You know we're in the thick of the summer when it's time to make this dish - rejoice for eggplant and pepper season!
The majority of this recipe comes from Lara Lee's Coconut and Sambal. A great cookbook for pork eaters!
1. Combine pork belly with ground nutmeg, ground coriander, ground pepper, kosher salt, and brown sugar for 15 minutes.
2. Place garlic, onion, chilies (as many or few as you'd like), and ginger into a food processor and blend to a smooth paste.
3. Put 2 Tbs oil in a big pot (we use a 4.5 qt dutch oven), add the spice paste along with 4 bay leaves and 4 lemongrass stalks, and fry until fragrant, about 10 minutes.
4. Add the pork and sear lightly before adding 1 cup water and kecap manis (see below). Bring to a boil.
5. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Then add the eggplant and simmer for 10 minutes. Finally, add the pepper and simmer for 10 more minutes.
6. Add lemon/lime juice to taste and enjoy over rice!
Note: If using bacon ends instead of pork belly, omit salt and remove cooked pork and spice paste before adding water and soy sauce to pot. Proceed as above.
Kecap Manis (Soy Sauce w/ Brown Sugar)
1. Add 1/2 cup soy sauce and 6 ounces to a pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook until you get the consistency of maple syrup (no longer than 5 minutes).