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Pork in sweet soy with sambal, fried shallots and eggplant

Pork belly will never go out of fashion - and when it's braised slowly the skin becomes gelatinous and the meat juicy and rich. A sweet sauce with a hit of chilli makes the perfect partner.

You'll need

1.5 kg piece of pork belly, skin on 250 ml (1 cup) kecap manis 60 ml (¼ cup) each rice wine vinegar and fish sauce 3 dried long red chillies 1 star anise ½ tsp white peppercorns, coarsely crushed   Sambal 50 gm finely grated fresh coconut 30 gm shrimp paste 7 long red chillies, coarsely chopped 3 small golden shallots, coarsely chopped 7 gm ginger, coarsely chopped 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped 1 tsp roasted chilli flakes 100 ml peanut oil 20 gm dark palm sugar, coarsely chopped   Fried shallots and eggplant 300 ml vegetable oil 6 red shallots, shaved on a mandolin 2 baby eggplant, thinly sliced diagonally


  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Place pork in a casserole or roasting pan skin-side up. Combine kecap manis, vinegar, fish sauce, chilli, star anise and peppercorns in a saucepan with 40ml water, bring to the simmer over medium-high heat, then pour mixture over pork belly, cover with a lid or foil and braise in oven until meat pulls apart easily (3½ hours). Remove lid and cook, basting regularly, until glazed (30 minutes). Remove from oven and set aside.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for sambal, process ingredients except peanut oil and sugar in a small food processor until smooth, then transfer to a small saucepan, add oil and stir occasionally until toasted and fragrant (5-7 minutes). Add sugar and stir until melted and caramelised (3-5 minutes), then set aside.
  • 03
  • For fried shallots and eggplant, heat oil in a saucepan or wok over medium heat and cook shallots and eggplant separately in batches, turning constantly, until golden and crisp, (1-2 minutes). Drain on paper towels, then combine in a bowl.
  • 04
  • Remove pork from braising liquid and set aside. Skim fat from the top of the liquid, transfer liquid to a small saucepan and bring to the simmer over medium-high heat (continue cooking to reduce further if you prefer a thicker sauce).
  • 05
  • Cut pork into 6 pieces and serve drizzled with a little braising liquid, and scatter with fried shallots and eggplant, and sambal to taste.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

A spicy, floral grenache.

Featured in

Apr 2014

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