Stone-pot organic rice, smoky pork belly, roast seaweed

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

You will need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

  • 2 tbsp clarified butter
  • 1 tbsp virgin black sesame oil (see note)
  • 1 tbsp 10-year old Korean soy sauce (see note)
  • 250 gm silken tofu, cut into 8 even pieces
  • 4 golfball-sized kabu turnips, thinly shaved (see note)
  • 150 gm golden orach (mountain spinach leaves; see note)
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  • Smoky pork belly
  • 1 kg skinless, boneless pork belly
  • 150 gm maple wood chips (soaked if necessary for cold smoker, see note)
  • 1 tbsp sea salt flakes or 3 tsp fine salt
  • 300 ml clarified butter
  •  
  • Green rice
  • 1 golden shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 25 ml grapeseed oil
  • 225 gm (1 cup) raw Korean green rice (see note)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
  •  
  • Roast buckwheat
  • 200 gm (1 cup) raw buckwheat kernels (see note)
  • 750 ml (3 cups) grapeseed oil
  •  
  • Rice lace
  • 10 gm (1 tbsp) glutinous rice flour (see note)
  •  
  • Dried shiitake skins
  • 8 large shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp clarified butter, melted
  •  
  • Seaweed and sesame seed mixture
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 3 sheets each compressed layered dried Korean konbu (see note)
  • 3 sheets soy-seasoned Korean toasted nori, torn into 2-3cm squares (see note)
  • 2 tbsp roasted white sesame seeds
01   For smoky pork belly, place pork on a rack in a cold-smoker and smoke for 1 hour with the woodchips (see note), then rub all over with salt. Place in a Cryovac bag with butter, seal and steam or cook in a water bath at 85C for 8 hours. Keep airtight until ready to serve.
02   For green rice, sauté shallot and garlic in oil in a saucepan over low heat (2-3 minutes). Stir in rice to coat, add stock and cover closely with a round of baking paper. Bring to the simmer over high heat, reduce heat to low and cook until tender (25-35 minutes). Cool, then refrigerate covered until required.
03   For roast buckwheat, preheat oven to 100C. Bring buckwheat and enough cold water to cover generously to the boil in a saucepan over high heat and cook until tender (13-15 minutes). Drain, rinse in boiling water, then spread on 2 large oven trays lined with baking paper and dry in oven until completely hard (1½-2 hours). Heat grapeseed oil in a deep saucepan to 200C. Fry buckwheat in batches until slightly puffed and golden (1-1½ minutes; be careful hot oil will spit). Drain on kitchen paper, cool and store in an airtight container.
04   For rice lace, whisk rice flour with 100ml water. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add 1 tbsp rice slurry to pan and cook until water evaporates, a lacy pattern forms and bottom dries out (4-6 minutes). Turn, press flat and dry out second side without colouring (3-5 minutes), then transfer to a rack. Repeat with remaining mixture, stirring vigorously between batches. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days; break into 2-3cm squares just before serving.
05   For dried shiitake skins, preheat oven to 100C. Wipe mushrooms with a damp cloth, being careful not to tear skin. Carefully remove skins, place on an oven tray lined with silicone paper (reserve mushrooms for another use), brush lightly with clarified butter on both sides and dry in oven until crisp (45 minutes). Cool on a fresh sheet of silicone paper. Store in airtight container until required.
06   For seaweed and sesame seed mixture, heat 2 tsp grapeseed oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add a sheet of layered konbu at a time and fry until lightly golden, adding more oil if necessary (5-10 seconds each side). Drain on paper towels, break into 2cm-3cm squares and combine in a bowl with toasted nori, sesame seeds, shiitake skins and rice lace. Mix well and store in an airtight container.
07   To serve, reheat the pork in a steamer at 85C (15-20 minutes), remove pork from bag (drain off butter) and coarsely shred. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp clarified butter in a frying pan, add cooked green rice and stir-fry over high heat (3-4 minutes), then cook without stirring until a golden crust forms on the base (1 minute). Stir in buckwheat, add sesame oil and soy, and combine well. Gently steam tofu until warmed through (30 seconds). Blanch turnip for 20 seconds, then drain. Blanch mountain spinach for 10 seconds, then drain. Brush turnip and spinach generously with clarified butter and season to taste.
08   Place a square of tofu in the base of each serving bowl, top with ¼ cup rice mixture and a generous tablespoonful of shredded pork. Top with shaved kabu turnips, mountain spinach and a generous handful of the seaweed, rice lace and sesame mixture, and serve.

Note Virgin black sesame oil, 10-year aged Korean soy sauce, Korean green rice, soy seasoned nori and compressed layered konbu are available from Korean grocers and online from Melbourne-based Korean food specialist Table181. If unavailable, substitute regular sesame oil, regular soy sauce and good nori. There is no substitute for green rice or compressed konbu. Kabu turnips and golden orach are available from Johnstone Farmer, Hawkesbury, NSW. If they're unavailable, substitute regular turnips and baby spinach. Maple chips are available from selected online smoking chip suppliers. Glutinous rice flour is available from Asian food stores. Raw buckwheat kernels are available from health-food stores. If you don't have a smoker, you can cold-smoke in your oven, but you will need to keep the chips smoking for longer.

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