One of my favourite things in the world to eat is crispy duck and pancakes. I remember every now and again as a child, we’d have a takeaway as a family. It normally consisted of my brother and I fighting over who got the last crispiest bits of duck left in the takeaway container, and there was never, EVER enough pancakes!
It’s still a family favourite, but now I tend to make it myself. I usually BBQ the duck using my rotisserie, getting a lovely crispy skin, and I always make sure there are lots and lots of pancakes in the freezer! It is quite an involved process, but worth it.
This recipe came about when I had a hankering for my usual favourite but, living out in the sticks at the time, I couldn’t be bothered making the 15 mile round trip to the supermarket to pick up a duck. So I had a quick rifle through the freezer and came out with a couple of packs of pork belly strips which I left over from making sausages. The final result was beautiful crispy yet juicy pork belly, with all the flavours of the usual duck version, but in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost. Winner!
I always buy my pancakes from our Asian supermarket. They come in packs of 100 which are split into individual packs of 10. Really handy to have in the freezer. I also use their hoy sin sauce, which tends to be more concentrated in flavour than the brands available in supermarkets.
This recipe really is so simple. Here’s how I do it….
Pork belly slices, as many as you think you’ll need to feed everyone
Chinese five spice, enough to dust your pork belly strips
Salt and pepper
Hoy sin sauce, I use it as a glaze towards the end of cooking
Finely sliced cucumber and spring onions
More hoy sin sauce for drizzling
Preheat the BBQ to roasting temperature, about 190˚C, set up for indirect cooking. Alternatively you can use an oven. If using the BBQ, get a couple of chunks of your favourite smoking wood looked out. Something subtle like apple or pear works really well.
Dust the belly strips generously with the Chinese 5 spice, give then a sprinkle of salt and a good crack of black pepper.
Once the grill has come up to temperature, place your smoking wood on the grill directly above the coals and lay the belly strips opposite on the indirect zone of the BBQ. Close the lid and cook for 20 minutes, give them a check after this time, turn if need be and cook for a further 20 minutes. The aim is for the fat to have rendered out of the meat, leaving a crispy exterior and lovely juicy pork inside.
Glaze the slices with hoy sin and give them another 5 minutes on the grill to set the sauce.
To serve, thinly slice the pork belly on an angle and pile onto pancakes along with the finely sliced veggies and more hoy sin. I’m actually salivating typing this out!