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Chinese 5 Spice Pork Belly with Speedy Pickled Cucumber

Soo good it will change your life

30 Jan 2016 1 hour 10 mins 4


I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this is one of my Top 5 recipes of all time: sweet and sticky Chinese 5 Spice pork belly, served with rice and a cucumber pickle that cuts right through the richness of the meat. I’m warning you, it’s seriously addictive.


1kg piece pork belly (skin removed)
3 tablespoons Chinese 5 spice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
7 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons sherry or Marsala wine

Speedy cucumber pickle
1 large cucumber
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
3-4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

To serve
cooked rice

large sauté pan with lid

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes



Pork: Cut the pork belly into 4cm cubes. If the pork belly has skin on it, slice it off using a very sharp knife, or ask your butcher to do this, making sure they don’t cut away the meat or fat.
Place the pork in a large bowl, sprinkle over the Chinese 5 spice and a good pinch of salt and toss until the pork is well coated.
Sauce: In a separate bowl, whisk all the sauce ingredients together.
To cook: Heat the oil in the sauté pan on a medium-high heat. Gently place the pork in the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes, tossing occasionally until golden and crispy on all sides.
Add the sauce to the pan, bring to a boil then turn down to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes remove the lid and increase the heat until the sauce is sizzling. Cook, stirring continuously, until the sauce has reduced and is dark and sticky.

Pickle: Using a potato or speed peeler, peel ribbons of cucumber into a bowl. Season with a pinch of salt, sprinkle over the dried chilli flakes, pour over the vinegar and toss to combine. When you’re ready to serve, drain the liquid and place in a serving bowl.

To serve: Divide the cooked rice between four bowls. Top with sticky pork and serve the cucumber pickle on the side.