Vietnamese Braised Pork Belly Tacos
Lunch, Main Course
Asian Inspired, Mexican
pork belly, tacos, tortilla, Vietnamese
Building on the culinary fusion evident with both tacos and banh mi, these Vietnamese Braised Pork Belly Tacos celebrate the parallels while creating a distinct and delicious food experience.
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Braised pork belly (thịt kho nước dừa)
pork belly in one piece, often sold as strips
ginger, thumb sized piece coarsely chopped
ginger, thumb sized piece finely diced
garlic, finely diced
shallots, finely diced
Chinese five-spice mix
freshly ground black pepper
litre coconut juice
Pickled carrot and daikon (đồ chua)
Marinated quail eggs (optional)
or corn and wheat tortillas
Use a milder chilli if you prefer, or omit altogether
Braised pork belly (thịt kho nước dừa) (do one day ahead)
Wash and dice the ginger.
Put the pork belly and the coarsely chopped ginger in a saucepan and fill with cold water to 30mm or so above the pork.
Bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, skimming off the scum regularly.
Drain, discarding the water.
Rinse the pork belly under running water, then allow to drain and dry a little.
In a heavy based, high sided pan, heat the oil.
Add the pork belly and brown each side.
Add the finely diced ginger, onion, and garlic and stir until very fragrant and starting to brown.
Add to the saucepan the coconut juice, five-spice mix, the fish sauce, and the coconut caramel.
Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Skim off any scum that collects on the top.
Cover and simmer for 1.5 hours, turning the pork belly over half-way through.
Remove the pork belly from the braising liquid, allow to cool, then cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until required.
Retain the braising liquid for marinating the quail eggs.
Quail eggs (optional) (do one day ahead)
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil.
Prepare a bowl of iced water.
Carefully lower the quail eggs into the boiling water.
Boil for 1.5 minutes exactly.
Remove the quail eggs from the boiling water and drop into the iced water.
Leave for 5 minutes then peel the shells from the quail eggs.
Mix together the cooled braising liquid and the soy sauce. Add this combination together with the quail eggs to a ziplock bag and remove as much of the air as possible before sealing.
Put the ziplock bag in a bowl then into the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Drain the marinade from the eggs.
Return the eggs to the refrigerator if not using immediately.
Pickled carrot and daikon (đồ chua)
Julienne the carrot and daikon and place in a bowl.
Sprinkle the 2 tsp salt and 2 tsp sugar over the carrot and daikon. Toss well and set aside for 15 minutes.
Drain the carrot and daikon in a colander, and rinse under cold water. Allow to drain.
Combine vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar, and water in a bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the carrot and daikon to the vinegar, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours before using.
Allow the braised pork and the quail eggs (if using) to come to room temperature.
Dice the braised pork. Put the diced pork under a broiler for a few minutes to heat it through and brown it a little more. Alternatively use a blow torch.
Combine the 100 g mayo with the Tobasco sauce.
Remove the seeds from the cucumber and cut into long strips.
Wash the cilantro leaves and remove the leaves from the stalks.
Finely dice the bird chillis.
On a hotplate or hot skillet, lay the tortillas until they start to brown and blister. Both sides.
Spread on some of the chilli mayo mixture.
Top the mayo with some sliced braised pork, cucumber, pickled carrot and daikon, cilantro, diced chilli, and halved quail eggs (if using).
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