• Vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
  • Frozen bao buns (see note), thawed, to serve
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, shaved lengthways on a mandolin
  • 4 spring onions, cut into 10cm lengths
  • Micro tatsoi, to serve
  • Hoisin sauce, to serve
Lechon kawali pork belly
  • 1 kg boneless pork belly, skin on
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved horizontally
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 125 ml (½ cup) soy sauce
Pickled radish (atcharang labanos)
  • 8 baby heirloom radishes, thinly sliced
  • 180 ml ¾ cup) rice wine vinegar
  • 55 grams (¼ cup) caster sugar


  • For pork, place skin-side down in a large saucepan with a lid and cover with water. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Place over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover with a cartouche and lid and cook until tender (1 hour). Remove pork from braising liquid and drain, pat dry with paper towel. Place pork skin-side down on a tray lined with baking paper. Place another sheet of baking paper on top, followed by another tray and a heavy weight; refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 160˚C. Sprinkle pork skin with fine cooking salt. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat with 5mm oil. Add pork, skin-side down, and cook, weighing down with another frying pan until skin is golden and crisp (3-5 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, for pickled radish, place radishes in a large bowl and scatter with 2 tbsp sea salt flakes; toss to combine and stand 30 minutes. Place vinegar, sugar, 125ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook stirring until sugar dissolves (5 minutes). Set aside to cool to room temperature. Pour over radishes and refrigerate.
  • Place pork, skin-side up, on an oven tray and cook in oven until heated through (15 minutes). Cut pork into 1cm thick slices and season to taste.
  • Place buns, in batches if necessary, in a large steamer and set over a wok of boiling water. Cover and steam until cooked through (8 minutes).
  • To assemble, place a slice of pork in a bun and layer with cucumber, pickles, spring onions and place on a platter, then scatter with micro tatsoi. To serve, drizzle with hoisin.

Notes: Frozen bao buns are available from select supermarkets and Asian grocers.

To view this recipie and more please visit Gourmet Traveller

November 09, 2023 — Flaxfield Linen

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