Spicy Kimchi Stew

This is a great weeknights meal – if you are vegan leave our pork belly. This is adapted from Food & Wine.

  • 1/2 lb pork belly, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 lb jar kimchi, drained, 1/4 c liquid reserved
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp gochujang
  • 1 tbsp gochugaru
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • Salt
  • One 14-ounce container silken tofu
  • Steamed short-grain rice, for serving

In a medium-size nonreactive pot, cook the pork belly pieces over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is
sizzling and the pork is light golden, about 8 minutes. Add the kimchi and the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally,
until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the reserved kimchi
liquid, mushrooms, gochujang, gochugaru, and 4 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook over moderately low heat for 10 minutes.

Season stew with salt. Stir in tofu, breaking up and bring to a boil. Stir in spinach just before serving. Serve with rice.

Serves 4.


Pork Belly & Texas Toast

This is one of those meals that comes together when you don’t know what to make and it’s nearing the end of the week, a clean out the fridge bowl. We scarfed it down! I used Trader Joe’s pork belly, which just needs to be sliced and cooked crispy

  • 2 thick slices Texas toast or bread, toasted
  • 2 poached eggs
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • Truffle oil
  • Pork Belly or bacon, sliced into cubes or strips
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin

In a medium pan cook the pork belly or bacon until crisp.

As the pork starts to crisp up, add about 1/4 c water to a skillet or pan that has a lid, add the spinach and cook over medium heat until wilted and most of the water is evaporated. Drizzle with a little truffle oil, salt and pepper.

Divide toast, eggs, spinach, and avocado among plates and top with green onions.

Serves 2.

Pork Belly and brussel Sprouts

Two things that go great together – pork belly and brussel sprouts! This dish is hearty enough to eat as a main.

12 oz pork belly, I use Trader Joes
1 lb brussels sprouts
1 apple
3 large cloves of garlic
¼ c chopped walnuts
3 TBDP crumbled goat
1/4 c dried cranberries
1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

In a food processor, fitting with the shredding blade, shred the sprouts, apple and garlic.

Slice the pork belly into small squares or strips, then cook in a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the walnuts and stir occasionally until pork is crispy. Drain off most of the fat.

Add in the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the goat cheese. Cook over medium heat for 5 – 7 minutes until sprouts are cooked.

Serve topped with goat cheese.

Serves 4 – 6.

Braised Cabbage and Pork Belly

Trader Joes Pork Belly is perfect for a quick weeknight meal. I braided some cabbage and served it up crispy with some mustard – yum!

1 small head of cabbage sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 package of pork belly, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 tsp mustard seeds
Salt and pepper
2 c chicken stock

In a large pot, bring chicken broth, mustard seeds and cabbage to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 30 minutes.

Heat a non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the pork and cook until crispy on both sides.

Serve cabbage and pork with mustard.

Serves 4.

Pork Belly Tacos

This is another winner from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals, though it took me about 30 minutes.

For the pork
1 package Trader Joe’s pork belly
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp smoked paprika
For the beans
1 good pinch cumin seeds
1 bunch of green onions, sliced thin
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can black beans, drained
For the salad
2 little gem lettuces heads, torn
½ a bunch fresh coriander
1 ripe avocado
1 large ripe tomato
1 tsp low-salt soy sauce
1 TBSP olive oil
1 lime, juiced
To serve
Lingham’s chilli sauce
4 TBSP fat-free greek yogurt
8 corn taco shells

In a small pan, combine beans, garlic, onion and cumin and cook over medium heat until bubbling, then lower to a simmer.

Cut the pork into 1/2 inch dice. Cook in a large non-stick skillet with spices over medium heat until crispy.

Toss salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Serve tacos with beans and pork topped with a little spicy yogurt and salad on the side.

Serves 4.

Pork Belly and Asparagus on Farro

It was one of those days and at 6 I had no idea what to make for dinner. Quick scan of the fridge and pantry and this is what I came up with. Thanks god for Trader Joe’s pork belly, just crispy up and serve.

1 package TJs pork belly, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 c farro
Asiago cheese
Aleppo pepper

Rinse farro and place in a small pot with 2 c water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until the water is absorbed. Turn off heat.

