Saturday, February 21, 2015
Recipe: Crispy pork belly salad with red curry dressing
Last year, S and I joined some friends for a holiday in Vietnam. It was my second visit and it left me even more in love with it and its stunning food.
We did our best to eat our way around the country, trying as many different things as we possibly could but there was one dish that was so tasty I insisted on returning to have for a second time before we left. Since we returned home I've been working hard to recreate it and I'm finally happy enough with this recipe to share it.
My inspiration was a salad of the same name at the Cargo Club in Hoi An. My version uses ingredients I could easily source in Australia and after much experimentation a dressing that while not the same, provides the same complimentary effect.
This is a fantastic dish for a relaxed meal with friends. You can prepare everything in advance and just do the final assembly when everyone is ready to eat.
Crispy pork belly salad with red curry dressing
500g pork belly, skin on, bones removed
1 carrot, julliened
1 cucumber, cut in half lengthsize, seeds removed, thinly sliced
½ red capsicum, thinly sliced
100g snowpeas, thinly sliced on the diagonal
150g bean shoots
½ bunch coriander, leaves picked
1 mango, sliced into thick julienne
1/4 iceberg lettuce torn into small pieces
fried shallot (the dried type you get in an Asian grocer)
1/4 cup good quality red curry paste
1/4 cup coconut cream
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan-forced.
Score pork skin. Rub a few tablespoons of salt in and leave for 20-30 minutes. Wipe the skin dry with paper towel, then rub a little olive oil into the skin. Place pork, skin side down, in a large roasting pan lined with baking paper. Drizzle the meat with some more olive oil and season with a couple of pinches of salt. Bake for 1½ hours.
Turn pork, skin side up. Increase oven temperature to 220°C or 200°C fan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until skin is crisp. Remove from oven and cover with foil. Rest for 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, assemble the salad. Toss together the carrot, cucumber, capsicum, snow peas, bean shoots, coriander, mango and lettuce and divide between 4 bowls or plates. Drizzle with the dressing and top with the fried shallot.
Cut the pork into bite sized cubes and divide between the salads. It is easier to cut if you place it skin side down on your board.
For the dressing: heat the red curry paste in a small saucepan until fragrant and starting to split the oil out. Take off the heat, stir in the coconut cream and rice wine vinegar. If it is too spicy for you, you can add more coconut cream. The dressing is great warm but can be made a day ahead and stored in a sealed jar in the fridge