I’m almost officially back, not quite yet though. But I couldn’t NOT blog for another week, I have had quite a bit of withdrawal symptoms and thus decided to share with you my version of Alvin from MasterChef Australia’s Caramel Pork.
When I saw Alvin making it during this last season, I just knew I had to make it. I have, along with the rest of the country, fallen very deeply in love with pork belly over the last year or so and the thought of it being drenched in a sweet and fragrant sauce, served with Jasmine rice gets me salivating every time…every single time!
I didn’t follow a recipe with this, just my own nose and palate. To soften the pork I poached it in a aromatic stock filled with spices and vegetables for a few hours. If you want to make this over a few days, I suggest you poach the pork and then let it cool in the broth, pop it into the fridge and then continue with the recipe the next day.
I served this with steamed Jasmine Rice and sugar snap peas and it was all gobbled up in a matter of minutes!
Click here for Jan Tripepi’s version of Caramel Pork
For the poaching
1kg pork belly
1.5 liters chicken/vegetable stock
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup oyster sauce
1/2 cup fish sauce
2 onions, quartered
6 garlic cloves
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole chillies, split in half
1 cup sugar
For the “Caramel”
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
1/3 cup oyster sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 cup golden syrup
2 tsp dried chilli, crushed (this amount makes it quite spicy, adjust to your own taste)
salt to taste
steamed jasmine rice
steamed sugar snap peas
- Combine all the poaching ingredients in a large pot and allow to simmer gently for 2-3 hours until the pork is soft but not falling apart.
- Drain the pork and keep 2 cups of the broth. Cut the pork into bite sized cubes.
- In a wok, fry the pork in canola oil/peanut oil for 5 minutes. (be careful at this stage, the pork has a tendency to pop and hiss at you)
- Add the reserved broth and all the ‘caramel’ ingredients and allow to simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste.
- Serve with jasmine rice, sugar snap peas and fresh coriander.
Aww it breaks my heart that you took the time to cook something nice and it was “gobbled up in a matter of minutes.” Hopefully your family will learn to slow down and take the time to really appreciate what they have in front of them. It looks so delicious!
I don’t mind the gobbling at all, as long as they enjoy it. 😉
Hi, I am planning to cook this for a dinner party. My friends don’t like fish and oyster sauce though. Is it possible to use anything else? Or without it? Please share. Thanks
I would just leave it out. 🙂
What’s the golden syrup?
It’s a syrup you can find in most grocery stores but if not, you can sub it with Maple syrup or honey.
Absolutely over the head delicious!
Ok I made this and should have needed my internal warning bells. There is almost 2 cups of soy sauce on top of some fish sauce plus chicken or vegetable stock. It is salty as heck! I think it would benefit greatly by at least halving the salty ingredients. You can still just taste the golden syrup in the end but my god! To be honest, the pork is beautiful after the poaching step and also stir frying. The ‘caramel’ part needs a little refining.
Hi Jay, thanks for your comment! I’m sorry your dish turned out so salty. Yes, there is a lot of soy sauce but the cup of soy sauce in the poaching liquid is really there for flavour and a little bit of seasoning since it is watered down in the stock. I use home-made stock that isn’t heavily seasoned but even when I’ve used shop-bought stock, it hasn’t been overly salty. Could it be that the stock you use is very well seasoned and that could be throwing off the balance a bit? It could also be that I just really like salty food. 😉
What is golden syrup? I have looked but can’t find anywhere. Help please
It’s a syrup often used in South African and British cooking. It is often sold in cans. You can replace it with honey/maple syrup which will alter the flavour a bit.
I was wondering if I was to do this in the slow cooker if it would work? I am helping with an fundraiser event and the venue doesn’t have an oven so this seemed like a good recipe if I can make it in the slow cooker and then use the electric fry pan to do the final step before serving. Thanks in advance.
Yeah, you definitely could. As long as you finish it off in the pan to get that caramelly goodness going, you’ll be fine!
