Crisp pork belly with crab and pomelo

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 6 people

  • 250 gm soft, light palm sugar
  • 125 ml (½ cup) fish sauce
  • 1.4 kg boneless pork belly, skin scored
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • 200 gm cooked spanner crab meat (see note)
  • 2 pomelo, segmented and coarsely broken
  • 1 bunch each of coriander and mint, leaves picked and washed
  • 2 long green chillies, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp fried shallots
  •  
  • Tamarind dressing
  • 3 small green chillies
  • 1 clove of garlic, bruised
  • 125 ml (½ cup) fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp tamarind purée (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp finely shredded lemongrass
01   Dissolve palm sugar in fish sauce in a non-reactive container, add pork and turn to coat. Refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally to lightly cure. Remove pork from marinade, place in a bamboo steamer over a large wok half-filled with simmering water. Steam over low-medium heat until pork is very tender (2 hours). Cool, then weight with food cans and refrigerate until pressed firm and chilled (3-4 hours). Thinly slice crossways and refrigerate until required.
02   For tamarind dressing, combine chillies, garlic and a pinch of salt in a mortar, pound to a fine paste with a pestle and add remaining ingredients. Stir to dissolve and season.
03   Preheat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or large wok to 180C. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl, deep-fry pork in batches until golden (4-5 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper, add to herb mixture, toss gently to coat with dressing and serve immediately.
Note Cooked spanner crab meat is available from select fishmongers, if unavailable substitute with other picked crab meat.

Recipe:

LISA FEATHERBY

Photography:

WILLIAM MEPPEM

Styling:

VANESSA AUSTIN AND LISA FEATHERBY

Drinking Suggestion:

COLD, PILSNER-STYLE LAGER. , suggested by MAX ALLEN

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