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Tung po pork with Siamese watercress and cucumber salad

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for tung po pork with Siamese watercress and cucumber salad.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs 30 mins cooking plus soaking
  • Serves 6
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Tung po pork with Siamese watercress and cucumber salad
This dish traditionally takes up to 2 days, but we’ve hastened the process by blanching the pork first.


  • 1 kg pork belly
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 cm piece of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 50 gm rock sugar (see note)
  • 185 ml light soy sauce (¾ cup)
  • 1 tbsp mushroom soy sauce (see note)
  • 125 ml Shaoxing wine (½ cup)
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 2 pieces of dried mandarin peel (see note)
  • 100 gm shiitake mushrooms
  • 10 gm dried black cloud ear mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 5 minutes to rehydrate (see note)
  • To serve: steamed red rice (see note)
Siamese watercress and cucumber salad
  • 1 tbsp tahini or Chinese sesame paste
  • 1 cm piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1½ tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 bunch of Siamese watercress (see note)
  • 1 telegraph cucumber, halved lengthways, seeds removed, then halved widthways and sliced lengthways
  • To serve: sesame seeds


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 150C. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add pork and cook for 10 minutes. Drain. Heat oil in a casserole over high heat until smoking. Add pork and cook, turning, until light golden (3-5 minutes). Add ginger, cook for 1 minute, add 1.25 litres water, sugar, combined soy sauces, wine, star anise, cinnamon and mandarin peel and bake in oven, covered, until very tender (3 hours). Add combined mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are soft (10 minutes).
  • 2
    For Siamese watercress and cucumber salad, combine tahini, ginger, garlic, soy, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl. Combine watercress and cucumber in a serving bowl, drizzle over dressing, toss to combine, then scatter with sesame seeds. Serve tung po pork with steamed red rice and salad to the side.


Rock sugar, mushroom soy sauce, dried mandarin peel, dried black cloud ear mushrooms, red rice and Siamese watercress are all available from Chinese grocers.
Drink Suggestion: Succulent pinot noir. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: Lisa Featherby