Confit Pork Belly and Mussel Broth

Salty and sweet, spicy and sour, this soup is instantly nourishing and warming.



1kg of boneless pork belly
500ml white chicken stock
1 litre vegetable oil
500g rope grown mussels
250g sea salt
50g brown sugar
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 red chilli
20g root ginger
6 cloves of garlic
200ml white wine
2 banana shallots
Juice of 1 lime
5 teaspoons of fish sauce
5 teaspoons of sesame oil
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
100g mange tout
1 red chill
2 spring onions
1 small bunch of coriander

For the confit pork belly

  1. Firstly, cure the pork belly. Mix the sugar and salt together, rub into the pork belly and leave it in the fridge for 4 hours. 
  1. Next, we need to confit the pork belly. Run the pork under cold water to wash off the sugar and salt, then pat dry with kitchen paper and put in a deep oven proof container. Pour over the oil and fully submerge the belly. Add one star anise and three crushed cloves of garlic, cover the dish tightly with tin foil and cook in the oven at 120°C for 4 hours. Once cooked, leave the pork to cool slightly in the confit oil before removing it. Put it on a tray lined with baking paper, place another sheet of baking paper on top and lightly weigh it down with something flat and heavy (a chopping board and a few tins normally works best). Leave to press in the fridge for a few hours to chill. 
  1. Once chilled, portion the pork belly into 4-5 pieces with a sharp knife. We remove the skin for this dish, but you can easily keep it on and crisp it up at the end. 
  1. Cook for roughly one minute on all sides until golden brown. Finish by squeezing a little lime juice into the hot pan, so that it caramelises, becoming sweet and sticky. Set aside until ready to serve with your broth.


For the mussels and broth

  1. To wash the mussels, run under cold water for a few minutes, removing their beards and setting aside in a colander, allowing them to drain fully. 
  1. Roughly chop the chilli, ginger, garlic, and shallots then add the cleaned mussels. Put a heavy based pot on a high heat until smoking, before adding the mussels and chopped veg, stirring for a moment and then adding the white wine straight away. Put the lid on the pan and carefully give it a little shake to agitate the mussels. Once all their shells have opened, they are cooked. 
  1. Pour the contents of the pan back into the colander with the bowl underneath, catching all the cooking juices from the mussels.
  1. Once the mussels have cooled, pick them from their shells and place them in the fridge. 
  1. Return your pan to the heat and add your cooking liquor, along with the chicken stock, lemon juice, fish sauce and sesame oil. Add the diced vegetables and simmer for a few minutes until they are cooked. 
  1. Remove the pan from the heat and add the picked mussels, gently heating them in the broth. Finish by adding chopped coriander, chilli, and spring onion. 
  1. Spoon the broth into bowls, and top with the fried and sliced pork belly.



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