In Huế, central Vietnam I experienced “pork belly lust” when I spotted a street vendor selling crispy, spit-roasted pig. Not a word was spoken as I approached crunchy hog heaven. Lusty salivation is a universal language. Thịt Heo Quay, read the sign. Ms. Quy wordlessly assembled a sample for me to taste. She plucked a faintly bitter green leaf of yu choy, into which she folded a small piece of pork belly, a sliver of cucumber, a sprig of Vietnamese coriander, and a fragrant leaf of Asian basil. Before relinquishing the delicacy, she anointed it with a squeeze of lime. Then, she rolled it up like a Cuban cigar, pressed it into my palm, and instructed me to dip it in chili-salt. The instant I placed this pleasure packet in my mouth, I took in the multilayered flavor experience. My pork guru motioned to some fresh green peppercorns, signaling me to pop some into my mouth. WOW. That spark elevated the pleasure I was feeling to a whole other level. I knew I had to convince her to teach me the secret of this gustatory perfection. She did. So now I pass on the culinary treasure of roasted pork belly to you!.
If you have a rotisserie, this is the time to use it. I have a Ronco rotisserie that the ubiquitous Ron Popiel handed to me at his lavish home. It works very well for a home kitchen. This recipe calls for 2 lbs. (1 kg.) pork, which yields slightly more meat than you will be able to use in the packets. This allows you to choose the best morsels for serving. I always find that the extra roast pork disappears before we even get to assembling the bundles.
© 2008 Robert Danhi. All rights reserved.