Korean-style pork belly with charred cucumber and sweetcorn



First published in 2021
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Fermented chilli sauce

Pickled cucumber

Pork belly

Compressed cucumber

Korean-style barbecue sauce

To serve

  • borage flowers
  • 1 fresh corn on the cob, kernels sliced off the cob
  • 1 large spring onion, finely sliced
  • extra virgin rapeseed oil
  • apple cider vinegar
  • salt

Begin by making the fermented chilli sauce as this needs a good 4–6 weeks to ferment for the best flavour. Place all the ingredients in a sterile Kilner jar or container and add enough water to just cover them. Stir to dissolve the salt


Use a sandwich bag filled with water or a sterile weight to sit on top of the water in the jar, ensuring all of the ingredients are completely submerged. Leave to ferment at room temperature for 4–6 weeks, opening the jar every day if it's airtight to allow built-up gas to escape


After this time, place the entire contents of the jar into a blender and blitz into a smooth sauce. The sauce will be a little chunky due to the chilli seeds, but you can pass through a sieve if you want it completely smooth. You will of course have far more sauce than you need for this recipe, but it's an amazing condiment to have on standby in the fridge for all manner of dishes – and it should last for months if kept properly


To make the pickled cucumber, place all the ingredients apart from the cucumber in a pan and bring to the boil. Stir to ensure the sugar is dissolved then take off the heat and leave to cool completely


Once cooled, pour the liquid over the diced cucumber and leave to pickle whilst you prepare everything else

  • 1/4 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and finely diced

Next, cook the pork. Preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4


Place the pork belly in a deep ovenproof dish or pan and add the rest of the ingredients. Pour in enough water to just cover the meat, then tightly cover the dish with a lid or tin foil. Cook the belly in the oven for 60–90 minutes, or until a knife easily pierces the meat with no resistance


As the pork cooks, make the barbecue sauce. Place all the ingredients in a pan with 2 tsp of your fermented hot sauce and bring to a slow boil. Simmer until slightly thickened, then transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth. Pass through a sieve then leave to cool


To make the compressed cucumber, place the peeled, deseeded cucumber into a vacuum bag and sprinkle with a little salt and lemon juice. Seal for about 40 seconds until compressed and translucent. If you don't have a vacuum sealer, you can simply sprinkle a little salt and lemon juice on the cucumber and set aside


Once the pork belly is nice and soft, remove it from the liquid and reserve the leftover stock for another dish (it freezes well). Cut the pork into 4 equal portions. Keep the oven on at 180°C/gas mark 4


To finish, place a frying pan over a medium heat and seal the pork on each side so it is browned and lightly charred all over. Place in the oven for 15 minutes to heat through completely


Place the sweetcorn kernels in a bowl with the chopped spring onion and dress with a little extra virgin rapeseed oil, cider vinegar and salt

  • 1 fresh corn on the cob, kernels sliced off the cob
  • 1 large spring onion, finely sliced
  • extra virgin rapeseed oil
  • apple cider vinegar
  • salt

To serve, place a spoonful of barbecue sauce in the bottom of each dish and sit the pork on top. Spread a layer of fermented chilli sauce on top of the pork and top with some pickled cucumber


Remove the compressed cucumber from the vacuum bag and slice into 4 portions (or just cut the salted cucumber into 4 portions). Use a blowtorch to char the cucumber pieces then place on top of the pork. Finish with a spoon of sweetcorn around the side and some borage flowers on top

  • borage flowers
First published in 2021
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