Author Notes: Brussels sprouts are one of my all-time favorite vegetables because of the incredible sweet taste when you stir-fry them. This recipe is really a match made in heaven because brussels sprouts, like cabbage, pair really well with pork and can handle strong Asian flavors.
I make a lot of barbecued pork in the summer, so the sauce in this recipe is quite similar to the marinade I make. Pork belly is the perfect cut for this; you can roast it low and slow, and then give it a blast of high heat to get some crispness.
The recipe calls for kecap manis, which is sweet thick soy sauce from Indonesia. If you can’t find it, substitute with 1 tablespoon of palm sugar or light brown sugar and another 1/3 cup regular soy sauce.
For the pork belly
pound pork belly, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
cup kecap manis
cup soy sauce
cloves of garlic, minced
For the brussels sprouts
pound brussels sprouts
cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine the kecap manis, water, soy sauce and garlic (for the pork belly), and pour into the Dutch oven. (Make sure not to add the honey just yet.) Add the pork.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and place in the oven to bake for 1-1/2 hours.
- After 1-1/2 hours, take the pork belly out of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the meat to a dish and set aside.
- Set the Dutch oven over medium-high heat and reduce the sauce by half. Once reduced, stir in the honey and heat through for a couple more minutes. You should get a fairly syrupy consistency.
- Place the pork belly in a baking dish and brush with the honey sauce. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, brushing more of the syrup on the meat once or twice. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Meanwhile, prep the brussels sprouts by washing, trimming the stem and cutting in half. Make sure not to discard any leaves that come loose while cutting; these get nice and crispy when you stir fry it. Set aside.
- Take the pork and either with your hands or with a knife, pull it apart into bite-size pieces.
- Heat a wok over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add the brussel sprouts. Let the sprouts sit for 30 seconds or so, then stir them around (the ones that were on the bottom should be a bit brown). Continue to stir fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add a couple of large pinches of sea salt . Cover, and lower heat to medium low.
- After 3-5 minutes, uncover and try to pierce a sprout with a fork. If it’s still too firm for the fork to go through, cover the sprouts again and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes. You may need even more time if the sprouts are large ones. Just keep checking in the same way every few minutes, and make sure that they don't get mushy.
- Once the sprouts are fairly soft, raise the heat to high again and add another tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and pepper and stir around until the sprouts brown a little bit more. Add the pork and one tablespoon of the soy-honey syrup. Stir fry for another minute or so.
- Turn out onto a plate and serve with lots of steamed rice.