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Pork in sweet soy with sambal, fried shallots and eggplant

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for pork in sweet soy with sambal, fried shallots and eggplant.

By Lisa Featherby
  • Serves 6
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 4 hrs 20 mins cooking
Pork in sweet soy with sambal, fried shallots and eggplant
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.


  • 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
  • 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


  • 1
    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.
  • 2
    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.
  • 3
    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.
  • 4
    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).
  • 5
    Cut pork into 6 pieces and serve drizzled with a little braising liquid, and scatter with fried shallots and eggplant, and sambal to taste.


Drink Suggestion: A spicy, floral grenache. Drink suggestion by Max Allen