Chai is packed with spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and star anise. Cooking the pork belly in chai, and then adding some of the cooking liquid to the caramel sauce makes for a subtle aromatic flavour that is sure to be a winner.
2 tbsp Chai Life Chai
1 cup water
1.5cm fresh ginger, roughly chopped
2 cups chicken stock
¼ cup soy sauce
1kg piece of boneless NZ pork belly
2 cloves garlic
peel of an orange
½ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
½ cup of reserved cooking juice
Heat the water, stock and chai in a pot. When it comes to the boil turn off the heat and allow it to steep for 20-30 minutes or longer.
Strain and add the chai flavoured liquid to a deep oven dish along with the ginger, garlic, orange peel and soy sauce. Place the pork belly in the poaching liquid and cover with foil. Bake in a 160°C oven for 2½ hours.
Allow the pork to cool overnight, reserving some of the cooking liquid for the sauce.
To serve, place the pork under the grill for 15 minutes until the skin is crackling.
While the pork is cooking make the sauce. Heat a heavy pan then add the brown sugar. Allow the sugar to caramelise before adding the remaining ingredients. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes.
Serve the pork on rice with steamed green vegetables and a drizzle of the caramel sauce.