Thai-Flavored Pork Belly Skewers
This isn't your average pork belly dish. Infused with classic Thai flavor this pork belly appetizer is sure to be the hit at your next barbecue!
- 1 cup/240 mL water
- 1/2 cup/90 g brown sugar
- 1 stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced
- 2 pieces star anise
- 1 two-inch/5 cm cinnamon stick
- 2 teaspoons/10mL red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup/60mL soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons/30 mL fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons/30 mL white vinegar
- 1 pound/450g pork belly, skin removed, cut into 1"/2.5 cm-square slices, each 1/4"/6 mm thick
- 10 scallions, thick white part cut into 1"/2.5cm-pieces
In a small saucepan over high heat, bring to boil the water, brown sugar, lemongrass, star anise, cinnamon stick, coriander and red pepper flakes. Boil for 30 seconds, then remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until completely cool, about 2 hours. Add the soy and fish sauces and vinegar. Place the pork belly chunks in the marinade for at least 4 and up to 24 hours. Thread the pork belly and scallion alternately, starting with pork belly (scallion should be perpendicular to the skewers). Each skewer should have 3 pieces of pork and 2 scallions. Build a low direct fire. Spread an even layer of unlit charcoal in the bottom of the grill. Fill a chimney one-third full with charcoal. Stuff two sheets of newspaper in the bottom of the chimney and light it. When the coals are fully engaged – you should see flames peeking over the top – pour them over the unlit charcoal. If using a gas grill, light the gas and adjust the temperature on both sides to low. When you can hold your hands over the fire for no more than 8-10 seconds, clean the grill grate. Place the skewers directly over the fire, with the exposed wooden ends pointing the edge of the grill, and grill for 30-45 seconds, until the meat starts to brown. Flip skewers over and repeat. Continue this process for about 4 minutes, until the meat is dark brown, almost black in some areas. Serve hot, and make sure you get one for yourself. These will not last long.
Equipment: Ten 8"/20 cm wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 4 hours We found that grilling these over a low grill helps build a wonderful sticky-crunchy texture. Make sure to flip the skewers over every 30-45 seconds. Soaking the skewers in water helps keep them from burning.