I honestly don’t even know where to begin with this. Kinda, sorta, speechless. First of all, tacos are the greatest things that man has ever created, don’t @ me. This is the epitome of culinary fusion. The rich buttery pork belly gets slow cooked after swimming in a sweet and spicy marinade all night. Then she gets sliced and crisped up to perfection and slathered in a thick, sticky sweet sauce. Charred tortilla, pork belly, perfectly pickled kimchi style cucumbers, how could it get better? Oh, it gets better. Each taco is topped with salty, crispy, chicken chicharrónes and then drizzled in a spicy wasabi mayo. O. M. G. I think I’m still high off of these. Is it possible to be sexually attracted to a taco? If this is a dream, don’t wake me up.
Photography by Sophie Marie Creative
- Chicken skin (I used the skin from 3 chicken thighs, could use more or less depending on how much you want)
- Chili powder
- 1 English cucumber; sliced thin by hand or with mandolin
- 3 cloves garlic; smashed
- 2 tablespoons peeled fresh garlic; minced or sliced
- 1 teaspoon Korean chili flakes or crushed red pepper flakes (add more or less depending on how much heat you like)
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 2-3 pounds pork belly
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 5 cloves garlic; peeled and smashed
- 2 inches fresh ginger; sliced (you do not need to peel)
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons gochujang
- 2 teaspoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- About a cup of slaw mix (I used a broccoli slaw, you can use a coleslaw mix or shred your own cabbage, anything will do)
- 1/2 jalapeño; seeds removed if you do not want the spice
- 2 tablespoons green onion; finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro; roughly chopped
- 1 lime; juiced
- 1-2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1 teaspoon wasabi
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- For the pickles, add in the sliced cucumber, garlic, ginger, chili flakes, fish sauce, and sesame oil into a large glass jar. In a small saucepan, add in the salt, sugar, and vinegar. Heat over medium high heat and stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers. Allow it to cool slightly then close the lid and give it a shake. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving, shaking it up every once in a while. Do not panic if the garlic turns blue, it sometimes reacts with the vinegar.
- On the fat/skin side of the pork belly, gently score the surface with a sharp knife diagonally, no need to cut in too deep just a couple centimeters, then across again diagonally the other way. You will be keeping the pork belly in a container with a lid so if it is too large cut it in half or in thirds so it will fit. Put the pork belly into a container then add all of the marinade ingredients. Close the lid and shake well. Refrigerate at least over night, up to 3 days, shaking every once in a while.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Remove the pork belly from the container and put it into an oven safe dish, skin/fat side up. Pat the top dry with a paper towel and make sure there are no bits of garlic or ginger because they will burn. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until browned and caramelized on top. Reduce the temperature to 275 degrees and bake for an additional hour or so or until cooked through. Remove and cool. If you want to make a sauce, strain the marinade to remove any garlic, ginger, or pork bits. Bring the marinade to a boil for at least 5 minutes to kill off any bacteria from the pork. Then reduce the heat to simmer and let it thicken.
- For the chicharrónes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pat the chicken skin dry with a paper towel then lay it flat on the parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt and whatever seasonings you want (I used chili powder and cumin). Top with another piece of parchment paper and press it down flat. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.
- Mix together all of the slaw ingredients and refrigerate until serving.
- Whisk together the mayo ingredients and refrigerate until serving.
- When you are ready to serve, slice up the pork belly and heat it over medium heat until the fat renders and it crisps up on both side.
- Char your tortilla over an open flame or under the broiler then fill with the slaw and pork belly and top with the pickles and chicharrónes. Drizzle with wasbi mayo and sprinkle on some fresh cilantro if you so desire.