I think this is such a star ingredient for many Thai recipes, that it deserves it's own entry. Fried, crunchy belly pork, or as we call it, 3 layer pork. The skin is crispy, the fat is cooked down, and the meat still juicy. We use it fried with Kannah, Brocolli, or other leafy greens. Although it's fried, and fatty pork, if you think of it as a flavour, and use it sparingly as the meat part of vegetable dishes, it does not need to be fattening.
The frying process can be quite dramatic, so I've made a video below.
3 Layer Pork
Oil for Deep Frying
1. You'll need a deep frying pan with a heavy lid to make this.
2. Bring water to the boil, and boil the pork. The pork needs to be submerged in the boiling water and cooked for 25 minutes.
3. Take it out, prick the skin side carefully with forks. The more holes the better, make sure you prick right through the skin and deep into the fatty layer.
4. Pour white vinegar over the skin side, into the holes. Give it 10 minutes like that to give the vinegar a chance to bite.
5. Dry it with kitchen paper. If you want skin more like Puffed Pork Rind, then you can take off the skin and leave it for days to dry in the sun, but for crunchy pork, it's enough just to pat it dry.
6. Heat the oil, medium hot in the large pan.
7. When you fry it, the water in the pork will cause bangs and cracks. This is normal, but it can spit hot oil everywhere, so be careful. When you want to check the progress of the pork, better to turn off the heat first.
8. Tip: when lifting the lid, if you tilt it, the water condensed on the lid will slide into the oil, creating spitting oil. It's better to lift the lid completely off, rather than let that water drop back into the oil.
9. Frying takes 10-20 minutes, over a medium heat. It needs time to brown the fat too, not just the skin.
9. Drain it, leave it to cool, chop it finely and it's ready to eat.