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sticky pork belly with ginger, chilli and lemongrass

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

This pork belly is rich and aromatic, and perfect served with steamed rice and the Japanese edamame and red cabbage slaw. Whatever the occasion, this dish is sure to delight and it's hard to get wrong - the pork belly is tender from a few hours of brining in a beautiful broth with garlic, fish sauce and ginger, then the sauce effortlessly caramelises when it's cooked in a pan before serving.

4 servings - though I have been known to double it to ensure leftovers!


1kg rindless pork belly slices, cut in half if they're long, so about 8cm lengths

1L chicken stock

1 Tbsp fish sauce

1Tbsp rice wine or mirin

1 tsp brown sugar

6 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved

1 stick of fresh lemongrass, trimmed and cut in half

1 large knob of ginger (about thumb length), peeled and chopped finely


2 Tbsp vegetable oil (use 1 Tbsp to fry the pork and add the other 1 Tbsp to the glaze)

Another large knob of ginger, peeled and chopped finely or grated

1 red chilli, diced finely

2 Tbsp honey

2 tsp brown sugar

3 Tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp minced lemongrass or lemongrass paste


  1. Add all the first eight ingredients (not the glaze ingredients) to a large, heavy pan or casserole. Bring to the boil, then place a lid on, turn down the heat and simmer for 2 hours.

  2. Turn off the heat and drain the pork, reserving the liquid for a soup broth! Cut the pork in to bite size chunks when cool.

  3. Mix the glaze ingredients (apart from 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil) in a small bowl.

  4. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp of the oil to a frying pan, and then heat the oil and add in the pork and season with salt and pepper, frying on a high heat until the pork starts to turn golden. Now pour the glaze over the pork and continue to cook until the pork looks dark and sticky. Remove from the heat and serve with some rice and Japanese edamame and red cabbage slaw, or steamed greens.

The broth makes an amazing soup. Strain it, top it up with another 500ml chicken or vege stock, then simmer for 5 mins with fresh lemongrass, a few torn-up kaffir lime leaves, 2 birds eye chillies, halved, 2 Tbsp fish sauce, a knob of fresh galangal and a few pieces of ginger, peeled and chopped. Add some protein - fish balls/prawns/tofu/chicken etc, then add the juice of a lime, 1 Tbsp of brown or palm sugar. Just before serving, add plenty pak choi, fresh coriander and thai basil. Et voilà. Beautiful.

Print Version coming!


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