Pork Belly Ssam with Mustard Seed Sauce

Pork Belly Ssam with Mustard Seed Sauce

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For pork belly
3 lb slab skinless pork belly
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups rice
2-3 heads Bibb lettuce, leaves separated, well-washed and spun dry
Maldon or other high-quality sea sat


For Mustard Seed Sauce
6 tbsp Pickled Mustard Seeds (see below)
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Chinese hot mustard
3 tbsp Kewpie mayonnaise
3 tbsp scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
3 tbsp Quick-Pickled Cucumbers (see below)


Nestle the pork belly in a roasting pan or other oven-safe dish that holds it snugly. Combine salt and sugar in a small bowl and rub the mix into the meat, discarding any excess. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 6 hours, and as long as 24.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Discard any liquid that has accumulated, put the belly in the oven and roast for 1 hour, basting it with rendered fat at the halfway point.

Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees F. Cook for another 30 minutes or so. The belly should be a little resistant, a little firm, shy of jiggly tenderness. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the pork belly to cool. When the belly is cool enough to handle, remove from the pan and set aside to cool on a cutting board for 20 minutes to cool further.

While the pork is cooling, combine the pickled mustard seeds, mustards, mayonnaise, scallions and diced quick-pickled cucumbers. Stir until evenly mixed. Season to taste with s&p (we also added a pinh of sugar). Set aside.

Slice the pork belly into 1/2-inch thick slices. Serve the pork belly warm with the lettuce leaves, rice, sea salt and Mustard Seed Sauce. (If you are feeling ambitious you can cool the pork belly so that it slices more evenly, then slice it and grill it lightly on both sides to heat through and get nice grill marks and then serve with lettuce leaves, etc. but we totally skipped that step.)