- 1 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil (you may need a dash more)
- 600g/1lb 5oz pork belly, skin and fat removed, cut into fairly small chunks
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 lemongrass stalks, white inner stem only, finely chopped
- 75g/2¾oz palm sugar or light soft brown sugar
- 3 star anise
- 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
Heat the oil in a wok if yours has a lid, otherwise use a large casserole. Add half of the pork belly and fry for several minutes until well browned. Remove from the wok and add the rest of the pork belly and repeat. Remove the pork and set aside.
If necessary, add a little more oil and then add the shallots. Fry on a medium heat for a few minutes until lightly golden, then add the garlic and lemongrass. Stir fry for another minute or two, then add the palm sugar (or brown sugar), star anise and Chinese five-spice powder along with 200ml/7fl oz water and the fish sauce. Return the pork to the wok.
Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook for around 1.5 hours, or until the pork is tender. Uncover, turn up the heat slightly and cook for a further 10-15 minutes to reduce the sauce.
Serve with steamed jasmine rice, garnished with spring onions and coriander.
To fill spring rolls, shred the meat, discarding any fat, and add some freshly chopped coriander and finely chopped spring onions. Take 2 tablespoons of the mixture and put in the middle of a spring roll wrapper, then shape into a log. Fold the sides over the edges of the filling, then roll up from the bottom so that the filling is entirely enclosed. Heat vegetable in a wok or frying pan to a depth of 2cm/¾in to around 180C, then fry the spring rolls for around 4-5 minutes, turning regularly. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.). Carefully remove and drain on kitchen paper.