We love the unique flavor and rich broth of this Asian pork belly bean soup. In fact we love it so much, we decided to have Corban make a video about it.
This Asian pork belly bean soup recipe was originally published in May of 2014. We’re bringing it up from the archives for this week’s Mini Chef Mondays because we’re all down with the flu!
The first time I made Asian pork belly bean soup was when one of our Chinese exchange students cooked up some pork belly for Eric and I. He stir fried several pounds of pork belly, and while the flavor was good, it was a bit tough, and we had a mountain of it left over. I decided to toss it in a crock pot with some beans, onion and garlic, and water. After 6 hours of cooking, we had a hearty soup with tender chunks of pork belly that fell apart as you ate them.
The flavors in the soup are quite unlike any bean soup I’d tried before. He used soy sauce, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and star anise to cook the pork, so I decided to try making the soup from start to finish, once again cooking the pork in those flavors, and adding some rice vinegar for a little acidity. The resulting soup was incredible, and I’ve made it at least ten times in the past four years.
You can find pork belly at an Asian market, or a butcher’s shop. Some grocery stores with a large butcher department might carry it as well.
Leaving the skin on the pork belly is fine, it is rendered quite tender in the crockpot.
The video says to chop up the pork pieces, it had only cooked a couple hours when I recorded that. After a full 6-8 hours of cooking time, I can just break up the pork with my fingers. My new favorite thing about this Asian pork belly bean soup? It’s GREAT FOR TODDLERS!
Corban tried this soup for the first time as a baby, at just 8 months. It’s still one of his favorite meals. He will eat an entire cup and a half!!!
Don’t you just love those chubby toddler fingers?
Grown up food, toddler food, baby food, this recipe gets a whole family stamp of approval.
We are currently in Florida, enjoying a fun time with our friend Jaden and her family, then speaking at BlogHer Food ’14 in Miami. We’re so excited to share the process that went into the Asian pork belly bean soup video with everyone there.
We’ll also be creating some blog posts focusing on producing videos, so keep an eye out for those if you’re interested in making videos of your own.
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ASIAN PORK BELLY BEAN SOUP RECIPE
- 1 1/2 lbs pork belly skin on is fine
- 1 1/4 cup soy sauce I prefer Aloha Shoyu
- 3/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 3 cups 13 bean mix or any number of multi-bean
- 8 cups water
- 1/2-1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Slice the pork belly into 1/2 inch chunks.
- Heat pork belly in a large wok or pot on high heat. Cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally so the pork doesn't burn.
- Add soy sauce and vinegar to the pot. Scrape up all the brown bits stuck to the pan.
- Stir in the ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom.
- Pour the contents of the pot into a crockpot. Add the star anise, onion, garlic, beans, and water.
- Cook on high for six hours or low for eight. This soup also does fine being kept on warm for several hours after cooking.
- Make sure to fish out the star anise pods as you dish up the soup.
Approximate cost/serving: The pork belly is the most expensive part of this dish, I got some good quality local pork belly from the butcher for $5/lb. You can sometimes find it cheaper in an Asian market but the quality may not be as high. The beans, onion, and garlic are cheap, and the spices can be bought from the bulk section to save money. This ended up costing about $10 for the whole pot, so just $1.25 per serving.
Gluten Free: Make sure to use gluten free soy sauce or tamari.
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.