I originally wrote this recipe for a recipe contest. Kikkoman soy sauce hosted it, and of course (you get where this is going) we needed to incorporate soy sauce in the recipe. I guess it becomes pretty obvious when you look at the pictures.
I came up with two recipes, a savoury and a sweet one. Now I know you’re all going: Wait whaaat? A sweet recipe using soy sauce? But yes, I made a sweet recipe with soy sauce, and I’m sure you’ll love it. But I’ll post that one later, cause today I have crispy pork with rice pancakes and quick pickled vegetables for you!
Now, let me tell you a bit more about the proces of recipe developing. Or at least, how this process works in my case.
When I knew I had to create something with soy sauce I automatically thought of marinating, preferably something fatty to go with the saltiness of the soy sauce. So I got myself some nice pork belly at the market and let it marinate in a mixture of soy sauce and honey, to be roasted until crispy the next day. Next, I started searching for an acid element to counterpart the fattiness. Pickling has been all the rage last year, and as I’m so on trend (or better said, after trend) a quick pickle was just what this recipe needed.
Pickling sounds intimidating, but don’t be afraid: when I say a quick pickle, I mean quick and it’s hardly any work. The only thing you need to do is to slice the raw vegetables in thin ribbons and pour over the pickle mix.
And the secret to these light pancakes with hundreds of air holes?
Rice flour. But if you can’t find any (I bought mine at the Asian supermarket), feel free to sub with regular flour to prepare regular pancakes.
You might wonder what happened with the competition, was my recipe selected? Unfortunately not, but I did win a sushi workshop with a 2-star sushi chef, so I’m a very happy camper nonetheless :-)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp honey
- 500 gr (1.1 pound) pork belly (uncured and with rind)
- 1 carrot, scrubbed clean
- ½ cucumber
- 200 ml (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) white wine vinegar
- 200 ml (3/4 cu + 1 tbsp) water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1.5 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp nigella seeds*
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
Fluffy rice pancakes
- 125 gr (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) rice flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 250 ml (1 cup) water
- ½ tbsp neutral oil
- Coriander/Cilantro, to garnish
- Mix the soy sauce with the honey and poor it over the meat
- Place in the fridge and let marinate for a night, turn a few time to make sure every side gets marinated
- Take the meat out of the fridge before cooking so it can get to room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 180 C (356 F)
- Place the meat fatty side up in the dry baking tray lined with aluminium foil*, and roast for 45 minutes
- After 45 minutes, turn down the heat to 150 C (302 F) and roast for another 45 minutes
- Cut off top and bottom from the carrot and slice thin long ribbons on a mandoline or with a sharp knife
- Slice the cucumber in ribbons too and place cucumber and carrot ribbons in a clean jar
- Bring the vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a boil in a pan and take off the heat
- Add the mustard and nigella seeds, and pour over the vegetables
- Set aside for 1 hour
Fluffy rice pancakes
- Mix the flour with the salt
- Mix in the egg, water and oil
- Heat a bit of oil in a pan and spoon in the batter, enough to make a thin pancake
- Bake on one side only, don't flip them, they brake easily
- Pull the pork apart with a fork and reheat in a pan with a tiny bit of soy sauce
- Serve on a pancake with the pickled vegetables and a bit of fresh coriander
* Can't find Nigella seeds? No problem, they're not absolutely necessary, you can leave them out