Adam Liaw's pork belly, kimchi and garlic butter

A few of Adam Liaw's favourite things: pork belly, kimchi and garlic butter.
A few of Adam Liaw's favourite things: pork belly, kimchi and garlic butter. Photo: William Meppem

I've gone down to my top-secret lab and engineered a dish that is about all me. All the things I like in one bowl, scientifically designed to go perfectly with an ice-cold beer. There's tender pork belly (my favourite cut of meat) teamed with the sweet-spicy savouriness of gochujang, a bit of freshness from lettuce and the decadent richness of garlic butter melting down over hot rice.

Ingredients

500g pork belly, skin and bone removed, very thinly sliced

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)

¼ tsp sugar

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 cups kimchi

150g enoki mushrooms

4 spring onions, sliced on a steep diagonal into 5cm lengths

butter or green oak lettuce leaves, to serve

cooked short-grain rice, to serve

Garlic butter

50g salted butter, softened

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

salt to season

a pinch of sugar

1 tbsp finely sliced chives

Method

1. For the garlic butter, place 15g of the butter (about a third) into a small saucepan with the garlic and heat over low heat for about 5 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant but not yet starting to brown. Add a good pinch of salt and sugar and remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Tip the garlic and melted butter into the remaining butter, add the chives and mix well. Chill until solid.

2. Cut the pork belly slices into 5cm strips. Heat a large frypan over high heat and add the oil. Fry the pork until lightly browned, then add the gochujang, sugar and soy sauce and toss until the pork is coated. Add the kimchi, mushrooms and spring onions and stir-fry until the mushrooms and onions are softened and the kimchi is fragrant. Add about a tablespoon of the garlic butter into the mixture and toss until the butter has melted. 

3. Serve the mixture over rice with the lettuce leaves and top with another pat of garlic butter, allowing it to melt over the rice.

Adam's tip: Thinly sliced pork belly is available from Asian grocers and some supermarkets, but if you want to slice your own, remove the skin from a piece of pork belly and freeze it for about 1.5 hours so that it is firm enough to thinly slice.