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Pork Belly and Fried Rice

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Fried rice has played a huge part in my life as a chef. I’ve probably eaten equal amounts of fried rice as I have made, and I used to make enormous woks worth of fried rice every 5 minutes (working at a busy Chinese restaurant in the lower east side… lotta rice…). So that’s saying something. Rice is so pure in nature, but so versatile. Kimchi, salt cod, pork belly, shrimp, basil, shiso- you name it, I’ve probably made some sort of fried rice with it. We always have cooked rice at home, either from leftover takeout, or our meal prep for the week (yes, we meal prep at home too…). Breakfast, lunch, and dinner- fried rice fits the bill for any occasion. Tonight’s fried rice features roasted mushrooms, loads of scallions, basil, and cilantro, shiso, and a sweet and (subtly!) spicy sauce. Paired up with slices of miso-glazed pork belly and a crunchy carrot + cabbage slaw, we’ve taken something very humble and simple, and made it elegant for you. That’s just what we do. Get in there!

For the fried rice:

If you have more than three servings, you may need to do this in two rounds. Never good to overcrowd the pan!

Warm your largest saute pan over high heat. Once it’s ripping hot (like super hot), add just enough neutral oil (sunflower, canola, soy, whatever) so that the pan is lightly coated. It should be smoking slightly. Add your rice, and stir with the back of a spoon to flatten. Now, don’t touch it! The cold rice will drop the temperature of your pan significantly. You want to let the pan heat back up before you stir it- this will prevent too much sticking. Once the pan is nice and hot again, and the rice is crackling away, give it a toss. Scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom, and stir. Once the rice is piping hot, it’s ready! 

For the pork belly:

This belly is special. It’s from Compart family farms-check them out. These pigs are awesome- you see pork in supermarkets that is pale or light pink- this indicates poor nutrition and muscle development. The bellies that we got for today were a full, flush red- absolutely gorgeous. I’m geeking out over pork. To heat, set your oven to low broil. On a sheet tray lined with foil, lay out your pieces of pork belly, and broil for 2-3 minutes on each side until soft and caramelized. Slice it up, and plate it on top of the fried rice.

For the slaw:

Toss this in a mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper, and dress with the sweet chili vinaigrette. Nom nom nom nom…

That’s it!

Diner served, dinner solved.



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