Spicy Asian Pork Belly with Slaw

pork bellyby Karen Frazier

I love pork belly. I order ours online at Tenderbelly and cut it into one-pound slabs, which I freeze and use as needed. This tender meat is tasty and versatile. It’s also very rich, so I typically serve it with a side of something that is crispy and acidic, such as a slaw. The acidity and crispiness of the slaw cuts through the unctuous fattiness of the pork. The slaw here is a typical Asian slaw, but you can also try the recipe with a slaw made from julienned jicama or apples, which would taste delicious with an Asian vinaigrette.

Spicy Asian Pork Belly with Slaw

For the pork belly:

  • 1 to 2 pounds of pork belly
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2-3 drops of liquid stevia
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated gingerroot
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced

For the slaw:

  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • Cilantro leaves to taste
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • Juice of one lime
  • Juice of 1/2 orange
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginggeroot
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese hot mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the pork belly:

  1. Slice the pork belly into slices that are slightly thicker than thick-cut bacon. Put the slices in a large zipper bag.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, stevia, sriracha, sesame oil, and gingerroot.
  3. Pour the marinade in the bag with the pork belly, sealing the bag and squishing it around to distribute the marinade and coat all of the meat.
  4. Refrigerate for one to two hours.
  5. Heat a large saute pan on medium high. Working in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan, cook the pork belly until it is crisp on both sides, three to five minutes per side.
  6. Serve the pork belly on top of the slaw with the scallions and sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

For the slaw:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, cilantro, and scallions. Toss to combine.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, ginger, garlic, sriracha, mustard powder, and salt.
  3. Toss the dressing with the slaw.

photo credit: umi nom pork belly adobo via photopin (license)

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Asian Cucumber “Noodle” Salad

Cucumber

by Karen Frazier

They had beautiful cucumbers at the farmers market this week, so I picked up a few. I find cucumbers really refreshing – particularly in the summer. I love their slight acidity, which adds balance to fatty or rich cuts of meat, such as pork belly. I also picked up some cilantro, red scallions, and red heirloom carrots.

I have a spiralizer that I love to use to turn veggies into noodles, so I knew immediately what I wanted to do with this combination of farmer’s market veggies. I wanted to spiralize them into cold, crunchy “noodles” and then toss them with an Asian-inspired vinaigrette.

If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler and cut the cucumbers and carrots into long, wide strips. You can use a paring knife to cut the strips into “noodles” or you can leave them as wide strips. It’s up to you.

Cold Cucumber “Noodle” Salad

  • 2 cucumbers, spiralized or cut into noodles
  • 2 large carrots, spiralized or cut into noodles
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • Juice of one orange
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes for Whole30)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cold pressed sesame oil
  1. In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, carrots, scallions, and cilantro.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, sea salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, sriracha, and sesame oil.
  3. Toss the vinaigrette with the vegetables and serve cold.

spiralizer cover

(image license)

For more spiralizer recipes, check out the Healthy Spiralizer Cookbook, which I wrote for Rockridge Press.  It contains an array of veggie based “noodle” recipes using a spiralizer. I really like my Paderno World Cuisine Spiralizer, which works like a pro with many vegetables.

If you’re trying to cut down on carbs, or if you just want to find a great way of adding noodles to your diet without the gluten, a spiralizer is a wonderful choice. I like making zucchini noodles into pasta, that I can then toss with all types of Italian sauces. You can also make soups, salads, and an array of other tasty vegetable and fruit dishes.

Asian Pork Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Dipping Sauce

pork meatballsby Karen Frazier

This recipe is not strictly paleo because I use a few non-paleo ingredients. But it’s still low-carb and pretty darn delicious. While I avoid non-paleo ingredients 80 to 90 percent of the time, I occasionally do use them. I like to serve the meatballs with leaves of tender butter lettuce. Wrap the meatball in the lettuce and dip it in the tasty sauce.

Asian Pork Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Dipping Sauce

For the meatballs:

  • 2 pounds ground pastured pork
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 bunches scallions, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped green cabbage
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce (or coconut aminos for paleo)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (omit for paleo or find cold pressed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili oil (or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes for paleo)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • Butter lettuce leaves

For the dipping sauce:

  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce (or coconut aminos for paleo)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce (or to taste) or 1/2 teaspoon chili oil (or to taste) (for paleo, try red pepper flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon Swerve sweetener, 1 packet of stevia, or 1 tablespoon honey (optional – omit if using coconut aminos)

To make the meatballs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all of the meatball ingredients together (except for lettuce leaves). Use your hands to mix well.
  3. Roll into medium-sized meatballs and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve wrapped in lettuce leaves dipped in the sauce.

To make the dipping sauce:

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Start by adding a little of the garlic chili sauce or chili oil, and then adding more to achieve the desired level of heat.

photo credit: matthewf01 via photopin cc