Recipe courtesy of The Grilled Cheese Bistro

Islander Grilled Cheese

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 55 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 1 sandwich
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Pork Belly:

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 slices pork belly 

Islander Grilled Cheese:

4 ounces Cheddar, sliced

2 slices sourdough bread 

4 fresh Thai basil leaves

Clarified butter, for grilling

1 heaping tablespoon Pineapple Sriracha Jam, recipe follows

1/2 English cucumber, cut into thin sticks 

Pineapple Sriracha Jam:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups minced garlic 

3/4 cup sliced peeled ginger 

1/4 cup sriracha 

6 pineapples, peeled, cored and cubed 

2 stalks lemongrass 

1/4 cup sugar

10 packs gelatin  

1/4 cup soy sauce 

2 bunches fresh cilantro, minced 


  1. For the pork belly: Preheat a flattop to 350 degrees F.
  2. Pour the olive oil onto the flat top. Add the pork belly and sizzle on each side until the edges are crisp and golden but the middle is still soft, about 2 minutes. (You can prepare the pork belly while the sandwich is melting on the flattop.)
  3. For the islander grilled cheese: Place 2 ounces of Cheddar on each slice of bread, add the basil and close the sandwich. Ladle some clarified butter on the flattop and add the sandwich. Grill the sandwich until the bread is crisp and golden and the cheese is melted. Transfer the sandwich to a cutting board. Use a spatula to open the sandwich and add the pork belly. Add the Pineapple Sriracha Jam, then add the cucumber sticks. Close the sandwich and cut. Voila!

Pineapple Sriracha Jam:

Yield: about 7 quarts
  1. Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden. Add the ginger, sriracha, pineapples and lemongrass. Cook until the pineapple begins to break down and soften slightly, about 20 minutes. Remove the lemongrass. Use a stick blender to puree the mixture or puree the mixture in a blender in batches.
  2. Mix the sugar and gelatin in a bowl, then add it slowly to the sauce. Bring to a hard boil and boil, skimming the foam off the top, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce. Let cool, then stir in the cilantro.