginger Carrots:
Fresh, grated ginger
Using the same skillet, add the carrots and ginger and cook until fragrant.
4 TBSP Gochujang (Korean spicy red pepper paste)
2 TBSP Rice Wine Vinegar
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
Whisk together all ingredients in small bowl.
To assemble bibimbap:
On top of crispy rice add the prepared veggies, fresh sliced vegetables, kimchi, and pork belly in even sections. Top with a fried egg, prepared chogochujang, and toasted sesame seeds, if desired. Serve immediately.