Pork and Beans, Asian Style

Have you ever heard of pork belly? Whether you have or not, you’ve probably had a version of it: bacon—well, sort of. Pork belly comes from the same cut as bacon, but it’s pure pork deliciousness. A fatty and rich cut of meat (the good fat, they say), tender pork belly melts in your mouth after some time in the oven, in the fry pan or over the coals. Thanks to Alex Sjoberg, chef at Rochester’s new Grand Rounds Brew Pub, for providing us with this amazing recipe for Banh Mi, a pork belly sandwich that is out of this world.

Along with the sandwich, whip up some edamame salad and soybean pudding, and you’ve got yourself a full meal. Soybeans have long been important in East Asian diets and are a healthy option for meeting protein needs in a vegetarian diet.


Pork Belly Banh Mi Sandwich

Presented open-faced in three sections with pickled onions, carrots and remoulade. Recipe provided by Chef Alex Sjoberg of Grand Rounds Brew Pub.

  • 2 carrots
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2-3 stalks of celery (not the whole bunch)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seed
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard seed
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seed
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ quart white wine
  • Pork belly in desired size you want to cook 
  1. Preheat oven to 350o F. Cut up classic mirepoix (carrots, celery and onions). Add spices (bay leaf, peppercorns, fennel seed, mustard seed, coriander seed and crushed red pepper flakes). Slightly score the fat on top of the pork belly and season both sides with salt and white pepper. 
  2. Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add a small amount of olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Place the pork belly fat side down and render fat slowly. Once rendered, flip and turn on high heat until the meat has slightly browned. Then move the belly to a resting rack. 
  3. With the heat still on high, add the mirepoix to the pan and saute for about 10 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add white wine and reduce until au sec (nearly dry). Place mirepoix in a baking dish and spread out evenly. (Tip: Cover vegetables with cheese cloth, making it easier to pull out pork belly). Place pork belly fat side up on top of mirepoix. Add enough water to cover half the pork belly. Wrap with plastic, then foil. 
  4. Place in preheated oven and bake for 3 1/2 hours. Once cooked, remove from oven. Place pork belly in a high-sided baking dish fat side up. Place another baking dish on top and weigh down. Refrigerate until cool (4-6 hours overnight, if possible).

Pickled Onions and Carrots 

  • 2 carrots, julienned (cut as thin as possible)
  • 1 red onion, julienned 
  • 1 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. pickling spice
  1. Cut carrots and onions and place in separate containers with airtight lids. Do not cover.
  2. Bring water, sugar, vinegar and pickling spice to a boil. Once boiling, strain with a strainer big enough to catch all the pickling spice. Pour liquid over carrots. Repeat with the onions. 
  3. If you need more liquid, use ½ cup water, sugar, and vinegar and reuse the pickling spice. 
  4. Cover carrots and onions and let sit until they are room temperature.


  • 2 Tbsp. Bearnaise reduction 
  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 pint oil
  • 1 Tbsp. miniature pickles, minced
  • tarragon
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • jalapeno (optional)
  1. Make Bearnaise reduction. Dice 1 shallot. Mix with champagne vinegar and 1½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper. Bring to a simmer and reduce until au sec (nearly dry).
  2. Place Bearnaise reduction, sherry vinegar and egg yolks in food processor or blender. Turn on to blend all ingredients, then slowly add oil until smooth. If needed, add more oil. Add. miniature pickles, tarragon, 1 tsp. Worcestershire and 1 tsp. cayenne pepper. For a little bit more kick add sliced raw jalapeno on top.

Stack pork belly and pickled carrots and onions on a French roll and top with the remoulade. Pork belly deliciousness.

Edamame Corn Salad

Recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com by Chef4Six

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 (16-oz.) packages shelled edamame (green soybeans)
  • 1 (15-oz.) can baby corn, drained and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 (8-oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and sliced into thin strips
  • 1 bunch radishes, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, cut thinly
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  1. Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Lightly toast almonds, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Whisk sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic and ginger together in a bowl for the dressing. Add salt and black pepper to season to taste.
  3. Combine edamame, baby corn, water chestnuts, radishes, green onions, cilantro and toasted almonds in a large bowl; toss with dressing until coated. Serve cold or at room temperature. Recipe makes 8 servings.


Recipe courtesy of United Soybean Board and SoyConnection.com

Bottom of Form

  • 1 package silken tofu (12.3-oz.), drained
  • ⅔ cup dark, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Whipped topping (optional)
  1. Place tofu, cocoa powder, sugar and vanilla in food processor. Puree for 1 minute, scraping down sides as needed, or until very smooth.

Variations: Raspberry Chocolate Soy Pudding: Layer pudding with fresh raspberries and whipped topping. Mexican-Style Chocolate Soy Pudding: Stir in a pinch of ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper to taste. Layer with whipped topping and top with chocolate shavings. Caramel Banana Chocolate Soy Pudding: Layer pudding with banana slices and whipped topping; drizzle with caramel sauce. Recipe makes 6 servings.