This week I am sharing a Frankenstein recipe of sorts as I mashed up two things I cooked recently into one great recipe. A few weeks ago I posted a recipe for Pork Belly Burnt Ends, which is just cubed pork belly, smoked, and cooked in BBQ sauce. Earlier this week I had the pleasure of cooking on my wok (indoors) and made a really good version of Kung Pao Chicken. For this recipe, I combined the low and slow method of pork belly burnt ends with the sauce from the Kung Pao Chicken recipe all on my Big Green Egg. Now sit back, grab a nice glass of Reisling, and enjoy this post for Kung Pao Smoked Pork Belly.
Before I get started on this week’s post a disclaimer of sorts. We just got a new puppy at the Buddha household, a French Bulldog named Yoda. He is a little rascal and takes a good bit of our time. So, for this blog post, most of the pictures came from my iPhone as it was easier than setting up my camera rig. No worries as little Yoda is a smart dog and picking up house training quickly. I should be back to my normal posting self soon!
Kung Pao Smoked Pork Belly
Clean your slab of pork belly by trimming excess fat and any silver skin remaining. Then cube the pork belly into 2″ pieces.
Toss the pork belly cubes in a little yellow mustard for the base and then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder mixture. Set on a wire rack and start to prep your Big Green Egg.
Smoking the Pork Belly
Set your Big Green Egg up for indirect cooking using the ConvEGGerator and a few chunks of hickory wood. Get the temperature up to 275° and wait for the smoke to thin out before putting your pork belly (still on the wire rack) inside.
Let the pork belly smoke at in this environment for 3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 190°. I sprayed the pork pieces every hour with apple juice to help keep them moist.
Making the Kung Pao Sauce
Finding the Chinese ingredients: Shaoxing wine, Sichuan peppercorns, Chinese black vinegar, and Sichuan fermented chili-bean paste is worth the effort to get that traditional taste. I was able to find all of these on Amazon… thank me later for the links.
In addition to the traditional ingredients you’ll need sugar, cornstarch, garlic, green onion, ginger, peanut oil, and leeks.
I mixed the Shaoxing wine, Chinese black vinegar, Sichuan fermented chili-bean paste, and Corn Starch together. I crushed the Sichuan peppercorns and mixed them with the green tops of the onions. I sliced the leeks, minced the garlic and ginger.
In a hot pan I placed the peanut oil and added the leeks, white onion parts, garlic, and ginger then sauteed until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
I mixed the sauteed aromatics in with the smoked pork belly and covered in the sauce.
I placed the pork belly, aromatics, and sauce back in the Big Green Egg covering the aluminum pan with foil. This cooked for 45 minutes until the sauce was nice and thick.
I served the Kung Pao Pork Belly over Korean Buckwheat Noodles. This dish was so worth the wait and one I will make again and again!
- 1½ pounds pork belly (cubed)
- Yellow mustard (for slather)
- 2 Tbs Kosher Salt
- 2 Tbs Black Pepper
- 1 Tbs Garlic Powder
- 4 Tbs soy sauce
- 1Tbs Chinese black vinegar (or distilled white vinegar if unavailable)
- 1 Tbs cornstarch
- 1 Tbs Sambal Oelek
- ⅓ cup peanut oil
- 2 small leeks, white and light green parts only, cut into ¼-inch slices (about ½ cup total)
- 3 scallions, whites finely minced, and greens finely sliced, reserved separately
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 Tbs fresh ginger, minced
- 4 Tbs Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry, if unavailable)
- 2 Tsp sugar
- 1 Tbs Sichuan peppercorns toasted in hot skillet for 30 seconds until fragrant, ground using mortar and pestle
- ½ cup roasted unsalted peanuts
- Reserved green parts from scallions
- 12 hot Chinese dry chili peppers, seeded
- Cube the pork belly into 1" pieces
- Cover with a base (I used mustard) and season with Salt, Pepper, and garlic powder mixture
- Set your smoker to 275° using Hickory for the smoking wood
- Set your pork belly inside the smoker on a wire rack for 3 hours or until they measure 190°
- You can spray the pork belly every hour with apple juice to keep moist
- After 3 hours (or 190°) pull the pork belly and set aside
- Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, cornstarch sambal oelek, Shaoxing wine, and sugar together and set aside.
- Saute' the leeks, green onion bottoms (white parts), garlic, and ginger in peanut oil until fragrant (1-2 minutes)
- Put pork belly in aluminum pan and cover with aromatics and sauce
- Cover and place back in your smoker for 30-60 minutes (or until the sauce thickens)
- Toss everything with the Sichuan peppercorns, tops of green onions, and peanuts
- Serve over rice or noodles