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Burgers, sausages, shrimp, veggie kebabs: Whatever you're planning to throw on the grill this weekend, make sure to clear plenty of room for these BBQ showstoppers—the meltingly juicy, rich, salty-sweet pork belly sliders from Top Chef Season 13's Frances Tariga-Weshnak. For anyone who has never cooked pork belly, these sliders may sound intimidating, but they're straightforward and totally doable at home. Just make sure to start the pickles the night before, and stock up on frozen bao buns from your local Asian grocery or well-stocked supermarket (or just use whatever buns you'd like).
Frances, who is preparing to launch the restaurant Mego in New York City's Dream Hotel Downtown, is a bonafide pork aficionado. Raised in the Philippines and trained in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines, she brings vibrant flavor and flair to her dishes—and her grilled pork belly is no exception. It combines savory and sweet flavors for the perfect bbq dish, and even throws in a curveball ingredient you just might have on hand already: a can of Sprite.
Grilled Pork Belly Sliders
Frozen Bao Buns (available in Asian markets) or buns of your choice
1 lb. pork belly (sliced .4cm thin)
4 oz. soy sauce
4 oz. Sprite
1 teaspoon ground pepper
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon chili sauce (Tabasco)
Shaved cabbage (optional)
½ cup Champagne vinegar
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
½ tsp. whole black pepper
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon coriander seed
For the Pickled Shallots:
Slice the shallots thin, rinse them with cold water and set aside.
Boil all the remaining ingredients together except the shallots. When they reach the boiling point, immediately turn the heat off and pour it in the slice shallots. Leave to marinate overnight.
For the Grilled Pork Belly Sliders:
Defrost the buns if frozen, and steam them.
Mix all other ingredients together and marinate for at least 2 hours.
Grill the pork belly 2 minutes on each side.
Stuff the buns with grilled pork belly; top with pickled shallots and shaved cabbage.
Chef Frances Tariga-Weshnak
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