This tanghulu recipe highlights delicious crunchy candied bacon burnt ends, strawberries or other fruit made popular as a favourite Chinese street food!
Tanghulu (pronounced Tang Hulu) is a thin sweet crunchy layer akin to a toffee apple. The texture element it can add to a dish is unsurpassed. Whilst tanghulu is typically used with strawberries or grapes, I adapted it to make your pork belly burnt ends stand out from the pack.
You may have seen tanghulu as a viral sensation on TikTok - and for good reason. It is simple and the satisfying crunch you get from your first bite is amazeballs.
As with most recipes I had to put my own spin on it, so I leaned on the famous toffee apple look and recipe,then combined it with homemade bacon burnt ends!
Tanghulu Toffee Bacon Burnt Ends
Do you like toffee apples, bacon or pork belly? if you answered yes to any of those you are going to love this ball tearer of a recipe I invented!
Whilst doing some R&D for a competition dish I came up with this slightly frankenstein dish. Combining homemade bacon with a touch of saltiness and the sweetness of toffee seemed like a natural fit. I can assure you this treat is perfect for a kids party or an adults party!
If you're a lover of all things porky and delicious, then you're in for a real treat with tanghulu pork belly! This tasty snack is made by skewering slices of succulent pork belly and coating them in a sticky-sweet glaze. Once the glaze has hardened, the pork belly is roasted to perfection, resulting in a crispy outer layer and a tender, juicy interior. It's the perfect snack to satisfy your cravings and impress your friends with your impressive snack game. So why not give it a try and see for yourself? You won't be disappointed, unless you're a vegetarian, in which case you're out of luck. Sorry, veggies! But for everyone else, this tasty treat is sure to be a hit.
Bacon Burnt Ends (a week in advance)
Trim the skin off a pork belly, or buy one without the skin to save time. This will allow the cure to penetrate deep into the belly.
Season the pork belly with Macon bacon until covered evenly
Now seal in a vacuum seal bag or zip lock, then place in the fridge for 7 days. Flip the belly once per day to allow even penetration of the cure.
Now that a week has passed you are ready to smoke the belly or throw it in the oven.
Remove the cure, then onto the smoker/oven at 250F/121C until the internal temperature of the pork belly reaches 150F/65C.
Slice the pork belly into equal size squares.
Place on a cooling rack and start your toffee.
In a pot add - 3c caster sugar, 1 tsp vinegar, 1/4c glucose and 3/4c warm water. Keep at low heat until the sugar dissolves (approx 5 mins)
Bring pot to med-high heat until toffee solution reaches 150C/302F (hard crack point). Hard crack point is when you can dip a chopstick into the toffee solution then into iced water and it sets hard almost immediately.
Add your red food colouring
Have a tray lined with baking paper ready to rock and roll. With your bacon burnt ends on kebab skewers, dip into the toffee solution then place bacon side down onto the tray. (only dip part way as you don’t want the sweetness to overpower the bacon)
Sprinkle of Oz Dirt
The toffee wil set in about 20 mins.
Hot Tips for Young Players
1. Oven or smoker?: You will get great results from either, but the added complexity of smoke does take the bacon to a higher level.
2. How to measure toffee temperature?: It is preferable to use a food thermometer to get an accurate reading, but failing that the hard crack method as mentioned previously will get you out of trouble.
3. How long will they last?: The toffee will last approximately 2 days uncovered