Chicken & Grape Party Sandwiches
Tip: These can be made a few hours in advance.
"Such a great Sunday dish! You can prepare the pork in the morning or the night before, go out for the day, then throw it in the oven, put the rice cooker on, make a simple dipping sauce and dinner is done." - Simmone Logue.
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) organic free-range pork belly
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
6 spring onions (scallions), roots trimmed
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, sliced
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 Tbs sesame oil
400 g (14 oz/2 cups) long-grain white rice
Ginger and Spring Onion Dipping Sauce
2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
4 spring onions (scallions), very finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
185 ml (6 fl oz/3/4 cup) peanut oil
Set a wire rack over the sink. Place the pork on the rack, skin side up. Pour boiling water over the top, then pat dry with paper towel.
Line a baking dish with baking paper. Rub the flesh side of the pork belly with the five spice and plenty of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Scatter the spring onion, ginger and garlic around the baking dish; place the pork on top, flesh side down. Using a sharp knife, pierce the pork skin all over. Place the baking dish in the fridge, and leave the pork uncovered for a few hours, or overnight if you can afford the time.
When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F). Rub the pork with the sesame oil and sprinkle liberally with more sea salt. Bake the pork for 1 1/2 hours. After this time, if the skin hasn’t quite crackled up enough, turn the oven up to 180°C (350°F) with the grill element on, and blast the pork for 15–30 minutes, or until the crackling is super crisp and golden. Remove from the oven and rest for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the rice following the packet instructions, or your rice cooker instructions. (I always rinse the rice twice before cooking it, then cover with enough cold water so it just covers my hand when I lay my palm flat on the top of the rice. It always turns out perfectly!)
Combine the ginger, spring onion and salt in a small heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the peanut oil until smoking, then very carefully pour the oil over the ginger and spring onion. Mix with a spoon to combine, then set aside for serving; the dipping sauce can be made a day or two ahead if needed.
Cut the pork into pieces. Serve with the dipping sauce and rice.