There are no perfect recipes. Everyone has their own taste.
If you’re happy with the result, it’s a success.
We’re all about drinking and dining that defines the destination and our distinct restaurants are integrated into vibrant communal areas and curated by local chefs so you can sample truly authentic flavours. Can’t wait till we open in September? No problem. We crashed the kitchen of Jam Jam restaurant at ASAI Bangkok Chinatown, hooked up with Head Chef Noom and challenged her to create and share a recipe incorporating Thai Cacao.
“When you think of cacao, the first thing that comes to mind is dessert,” she said. “Perhaps we’re going to make brownies or cake? Too simple. I want something different and fun.”
“I’ve been thinking about using cacao in savoury dishes–something we can eat with rice. Bingo: stewed pork belly. I want this dish (which sounds complicated) to be easy to make, while also interesting enough to inspire people to taste it or make it at home. I tried, tested, tasted and adapted the recipe to fit the ASAI style and my way of cooking. The taste is salty at first, followed by a little sweetness and a touch of the bitterness from the cacao. It goes perfectly with a bowl of jasmine rice. So, let’s cook!”
- Place a pan on a high heat and sear the pork belly on all sides. Wash the pork belly with room temperature water. Then set it aside.
- Pour 5 litres of water into a pot and bring it to the boil. Add the cinnamon, star anise, garlic, coriander root, ginger, galangal, salt, black pepper seeds and five spice powder.
- Place the seared pork belly into the pot and season with white soy sauce, black soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper and coconut sugar. Simmer for 1 hour.
- Bring to the boil again, then grate the cacao directly into the pot.
- Simmer again for 1 hour.
- Turn the heat off, serve the pork with the half-boiled quail eggs and rice. Garnish with coriander leaves.
- The cacao shouldn’t be too sweet, so we get the intense colour and bitterness. I recommend 58% cacao.
- Make sure the pan is really hot when you sear the pork belly. The meat will stay firm and you’ll get the smoky smell.
- Braise it in the pot on the lowest heat for 2 hours. It’ll get very soft but not soggy.
- Serve with your own choice of rice; I like jasmine.
Can’t be bothered to cook? No worries. This special dish will be part of the seasonal menu at Jam Jam. so come, join us at ASAI Chinatown and get a taste of where you are.
Part eatery, part bar, our soon-to-open casual dining spot will put you at ease as you take your time choosing from western comfort foods and Asian favourites. Chef Noom is curating the farm-driven menu in collaboration with some other well known chefs (stay tuned), who will use the freshest herbs and vegetables possible, lots of them picked from our on-site organic garden. Our team of in-house and guest culinary masters are busy crafting authentic offerings that reflect our values, inspired by the community. Plus, we’re managing all our processes to ensure minimal waste.
A bit more about Chef Noom Head Chef, ASAI Bangkok Chinatown
Charrinn “Noom” Singdaechakarn spent her childhood helping her parents and grandparents in the kitchen, but she never dreamed of a culinary career. Not until she went to Australia.
While studying marketing at university there, Noom worked in restaurants, learning the business from every angle, from dishwasher and food deliverer, to preparing ingredients and making entrées. All those years in the kitchen with her family finally made sense.
After seven years aboard, home was calling and Noom came back to Thailand with a plan: to open her own restaurant, using all the skills and know-how she had gathered. She first launched a fusion restaurant in Khon Kaen, before teaming up with her cousin in her hometown, Nakhon Phanom, cooking with ingredients from her own farm. Then she met Chef Jarret from Soulfood Mahanakorn, who was looking for a chef to run his restaurant in Hong Kong. She got the spot and worked there for two years. A close friend of Team ASAI, Jarrett introduced her to us and we immediately clicked over a shared philosophy. Plus, Noom admitted she’d always dreamed of working with Dusit, and we respond quite well to flattery!
As if we needed more proof that Noom was a great fit, she’s very familiar with Vietnamese food, having grown up in Nakhon Phanom, which is heavily influenced by the cuisine. Vietnamese bites will be a tasty central feature at Jam Jam.
More updates about Jam Jam and Chef Noom’s creations are coming soon; stay tuned.
Meanwhile, why not book your stay–ASAI Bangkok Chinatown opens in September. Come check it out.