An Asian style dish, that's guaranteed to impress your guests.


  • 500g piece pork belly, skin off and de boned

  • 3-4 tablespoons corn flour

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed sichuan pepper

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¼ red cabbage, finely shaved

  • ¼ daikon radish, finely sliced

  • Master stock

  • 1L water

  • 40mls (2 tablespoons) light soy sauce

  • 10mls (2 teaspoons) dark soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 star anise

  • 1 black cardamom pod

  • Pickling liquid

  • 250ml (1 cup) rice vinegar

  • 1 ½ tablespoons caster sugar

  • 2 teaspoons of each mustard seed, black peppercorns, coriander seed, fennel seed

  • 1 sprig thyme

  • Chilli caramel

  • 125g palm sugar, shaved

  • 2 tablespoons (40 ml) water

  • Zest and juice of 1 lime

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • 6 red chilies, finely chopped

  • 1 small knob ginger, peeled, finely chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped


  • 1.

    For master stock, preheat oven to 140°C.

  • 2.

    Place all the stock ingredients in a large deep baking dish.

  • 3.

    Add pork, and ensure that it is almost completely submerged. If necessary transfer to a smaller dish. Cover with a sheet of baking paper and seal tightly with a sheet of foil. Cook for 4 hours or until pork is very soft and tender.

  • 4.

    Remove, drain cooking liquid and return to the large flat baking dish, place a flat oven tray in top. Ensure that it fits into the baking dish and weight down with cans, bag of rice or something very heavy to press for 3-4 hours or preferably over night.

  • 5.

    Heat a saucepan half filled with oil or a deep fryer to 200°C.

  • 6.

    Combine corn flour, Sichuan pepper and salt n a bowl. Cut cooked pressed belly into 1cm cubes, toss in seasoned corn flour and deep fry until crisp and golden. Drain well on paper towel lined plate.

  • 7.

    For pickling liquid, place ingredients in a 1L capacity bowl of jug and leave to sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add daikon and leave to pickle for around 10 minutes.

  • 8.

    For chilli caramel, place palm sugar and water in a medium heavy-based saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Boil without stirring for about 8 minutes.

  • 9.

    As the sugar begins to caramelise and darken remove from the heat. Add juice and fish sauce carefully; it may spatter. Stir in the chilli, ginger, garlic and lime zest. Set aside to cool.

  • 10.

    To serve, place crispy pork in heatproof bowl, pour over warm caramel and toss to coat. Arrange on a serving plate and finish with cabbage salad on top and daikon to the side.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

  • Energy 872kj
  • Fat Total 67g
  • Saturated Fat 24g
  • Protein 15g
  • Carbohydrate 51g
  • Sugar 38g
  • Sodium 1403mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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This recipe is a part of Project Botanicals, a distinctly different pop-up bar and dining experience, happening in Melbourne from 24 July - 11 June. Tickets $45, including two cocktails and two matched dishes.

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