mini soft rolls, halved, or 1 baguette, cut into 4cm pieces
chicken liver pâté
cha lua, thinly sliced (see note)
(loosely packed) coriander
Pickled carrot and daikon
(2 cups) white vinegar
carrots, cut into julienne
daikon, cut into julienne
red shallots, coarsely chopped
garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
(5cm piece) ginger, coarsely chopped
light soy sauce
(¼ cup) dark soy sauce
rock sugar, crushed (see note)
1 piece each
cassia bark, Chinese brown cardamom and licorice root (see note)
spring onions, coarsely chopped
Japanese mayonnaise, such as Kenko or Kewpie (see note)
Sriracha sauce (see note)
For pickled carrot and daikon, combine vinegar, sugar, 2 tsp sea salt flakes and 250ml water in a jug, whisk to combine. Place carrot and daikon in a sealable plastic container, cover with pickling liquid. Cover and refrigerate to pickle (5 days). Pickles will keep refrigerated for 4 weeks.
For master stock, process shallot, garlic and ginger in a food processor to a coarse paste. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat, add shallot mixture, stir occasionally until golden (3-5 minutes). Add Shaoxing wine, bring to the simmer and reduce by half (2-4 minutes), then add soy sauces, sugar, a large pinch of salt and 4.5 litres water. Tie spices in a piece of muslin to form a parcel, add to stock with spring onion, reduce heat
to low and simmer to infuse (30 minutes).
Add pork belly to master stock, weight with a plate to fully submerge and simmer until very tender (3-4 hours). Carefully remove pork and transfer to a tray lined with baking paper. Place another piece of baking paper on top, then another tray, evenly weight with food cans, refrigerate overnight. Strain master stock and reserve for another use (see note).
Rub 2 tsp sea salt flakes into cucumber in a colander and set aside to drain excess liquid (30 minutes). Rinse well under cold running water, dry on absorbent paper, set aside.
Preheat oil in a deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 175C. Slice pork belly into 1.5cm-thick pieces and cut length to fit rolls (about 4cm). Deep-fry in small batches until golden and crisp (3-4 minutes). Be very careful as hot oil will spit; we recommend using a spatter guard. Drain on absorbent paper.
Meanwhile, for Sriracha mayonnaise, whisk ingredients in a bowl to combine then refrigerate until required.
Spread roll bases with pâté, top with cha lua, pork belly, cucumber, pickles and coriander, finish with Sriracha mayonnaise, sandwich with tops and serve.
Note Cha lua is a Vietnamese pork sausage available from Vietnamese grocers. Rock sugar, Chinese brown cardamom, licorice root, Japanese mayonnaise and Sriracha, a Thai chilli sauce, are available from Asian grocers. Master stock will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks or frozen for 2 months. Boil before using.
This recipe is from the September 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.