In a large skillet, cook pork over medium high heat for 5 minutes, add asparagus and cook for 5 minutes longer until pork is crispy. Stir frequently.

Place a scope of farro in a bowl, scoop asparagus and pork onto farro, top with a little finely grated Asiago and Aleppo pepper.

Serves 2 as main, 4 as a side.

Polenta with Asparagus and Crispy Pork Belly


It’s nearing the end of the week and this meal consisted of what was left in the fridge, asparagus, leftover polenta and a package of Trader Joes pork belly. Which combined to make the perfect weeknight meal.

1 bunch of asparagus, steamed for 3 minutes
1 package of Trader Joes pork belly, diced
2 cups cooked polenta, cooled in the fridge and sliced into 1/2 thick slices
Truffle oil
Parmigiano cheese

In a large non stick skillet cook the pork belly over medium high heat until crispy all over.

In a grill pan or cast iron skillet, brushed with a little olive oil, cook the polenta until crispy over medium heat, about 2 minutes per side.

Place a couple slices polenta on each plate, asparagus, and top with crispy pork belly, a drizzle of truffle oil and a little parmigiano cheese.

Serves 4.

Kale Salad with Pork Belly and Gorgonzola


This is one tasty salad! Crispy pork belly, sweet honey mustard dressing, roasted potatoes and some Gorgonzola – yum!! Trader Joes sells a great pork belly that just needs to be crisped up.

4 Yukon gold potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
3 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper
6 c baby kale
3 TBSP cider vinegar
2 TBSP shallot, minced
1 TBSP honey mustard
1 TBSP parsley, minced
4 oz pork belly, cubed
Gorgonzola, crumbled

Preheat oven to 450.

Toss potatoes with 1 TBSP olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Roast for 20 – 25 minutes until crispy on the outside.

Whisk 2 TBSP olive oil with vinegar, shallot, mustard, parsley and salt and pepper.

Toss kale with dressing and hot potatoes.

In a large skillet over medium heat cook the pork belly until crispy.

Plate salad, top with crispy pork belly and crumbled Gorgonzola cheese.

Serves 2 – 4.

Polenta with Pork Belly & Baby Kale


I love Trader Joes pre cooked pork belly!! It makes the perfect weeknight meal coupled with a little microwaved polenta and sautéed baby kale. Feel free to add cheese or herbs to the polenta.

4 oz pork belly, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
6 oz baby kale or spinach
1/2 c polenta
1/2 c half and half or milk
Salt and pepper

Stir polenta and 2 1/2 c water and half and half in a medium microwave-safe bowl; salt and pepper. Cover with a lid. Microwave for 4 minutes. Carefully remove plate and whisk polenta. Cover and microwave for 4 minutes longer. Repeat until polenta is soft, adding more water by 1/4-cupfuls if too thick, 10–12 minutes total, depending on strength of microwave. Season to taste with salt and pepper; keep warm.

In a large non stick skillet cook the pork belly over medium high heat until crispy on both sides. Set aside and kale and sautée until wilted.

Spoon polenta into a bowl, top with greens and pork belly.

Serves 2.

Crispy Pork Belly with Kimchi Grits


This recipe is adapted from Food & Wine. The big change I made was, I bough pork belly that was cooked from Trader Joe’s and I made my own rice grits. Rice grits are just pulverized rice so into the food processor the rice went and voila rice grits. The link is above in case your Trader Joes does not have the pork belly.
I love the kimchi flavored girth with the crispy pork belly – yummy yummy!!

1 package trader joes cooked pork belly, sliced about 1/2 inch thick
4 c chicken stock
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 c unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 c thinly sliced radishes
1 c rice grits
1/2 c finely chopped kimchi
1/2 c half and half
Crushed roasted peanuts, for garnish

In a shallow bowl whisk together sugar and vinegar, add radishes and chill for at least 15 minutes.

In a saucepan, combine the rice grits and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt, cover partially and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the grits are tender and become suspended in a creamy porridge, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the kimchi and half and half and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm over very low heat, adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of water if the grits become too thick.

In the large skillet, heat 1 TBSP of oil until shimmering. Add the pork belly and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until crispy, about 4 minutes.

Spoon the grits into shallow bowls and top with the crispy pork belly. Garnish with crushed peanuts and the pickled radishes and serve.

Serves 4.