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Japanese seven-spice pork belly with cranberry and orange ketchup


Serves: 4
timePrep time: 30 mins
timeTotal time:
Japanese seven-spice pork belly with cranberry and orange ketchup
Recipe photograph by Maja Smend

Japanese seven-spice pork belly with cranberry and orange ketchup

‘A stunning alternative to turkey at Christmas, this crispy rolled pork belly still feels wonderfully festive with flavours of orange and ginger running through it,' says chef Tom Rhodes. 'A foolproof slow-cooking method gives you the perfect crackling and a juicy centre; perfect served with a tangy cranberry and orange ketchup to cut through the richness.’

Serves: 4
timePrep time: 30 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
635Kcal
Fat
37gr
Saturates
12gr
Carbs
24gr
Sugars
21gr
Fibre
3gr
Protein
51gr
Salt
1.6gr

Tom Rhodes

Tom Rhodes

From front of house manager to 2021 MasterChef champion, Newcastle-based Tom sailed through the 2021 competition, impressing judges with his clever use of Asian flavours.
See more of Tom Rhodes’s recipes
Tom Rhodes

Tom Rhodes

From front of house manager to 2021 MasterChef champion, Newcastle-based Tom sailed through the 2021 competition, impressing judges with his clever use of Asian flavours.
See more of Tom Rhodes’s recipes

Ingredients

For the pork belly
  • ½ tbsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tbsp Sichuan peppercorns or black peppercorns
  • 1 sheet nori, snipped into small pieces
  • 1tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds (or extra white sesame seeds)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • a boneless pork belly joint, about 750g
  • zest from 1 orange
  • sea salt flakes
For the cranberry and orange ketchup (makes about 375g)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 250g fresh or frozen cranberries
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 100-150g light brown sugar, to taste
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (or use Henderson’s Relish for gluten-free)

Step by step

  1. Prepare the seven-spice rub by combining the chilli flakes, peppercorns, nori, both sesame seeds and ginger in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Grind them together to a coarse spice mix. Add the spice mix to a bowl and stir through the orange zest.
  2. Generously score the skin of the pork belly with a cross-hatch pattern before placing it skin-side down on a board. Starting at one of the shorter sides of the pork belly, cut horizontally through the joint. Continue to cut most of the way through, until you can open it up like a book.
  3. With the pork belly laid out, season both sides generously with flaky sea salt. Then, with the skin-side down, rub the spice mix into the meat, trying to keep the mixture off the underside and the skin.
  4. Starting at the short side away from the skin, begin to roll the pork tightly. You should end up with a neat roll of pork belly, with the skin covering the majority of the surface. Tie around the pork belly with 5-6 pieces of kitchen string to ensure it remains rolled while cooking.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7. Place the pork belly on a wire rack over a foil-lined oven tray and place in the oven. Roast for an initial 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 160°C, fan 140°C, gas 3 and cook for 2 hours.
  6. Meanwhile for the ketchup, put all the ingredients into a pan (100g of sugar will result in a ketchup more on the tart side, 150g will give you some additional sweetness if preferred). Stir, cover with a lid and simmer on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until everything is soft and broken down. Use a hand-held stick blender to blend to a smooth ketchup-like consistency. If it is too thick then you can add a little water and if it is too thin then it can be simmered over a medium-low heat until reduced to the desired consistency (it will also thicken up a little on cooling). Taste and season with salt, adding more sugar or vinegar if required to balance. Leave to cool until needed.
  7. After the initial cooking time, remove the pork belly from the oven and turn the heat back up to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7. Roast for a final 10-15 minutes to crisp up the crackling.
  8. Rest the pork belly for at least 30 minutes before removing the string, carving and serving with the cranberry ketchup.

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