Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spicy Crispy Pork With Coconut Crepes

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Spicy crispy pork with coconut crepes
Spicy crispy pork with coconut crepes

This meal is all about creating my favorite Thai flavors in my own kitchen and features rhubarb to accomplish this.  Rhubarb is not only for desserts! ... although I am pretty sure rhubarb is not at all a traditional Thai ingredient.  You will just have to trust me that this works.  Ok, you can trust Jamie Oliver that it works since this recipe is heavily adapted from his Hot and Sour Rhubarb and Crispy Pork With Noodles.  These spicy bites are soooo good.  Combine the finished pork with delicately flavored coconut and cilantro crepes and you have finger food at it's best.

Pork belly and rhubarb
Pork belly and rhubarb

This is where it all starts, with pork belly and rhubarb.  It looks so simple and humble here who would guess it turns into something with so much sass.  The pork belly is first cooked in a braise of rhubarb and spices until it is fork tender.  You prepare your crepes while the pork is simmering along with any other toppings you might want like fresh cilantro, slivers of red onion, thai basil, chili sauce, bean sprouts, wedges of lime ... Mmmmm.  Then once you are ready to eat you cook the pork for a second time in a sizzling hot skillet until the outside is crisped and covered in dark caramelized bits.  All that's left to do is eat!

This has been shared with Real Foods Wednesdays and Fresh Sheet Fridays.

Spicy Crispy Pork
Rhubarb is used to braise the pork belly and then it is crisped a second time in a very hot skillet just before eating.
  • 1 lb rhubarb
  • 4 Tbs honey
  • 4 Tbs soy sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 - 3 Tbs chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 inch fresh, chopped ginger
  • 2 1/4 lbs pork belly, boned and rind removed, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 2 Tbs oil

  1. Clean and trim off the ends of the rhubarb and cut into 2 inch pieces. Add them to your food processor bowl along with the honey, soy sauce, garlic, chipotle, allspice and ginger. Pulse until smooth.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 350 (F). Spread out the pork belly in a large baking dish, leaving some space between the bits. Pour the rhubarb mixture over the top and cover the pan with tin foil. Bake in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours, until the pork belly is fork tender.
  3. If you are serving this with the Coconut and Cilantro Crepes (recipe below), get those made while the pork belly is braising.
  4. Remove the cooked pork belly from the oven and then fish out each piece onto a plate. You want to keep your pieces large so give them a gently scrape and shake to remove any excess sauce as you transfer them.
  5. Heat a large skillet with a well fitting splatter guard or lid over a high flame. Add in the 2 tablespoons of oil and bring it up to temperature. It should be shimmering when it is ready to use.
  6. In a couple of batches and with your splatter guard handy, place the pieces of pork into the oil well spaced apart. This will spit a lot so be very careful. Keep them moving in the pan - if you just let them sit in one spot they will tend to tear apart when you go to turn them, leaving behind all that crispy stuff.
  7. Transfer the completed spicy crispy pork to a waiting plate and eat immediately. I recommend with coconut crepes, bean sprouts, fresh cilantro, lime wedge, chili sauce to your taste ... Mmmmm.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 servings

Coconut and Cilantro Crepes
These crepes are quick and easy to make, adding a touch of Thai flavorings to your meal.
  • 1/2 cup rice flour (white or brown)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt

  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Set the batter aside and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat your non-stick skillet over medium flame. Lightly oil the bottom of the pan with a paper towel and the fat of your choice.
  3. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into the center of your skillet and then pick up the skillet and tilt it in a full circle just once slowly to spread the batter into a circle about 6 inches across. Return the skillet to the heat and flip the crepe when it just starts to brown lightly. Once flipped, cook for another minute or 2 until lightly golden brown. Re-grease the pan and repeat until all the batter is used.
  4. As you are making the crepes you can stack the finished ones on a plate one on top of the other. They do not stick together and can be made a couple of days in advance. Store in an air tight container until you are ready to use. Re-heat in the microwave just long enough to take off the chill.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 crepes