Hello there, we made this and loved it but I did think it was a bit too salty. Why do you think this happened? I did follow the recipe exactly. Thanks and keep them gorgeous recipes coming 🙂
Ramon, it could be that you added too much salt. If you didn’t, the soy sauce brand or fish sauce brand you use might be a lot saltier than mine. When you try this again, perhaps go slowly with those two ingredients and add them to taste rather than to my measurement.
I followed the poaching recipe, then let the skin (keeping the meat in the poaching liquid) air dry in the fridge overnight, and then roasted it on HIGH for about an hour. I served it with a tossed green salad with balsamic vinegar and vermicelli noodles (softened in the hot porkbelly juices from the roasting dish) and beetroot. Probably would have added some fresh figs if I had them.
Hello! This dish looks fantastic and I plan on making it tomorrow with my dad for our “food adventure day”. 🙂
What type of chillies do you use? For both the whole and dried? I wasn’t sure which type works best. Thank you!!
Leah, I used bird’s eye chillies but Thai or any other small chilli will work. I just used regular chilli flakes from the supermarket for the dried.
Thanks so much! I can’t wait to try it out. 🙂
Hi Alida, the pork belly looks fantastic! Thinking of cooking this for an upcoming dinner party. I just want to know, do you leave the skin on the pork belly? Thanks!
Adri, I didn’t remove the skin but having said that, I can’t remember there being too much of a skin on the belly I used. I think as you’re not looking at creating crackling, you could remove the skin as it serves no purpose in this dish.
Thank you for the super quick reply! Think I might opt for skin off then. Looking forward to making it… and eating it. 🙂
Hey, this recipe looks absolutely amazing! I really have to try this, and I have some pork belly ready to go, but its bone in. would this matter for this recipe?
Jack, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem, just try to cut around the bone when you cube the belly after cooking.
I tried this recipe over the holiday and it was absolutely heavenly! It was the most exotic dish we had over the holiday and loved all the eastern infusion. Will definitely repeat this recipe as an entertaining hit with friends!
Thank you for this awesome recipe!!
Nadia, so glad you liked it. It’s one of my favourite dishes too!
What is fish sauce?
David, Fish sauce is also known as Nam Pla. It is a sauce made from fish have been allowed to ferment, and even though this sounds quite disgusting, it is a great way to add flavour to curries and Asian dishes. The smell is quite strong but if used in the right quantities, it is absolutely great!
Love your recipes! Where can I find light soy sauce? Have been looking everywhere, but no luck.
When you coming back? missing the daily fun of reading your blog!!!
Matthew, soon I promise! 🙂 Good to know that I’m missed though.
I made this the other night, it was absolutely divine.
I then used similar flavourings to parboil pork ribs last night, and then finished them off on the gas grill – also yummy!
We are lucky to have Martin from CureDeli here in Cape Town to supply us with free-range pork. His products are amazing.
Thanks again for a great recipe!
Love your blog – my salivary glands are going into overdrive! 🙂 Good to see another Yuppiechef fan too. We love Yuppiechef, especially the minichef sessions the kids and I are involved in. yum yum! Thanks for popping by to my blog – I’ve answered your pinboard questions there 🙂
O gosh, Ally!! Hierdie lyk en klink heerlik! Welkom terug!
This looks lip smackingl good Ally. Too divine.
Thanks Samlet! 🙂
How nice to have you back> i kindda took for granted checking up ur feeds every morning and i am so glaaaaaaaaaaaad you’re back (or almost). this looks delish, will have to try it, i personally do not eat pork, i dont think it tastes any good but everyone keeps on telling me the opposite so i will try this and let u know
Imah, I have fallen in love with pork over the last few months and I eat it quite often now, you just need to play with the flavours. If you do try this, let me know what you think. (Also, it’s important to get free-range pork as most of the pigs in SA are not and that influences the taste immensely!)