Cook time: 3 days sous vide
- 5lb Pork Belly
- Vegetable or grapeseed oil as needed
Tamari Belly Glaze
- 300ml Tamari
- 400ml Mirin
- 50ml Pork fat
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 16 Good quality frozen baos (found in frozen section of Asian specialty stores)
- 1 Iceberg lettuce head
- 1 cup White wine vinegar
- 3 Thinly sliced radishes
- ½ Thinly sliced white onion
- ½ cup cilantro leaves (2 leaves per bao)
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup ice
- Preheat Nomiku Water Bath to 59ºC (138ºF). Trim skin off and reserve excess fat to be put on low flame to get some liquid pork fat (50ml) for the glaze. Portion cold pork belly into long logs 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick. Vacuum seal each log with 2 tablespoons of some neutral oil (like grape seed or vegetable oil) or use a zip bag and the water displacement method. For long cooks, be sure to use sturdier freezer type zip bags (they are thicker).
Cook Pork Belly for 72 hours (3 days) at 59ºC(138ºF). Cool in ice bath when done for 20 minutes and refrigerate the cooked logs before handling or slicing.
- Render excess pork belly fat reserved until it yields 50 ml liquid pork fat.
- Combine all glaze ingredients in a pot on medium flame, reduce Tamari Belly Glaze down to 1/3rd of it’s original volume or until it can coat the back of the spoon. Taste and adjust salt the glaze should be a bit more sweet than salty.
- Glaze can be used immediately to coat pork but can also be made in advance. For advanced cooking, leave to cool until room temperature in an airtight container and then move to fridge. To use the glaze, reheat on medium heat until slightly bubbling on edges and then hold on low flame for use.
- Keep glaze warm over a low flame.
- Wash, dry, and cut iceberg lettuce to the same size as the bao.
- Pick off cilantro leaves (do not use stems), set aside.
- Slice radishes and white onion by thinly with a mandoline (1mm thick). Soak radishes and onion slices in vinegar, salt, and ice to crisp.
- Preheat steamer if you have one, steam the baos for 5 minutes, do not leave them in the hot steamer more than 10 minutes, they will slowly break down and go stale (turn slightly yellow and tough, they will also go tough if you leave them outside) It’s a time sensitive ingredient and baos should be heated up at the very last minute before serving.
- If a steamer is not available, use the microwave. Cut up some parchment paper and line the bottom of a large plate and put on the frozen baos. Then tear off about 4 pieces of kitchen paper towel and dampen them, be careful not to get them dripping wet. Lay the baos lined with parchment onto the plate and cover with damp towels all the way to the rim and tuck the damp towel edges under the baos. Make sure there are no gaping holes. Microwave on high for 3 min and 30 seconds (for 1000W microwave, YMMV). Be careful of the hot plate and steam when removing from the microwave. Leave bao covered and warm for service.
- Sear the pork belly fat side down until skin is brown and crispy, around 5 minutes, the majority of the pork belly should stay cold. Slice the cooked pork belly cold because the temperature will help hold the structure together, if you were to slice it warm, it would fall apart. Slices should ½ inch thick, drop slices into the hot glaze for about 2 minutes to heat all the way through and soften.
- Place the glazed slice between the bun along with all the other garnishes to your taste and stack like a burger. Serve immediately.