Posted in Good Food, Recipe

Asian Style Pork Belly with Mushroom Ragoût

I love working and cooking with pork, on the Pretoria Farmer’s Market my Rillettes de Porc is by now legendary, and whenever I get the opportunity I recommend pork to clients when doing catering or as a private chef. Above all I have discovered a fantastic pork producer – Laasterus Pork Products  – on the Farmer’s Market and producer/butcher Stephan Slabbert is just so knowledgeable about his product and the quality is outstanding, which makes it perfect for what I need.

On 10 November I was private chef for a lunch for 8 people and the client requested a bistro and rustic style plate of food and I gladly share the main course here. It is easy, the pork belly can be made the day before already, which leaves you with very little to do on the day of your lunch or dinner. Serves 8-10 people.

Asian Style Pork Belly with Mushroom Ragoût, Fennel Mash and Pak Choi

100_5052For the Pork:

Prep Time: 60 mins+ | Cook Time: 3-4 hours+ | Recipe: Advanced | Serve: 8-10

  • ±2kg pork belly with the rind
  • 80ml low-sodium soy sauce
  • 125ml hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 250ml Water

For the Mushroom Ragoût:

Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 30 min | Recipe: Very Easy | Serve: 8-10

  • 500g Mixed Exotic Mushrooms
  • 1 large Onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic gloves crushed & chopped
  • 60g Butter
  • 75ml Brandy
  • 75ml Marsala Wine
  • 125ml Cream
  • Reserved pork marinade (you should have about 300ml)
  • Salt & black pepper to taste

For the Fennel Mash:

Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 30 min | Recipe: Very Easy | Serve: 8-10

  • 8-10 Fennel Bulbs, chopped
  • 3 Large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 Galic cloves, mashed
  • 125ml Cream
  • 60ml Butter
  • Salt & white pepper to taste

To Prepare:

The Pork:

  1. Place the pork belly in a deep Dutch Oven.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients together to make a marinade and pour it over the pork belly, making sure that you lift the belly so that the marinade covers the entire pork belly. If the belly isn’t entirely cover, add a little more water mixing it all to cover the belly. Braise in the oven at 140°C 3 ½ hours. The belly is done when you can pierce the flesh easily.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes in the stock. Line a tray with greaseproof paper and carefully transfer the pork belly onto a tray, skin-side down.
  4. If your butcher didn’t do it for you, remove all of the rib bones and white cartilage. Place a sheet of greaseproof on top of the pork belly, lay a flat tray on top and weigh down with 4-5kg to press the belly in the fridge overnight.
  5. Pass the remaining stock through a sieve and reserve for the next day for the mushroom ragoût. Once the stock has cooled down and the fat has set, remove the layer of fat so that you only have the liquid and very little fat. 
  6. The following morning cut the pressed pork into 8-10 equal squares, enough for each person and place back in the fridge until required.
  7. Just after you have made the mushroom ragoût, preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat a thick-bottomed pan, without oil, and add the pork belly, skin-side down. Place a small tray over the pan to guard against the spitting pan. Be careful: it will get very hot. As there are sugars in the marinade, be careful you can burn the skin easily, so check regularly to ensure that you do not burn the skin.
  8. Once the skin starts to colour, place the pan into a hot oven and leave for 15 minutes. Check to see if it’s hot by using a temperature probe, it should read 65°C.
The Mushroom Ragoût:

  1. Clean the mushrooms and slice the bigger ones into thin slices.
  2. Fry the onions and garlic in the butter, once soft, add the brandy and marsala wine and allow alcohol to evaporate.
  3. Add the cream, mushrooms and pork marinade and allow to reduce until the ragoût starts to thicken.
  4. At this point your pork should be in the oven as well.
The Fennel Mash:

  1. You can make this well in advance and reheat just before serving.
  2. Boil the fennel, potatoes and onions in enough water to cover it all until the potatoes are soft, but still firm.
  3. Remove and drain off all water.
  4. Add all the other ingredients and give it a rough mash, you want it to be rustic, this in not a fine pass through the riser type of mash.
  5. Set aside until plating.
  6. In the meantime steam the pak choi and prepare to bring it all together.
To Plate:

  1. Place a 2-3 table spoons of fennel mash with a food ring on the plate.
  2. Add the pork belly to the side.
  3. Add the mushroom ragoût on the bottom and lastly place a pak choi like a little tree in the plate.
  4. Serve while hot with a good Merlot or Shiraz.


Welcome to my two Blogs, each representing the two great passions in my life: Food & Yoga. I started life out as a graphic designer and when I hit my 40's decide to study the culinary arts at Steyn's Culinary School in Pretoria. So as a chef I am a later bloomer. I sell gourmet street food, Paninis, Gourmet Bunny Chow, Bombay Frankies, Bobotie Meat Kebabs and Chai on markets in and around Pretoria. I also offer my services as a private chef or as a caterer. I am a part time yoga teacher with 17 years of doing yoga and 8 years of teaching yoga behind me. I teach Intergal Hatha Yoga and has small classes in Queenswood, Pretoria.

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