Crispy pork belly salad

Crispy pork belly salad

Ben's Meat Bible
Benito Martin


Quantity Ingredient
1 x 1kg boneless pork belly
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 large coriander roots
or 5 small coriander roots
large pinch salt
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 star anise, roasted and ground
100g palm sugar or soft brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
oil, for deep-frying
1 tablespoon coconut oil
35g crisp-fried shallots, to serve
sliced fresh red chillies, to serve


Quantity Ingredient
1 garlic clove
pinch salt
2 bird’s-eye chillies
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
pinch sugar

Cucumber salad

Quantity Ingredient
2 lebanese cucumbers
1 small red onion, very finely sliced
1/2 bunch mint, leaves picked
1 bunch coriander, leaves picked


  1. One day before cooking, rub the pork with the soy sauce, cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.
  2. Steam the pork belly for 1 hour in a bamboo steamer.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the coriander roots, salt, garlic, peppercorns and star anise in a mortar and pestle or food processor and grind to a paste. Set aside.
  4. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes to dissolve the sugar and make a caramel, then remove from the heat and add the fish and oyster sauces. Set aside.
  5. Remove the pork from the steamer and set aside to cool slightly. Cut into 3 cm cubes, then set aside.
  6. Make the dressing by pounding the ingredients in a mortar and pestle (or use a food processor), then set aside while you make the salad. Halve the cucumbers lengthways, remove the seeds and slice thinly on an angle. Mix the cucumber, onion and herbs and pour over the dressing. Arrange half of the salad on a serving plate.
  7. Fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan one-third with oil and heat to 175°C, or hot enough to make a small cube of bread sizzle in 15 seconds when dropped into the oil. Gently lower the cubed pork into the hot oil (take care as it will spit and pop) and deep-fry for 5–8 minutes, or until crispy, then remove and drain well on paper towel. Cook the pork in batches so that the oil stays hot and the pork cooks evenly.
  8. Heat the coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the spice paste until fragrant. Pour in the caramel and bring to the boil, then add the pork and stir until just coated; don’t leave the pork in the caramel too long, otherwise it will lose its crispness.
  9. Scatter the pork over the salad and top with the remaining salad. Sprinkle with fried shallots and sliced chilli and serve immediately.
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