A delicious Asian appetiser.


  • 1.5kg pork belly, rib bones removed, skin on

  • 3 carrots, julienned

  • 1 daikon, julienned

  • 6 Lebanese cucumbers

  • 1 cha luo (Vietnamese pork loaf, available from most Vietnamese grocers or butchers)

  • Small, soft white rolls

  • 1 bunch coriander

  • Pickling Liquid

  • 1L white vinegar

  • 500ml water

  • 500g caster sugar

  • 25g salt

  • Sriracha Mayonnaise

  • 375g Japanese mayonnaise (Kenko or Kewpie brand)

  • 65g Sriracha (Huy Fong brand)

  • 1 tbsp Knorr liquid seasoning (vital for your Vietnamese cooking arsenal)

  • Pork Liver Pate

  • 800g pork liver, soaked in milk overnight

  • 500g butter

  • 125ml xiao xing (Chinese cooking wine)

  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • White pepper

  • Fish sauce

  • 2tbsp vegetable oil for frying

  • Masterstock

  • 9L water

  • 375ml xiao xing (Chinese cooking wine)

  • 375ml light soy sauce

  • 125ml dark soy sauce

  • Salt to taste

  • 125g rock sugar

  • 10 eschallots

  • 10 cloves garlic

  • 10cm piece ginger

  • 1 bunch green shallots

  • 5g licorice root

  • 10 star anise

  • 2 cassia bark

  • 5 clove buds

  • 2 pieces of Chinese cardamom

  • A muslin bag or a square of muslin into which you’ll put your spices


  • 1.

    To make the masterstock, roughly chop garlic, eschallots and ginger in a food processor.

  • 2.

    In a big stock pot, on medium heat, sauté the garlic, ginger and eschallots until golden. Deglaze the pot by pouring in the xiao xing. Bring the lot to a boil then boil rapidly until the alcohol has evaporated, which should take about 3 minutes or so.

  • 3.

    Add water, dark and light soy sauce, rock sugar and salt to taste. Place the liquorice, cassia, star anise, cloves, and Chinese cardamom in a muslin bag, or tie them into a pouch using cheesecloth and butchers twine. Drop the spice pouch into the pot.

  • 4.

    Add the roughly chopped bunch of green shallots. Bring to boil, then turn it down to a simmer for at least half hour to let the flavours infuse.

  • 5.

    Carefully lower the pork belly into the masterstock, turn up the heat and bring the liquid to a boil. As soon as it’s reached a boil, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer for 3-4 hours or until the pork belly is tender.

  • 6.

    In a baking dish large enough to fit your pork belly, line the bottom with baking paper. Carefully lift out the pork belly from the stock, being mindful to keep everything in one piece. Place the pork on the tray, skin side down. Cover with another piece of baking paper, place a baking tray of same size on top, then press the pork belly overnight, weighing the pans down with heavy objects like jars or bottles (just make sure they’re evenly distributed, or you’ll end up with uneven piece of pork).

  • 7.

    To make the pickled carrots and daikon radish, combine water, sugar, salt and vinegar into a large mixing bowl. Whisk vigorously until the sugar and salt is completely dissolved.

  • 8.

    Place the julienned carrots and daikons in an airtight container, then cover with pickling liquid. Allow the pickles to sit for about a week before you use them.

  • 9.

    To make the pork liver pâté, drain and wash the pork liver thoroughly under running cold water. Carefully trim any veins, and dice them into 2cm chunks. Chop the cold butter into small cubes.

  • 10.

    In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, then add the liver, making sure you don’t crowd the pan. If necessary, cook them in small batches. Do not stir!

  • 11.

    After a minute or so, add the thinly sliced garlic. At this stage, the liver should be partially cooked, but not completely. Deglaze the pan with the xiao xing and cook out the alcohol, which should take about 3 minutes.

  • 12.

    Quickly remove the partially cooked liver, place them in a food processor, along with the cold butter cubes, and blitz until smooth. Season with fish sauce and white pepper to taste.

  • 13.

    Place the pâté into an airtight container, and place a piece of baking paper or cling film on the surface of the pâté. Place in the fridge.

  • 14.

    Once the pâté is cool enough, place the lid on the container and continue chilling in the fridge until use.

  • 15.

    To make the sriracha mayonnaise , combine sriracha, mayonnaise, and Knorr seasoning into a large mixing bowl and whisk until incorporated.

  • 16.

    To make the pickled cucumbers, thinly slice the Lebanese cucumber on a mandolin, to about 3mm thickness. Sprinkle generously with salt, then gently work the salt into the cucumber with your fingers. Continue until liquid begins to extract out of the cucumber, cover.

  • 17.

    After half hour, wash the salt off the cucumber under cold running water. Continue rinsing until the cucumber no longer tastes excessively salty.

  • To Assemble:

  • 1.

    Using a meat slicer, or a very sharp knife, slice the cha luo as thinly as possible, set aside.

  • 2.

    Once the pork is pressed over night, it is much easier to cut into slices, depending on the size of your roll, the thickness should be around 1.5cm thick, but the size should be around the same as the rolls.

  • 3.

    Preheat a deep-fryer to 175°C, drop the sliced pork belly into the deep-fryer or alternatively you can pan-fry the pork pieces in a little oil on medium heat, until golden and crispy.

  • 4.

    Cut the white rolls in half. Spread the bottom half generously with the pork liver pâté. Top the pâté with a few thin slices of cha luo. Top the cha luo with the fried pork, then pickled cucumbers, pickled daikons and carrots, coriander leaves, then lastly a generous dollop of sriracha mayonnaise.

  • Note:

  • 1.

    You can buy a good quality pâté instead of making your own.

  • 2.

    You can go to the local chinese bbq shop and buy some “siu yuk” (roasted pork belly) to substitute the braised pork belly

  • 3.

    Instead of trying to find mini individual buns, you can slice a long baguette into 1 cm thick slices.


Recipe created by Chef Dan Hong for Chef's Tables.

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