I am being eaten alive in New York this summer. I currently have at least five mosquito bites, and this is after my previous five have healed. And I don’t just get mosquito bites – I get bites that turn into giant bumps because I suspect I may be allergic…or something. Either way, it’s annoying and I hate it. It’s just been raining on and off for the past month, so obviously it’s been mosquito city with all the humidity and standing water. S-I-G-H. Hopefully it will pass soon. Otherwise I may be driven mad and have to go into hiding until the winter. Other than the bugs, it’s been a good weekend. Friday night, we went out to dinner for Restaurant Week with a friend to Co-Op Restaurant, followed by one of my favorite bars that my friend Val introduced me to, Motor City Bar. Saturday, we went to a friend’s apartment for a delicious Cuban-themed party, where we ate homemade ropa vieja and drank mojitos, followed by a quick (and I mean quick because this bar is the worst) stop over at Union Pool in Williamsburg with our friend Eric, who just got home after spending a year in China, before heading over to my much preferred local bar, The Tradesman. In the morning, we all went out to Pies n’ Thighs for breakfast, then Kramer put some finishing touches on our new layout (you like?) while I met up with my friend Lindsey for small plates and drinks at Huckleberry Bar. I wanted to stay up and watch Breaking Bad, but I was exhausted and we went to sleep around 10 PM like the old fogies that we are.
I figured that since we have a super cool, beautiful, perfect, awesome, etc. new layout for the site, thanks to our talented friend Jill, I figured that I would christen it with one of the best things in the entire world: pork belly. I assumed that pork belly would involve a lot of prep work and possibly a long cooking time, and while there are certainly ways to make delicious, slow cooked pork belly, I don’t have time for that after work. Instead, I marinated this in a simple mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, and vinegar, then quickly stir-fried it with some brown rice and sugar snap peas after work last week. The whole thing took about 15 minutes and Kramer and I ate the entire pan. It was, simply put, fantastic. Slightly sweet, slightly salty, with just the right amount of melty pork fat in between the pieces of meat was just what I needed on a Monday. If you must turn your stove on during the summer, a quick stir-fry is perfect because you only need a bit of high heat for a few minutes before you’ve got yourself a wholesome dinner to enjoy…preferably while watching a favorite Sunday night television show (or two).
When your pork has marinated, heat a wok or pan over high heat, then pour in the pork. Cook for 8-10 minutes over medium-high heat, until the pork is cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly.
- 1 pound pork belly, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon mirin (optional)
- ½ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice
- pinch salt and ground pepper
- red pepper flakes, for garnish
- scallions, for garnish
- Thinly slice your pork belly into bite-sized pieces. Whisk together your soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, mirin, Chinese 5-spice, salt, and pepper. Pour the sauce over the pork belly, place in an airtight container or bag, and marinate for a few hours or as long as 48 hours (I did 48 hours).
- When you’re ready to cook, heat a pan over high heat and add in a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Pour the pork and its sauce into the pan, and stir-fry for 8-10 minutes over medium-high heat, until the pork is cooked through and the sauce is thickened slightly (although it will not thicken much). Add in some snap peas or other veggies halfway through cooking time, if you like. Serve with vegetables and/or rice.