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Crisp pork belly with crab and pomelo

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for crisp pork belly with crab and pomelo.

By Lisa Featherby
  • Serves 6
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 15 mins cooking plus marinating, chilling
Crisp pork belly with crab and pomelo
Crisp pork belly with crab and pomelo

You will need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 250 gm soft, light palm sugar
  • 125 ml fish sauce (½ cup)
  • 1.4 kg boneless pork belly, skin scored
  • vegetable oil, For deep-frying
  • 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 fish sauce (½ cup)
  • 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


  • 1
    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.
  • 2
    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.
  • 3
    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.


Cooked spanner crab meat is available from select fishmongers, if unavailable substitute with other picked crab meat.
Drink Suggestion: Cold, pilsner-style lager. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: Lisa Featherby