Twice-cooked pork belly with apple and cabbage slaw

Twice-cooked pork belly with apple and cabbage slaw

Have You Eaten
Billy Law

Everyone should learn how to make a masterstock. A masterstock is a Chinese stock used for poaching and braising, or it can be reduced down into an aromatic sauce. As long as it is stored in the freezer, it will last for a very long time and can be reused over and over again. The more proteins cooked in the stock, the better the flavour becomes. In this recipe, the masterstock is used for slow-braising the pork belly, and is then used to make the chilli caramel sauce.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg pork belly, with skin off
240g tapioca starch
1 tablespoon five-spice powder
1 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Chinese masterstock

Quantity Ingredient
3 litres water
250ml light soy sauce
3 tablespoons dark soy caramel
250ml shaoxing rice wine
200g chinese yellow rock sugar, (see note)
5 garlic cloves, sliced
5 spring onions, white part only
1 cassia bark or cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon sichuan peppercorns
5 star anise
3 pieces dried mandarin peel

Chilli caramel sauce

Quantity Ingredient
500ml masterstock, (from braising the pork belly)
3 bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
115g caster sugar
125ml fish sauce
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Apple and cabbage slaw

Quantity Ingredient
1 granny smith apple, julienned into matchsticks
100g cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 lemon, juiced


  1. To make the masterstock, fill a large pot with the water, then add all the stock ingredients. Stir and then bring to the boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow the stock to cool. Strain, discarding the solids. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Place the pork belly in a roasting tin, then pour in enough masterstock to fully cover the pork. Cover the stock with a sheet of baking paper as a cartouche, pressing down so it touches the surface of the stock. Transfer to the oven and braise for 4 hours.
  3. Remove the tin from the oven and let the pork rest in the stock until cool, then transfer the pork to a plate or tray. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Reserve the stock for the sauce.
  4. To make the chilli caramel sauce, put all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium–high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer until the sauce has thickened and reduced to a quarter of its original amount. Strain, then set aside to cool.
  5. To make the slaw, place the apple and cabbage in a mixing bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over, then toss to mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator.
  6. Cut the pork belly into 5 cm cubes. Mix the tapioca starch, five-spice and salt in a mixing bowl. Roll the pork pieces in the starch until evenly coated, then dust off any excess.
  7. Pour the vegetable oil into a large saucepan until about half full, then heat the oil to 170°C over medium–high heat. Test to see if the oil is hot enough by dipping a wooden chopstick into the hot oil — if the oil starts bubbling around the chopstick, it’s ready. Working in batches, deep-fry the pork belly for 5–7 minutes until dark golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towel.
  8. Stack the pork belly high in a serving bowl, drizzle the chilli caramel sauce over the pork, then top with some apple and cabbage slaw.


  • Chinese yellow rock sugar, sometimes called rock candy, is not quite as sweet as normal granulated sugar and is a key ingredient in Chinese masterstock. It can be found in Asian grocers.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again