Sous vide pork belly with Sichuan pepper and crab apple ketchup

Sous vide pork belly with Sichuan pepper and crab apple ketchup

This simple pork belly starter recipe combines sweet and tart crab apples with the uniquely numbing heat of Sichuan peppercorns.
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Serves: 10 persons



  1. Step 1

    Begin by cooking the belly at least a day in advance, as it takes 10 hours to cook then needs pressing for a further 10 hours. Remove the ribs from the belly if still attached, then season the non-fatty side with salt all over and seal in a vacuum bag. Cook in a water bath at 85°C for 10 hours
  2. Step 2

    Once cooked, place the belly (still in its bag) in a tray and top with a second tray. Place something heavy on top of the top tray to weigh it down and press the pork flat. Place in the fridge and leave to set for 10 hours
  3. Step 3

    To make the ketchup, grind the peppercorns in a spice grinder or blender to a fine powder, then blitz with the crab apple jelly until smooth. Taste and season with a dash of vinegar. Pass through a fine sieve and transfer to a squeezy bottle if you have one. Reserve in the fridge until needed
  4. Step 4

    Once the pork is fully set and chilled, remove it from the bag. Slice it into batons – Matt aims for 2 1/2x7.5cm batons to create 10 portions, but if you are after larger portions or cooking for fewer people then you can of course make each slice bigger. Set aside to come up to room temperature
  5. Step 5

    To make the crispy shallots, place a small pan of oil over a medium heat and bring to 160°C. Finely slice the shallots, then dredge the slices in the flour. Fry for a minute or 2 until crisp and golden; you may need to work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Drain on kitchen paper then roughly chop up to create a crumb
  6. Step 6

    Peel, core and dice the apple into 5mm cubes. Reserve in water with a dash of lemon to prevent it from discolouring – though be sure not to do this too far in advance
  7. Step 7

    Place a non-stick frying pan over a high heat with a dash of oil. Once hot, add the slices of pork belly and colour on all sides until crisp and golden
  8. Step 8

    Plate up the pork in the centre of each plate and glaze with the crab apple sauce. Top with the crispy shallot crumb, diced apple and cress and serve immediately