Sticky Vietnamese Pork, Green Mango and Papaya Salad

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyHard

For the pork

1kg boneless pork belly
2 cups white sugar
1 cup fish sauce
4 star anise
4 shallots
2 red chillies
4 spring onions
4cm piece ginger

For the nahm jhim

6 large red chillies
4 coriander roots
2 cloves garlic
6 limes, juiced
Fish sauce
Palm sugar

For the green papaya salad

1 small green papaya, peeled and sliced
1 medium mango
Chilli to taste
2 cups beansprouts
4 shallots, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup cashew nuts, roasted and chopped
1 cup Asian herbs
1 Lebanese cucumber, de-seeded and sliced

Peel and finely slice the shallots, spring onions, ginger and chilli. Pour the sugar into a large, heavy-based pan and place on a high heat. Melt and caramelise the sugar. Once the sugar is starting to smoke slightly, carefully add the vegetables from the previous step, along with the star anise.

Stirring continuously, cook for 2 minutes. Add the fish sauce and 500ml of water. Bring to the boil and add the pork. Simmer for 10 minutes, turn, and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Turn once more and place in a pre-heated oven at 160°C and cook for 1.5-2 hours, turning every half an hour. The liquid will reduce down to a sticky glaze.

For the nahm jhim: scrape and soak coriander roots. De-seed and finely chop chillies. Peel garlic cloves. Place these three ingredients into a mortar pestle and pound to a fine paste. Add the lime juice. Add fish sauce and shaved pine sugar to desired taste, trying to balance sweet, sour and salty.

Serve the pork as a whole piece in a large dish with plenty of glaze.

Mix all salad ingredients with nahm jhim and serve along side.

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