Roasted cabbage with pork belly and mushroom dashi

So this is a dish inspired directly from mille feuille nabe. I wanted to do a dish that featured layers of roasted cabbage and pork in an umami-rich mushroom broth. I could imagine these soft, tender layers of cabbage that are steamed with the rendered pork fat from the belly slices between each leaf, sponging up that delicious sweet and savory mushroom broth. So I did just that. I was inspired to do this roasted cabbage that had thin layers of pork belly tucked between the leaves from both Top Chef: All-Stars LA where chef Stephanie Cmar did something similar for the prosciutto elimination challenge, and from The Chef Show, where chef Jessica Largley did something similar to that with this hyper-roasted wedge of cabbage with pickled apples placed between the layers. In both cases, I felt inspired to try something similar, since it reminded me of mille feuille nabe anyways. For my version, I have the roasted cabbage with pork belly slices in between the leaves, a mushroom dashi broth, roasted mushrooms, and some crispy pork belly lardons as well to finish.

For the cabbage:
1 head of napa cabbage
8 oz pork belly, sliced thinly
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic

Slice the cabbage into quarters along the length. Season the pork belly slices with salt and tuck them between each layer of cabbage. Chop up the garlic and mix that into the olive oil. Drizzle oil on top of the cabbage and season that with salt as well. Place the cabbage onto a lined baking tray. Roast at 450 degrees F for about 25 minutes, then another 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.

For the broth:
2 oz kombu
1/4 cup bonito flakes
3 cups water
3 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce
a pinch of salt
12 dried shiitake mushrooms

Simmer the kombu and bonito in the water first for about 20 minutes. Strain of the solids and add into the liquid the remaining ingredients. Bring back to a simmer until the mushrooms are plump. Remove the mushrooms, squeezing them to release any excess liquid. Reserve the mushrooms. Keep the broth warm.

For the roasted mushrooms and pork belly lardons:
reserved mushrooms
4 oz pork belly, sliced into small wedges
a pinch of salt
a pinch of black pepper
a pinch of paprika

Roast the mushrooms in the 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes. In a nonstick pan, render out the pork belly with the salt, pepper, and paprika on low heat until crispy. Then sear the mushrooms in the same nonstick pan using the rendered out fat.

To garnish:
Borage flowers

Start by placing the wedge of cabbage into a large, shallow bowl. Then add in the lardons and mushrooms. Garnish the top with the flowers and finish with the warm dashi to serve.

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