Mmmmmm sticky, rich melt-in-your-mouth pork belly – the ultimate treat!
While pork belly may not exactly be an everyday food, this is a special occasion dish and makes a very impressive meal when entertaining guests! The salad is light and fresh and compliments the meat perfectly. The final burst of heat at the end makes the pork extra sticky and caramelised – yum!
Char siu sauce is a Chinese barbeque sauce available at supermarkets. Most varieties contain gluten. To make gluten-free, replace with gluten-free char siu sauce, hoisin sauce or honey soy marinade – the brand Ayam makes gluten-free versions of these, just check the packaging.
- ginger beer 1.5 litres
- onion 1, roughly chopped
- star anise 2
- cinnamon stick 1
- pork belly 1.2-1.5 kilogram, cut off skin but leave fat layer underneath (save skin for crackling if desired)
- char siu sauce ¾ cup (gluten-free if required)
- iceberg lettuce 1, cut into wedges
- mesclun or coloured salad leaves 1 handful
- pawpaw ½, sliced
- mint leaves handful, torn
- toasted long-thread coconut ¼ cup
- honey-roasted peanuts ¼ cup, chopped
- sesame oil 2 tablespoons
- limes 2, juice and zest
- sweet chilli sauce 1 tablespoon
- red onion 1, sliced and soaked in ¼ cup apple cider vinegar for 20 minutes or until pink and tender
- lime wedges to serve
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Pour ginger beer into a medium roasting dish and add the onion, star anise, cinnamon stick and pork belly, fat side up (it should be submerged). Cover with foil and cook for 2½ hours.
- Remove from oven and strain off 1 cup cooking liquid into a small pan. Add char siu sauce to pan and simmer for 3-4 minutes to make a glossy glaze.
- Discard any remaining liquid, onion and spices from dish. Cut pork into strips or cubes, return to roasting dish and brush generously with glaze. Turn oven to 180°C and cook pork for 15 minutes or until caramelised and bubbling.
- For the salad, layer the greens, pawpaw, and mint in a large serving bowl then scatter over coconut and peanuts. Combine sesame oil, lime juice, zest and chilli sauce in a jar and shake well. Drizzle over the salad at the last minute.
- Serve the caramelised pork with the salad, drained, marinated onions and a lime wedge for squeezing.
- Char siu sauce is a Chinese barbecue sauce available at supermarkets. Most varieties contain gluten. To make gluten-free, replace with gluten-free char siu sauce, hoisin sauce or honey soy marinade – the brand Ayam makes gluten-free versions of these, just check the packaging.