Monday, April 18, 2011

Braised pork belly with daikon

This is a dish that my mum cooks a lot. My mum told me that she learnt to cook this dish from my grandfather. My mum comes from a family of nine children and I imagine that this would be a very economical dish to cook for a big family as it uses few ingredients and is simple to cook. I only had to buy pork belly and daikon from the shops and all the other ingredients were in my cupboard and fridge.

The pork has a lovely flavour of soy sauce balanced by the sweetness of the daikon. The pieces of pork belly are wonderfully tender after hours of braising with the enzymes contained in the daikon helping to tenderise the pork as it cooks making it almost melt in your mouth. I also love the juices that are released from the daikon which provides a delicious sauce to spoon over rice.

Equal quantities of pork belly, chopped into cubes and daikon, cut into 4cm chunks (I got approximately 1.5 kg of each)
Peanut oil
4-5 slices of ginger
2-3 shallots, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed 
5 small red chillies, sliced open with some of the seeds taken out
1 ½ tablespoon caster sugar
2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 ½ teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1-2 teaspoon oyster sauce

Par-boil the pork cubes and rinse with cold water.

Heat peanut oil in wok. Add in half of the ginger, garlic, shallots and chillies, and fry for a bit until fragrant. Then add in the pork cubes and fry for a few minutes until the pork pieces are slightly brown. Transfer the pork to a 4 litre heavy based pot. 

Heat peanut oil in wok. Add in the rest of the ginger, garlic, shallots and chillies, and fry for a bit until fragrant. Then add in the daikon and fry for a few minutes until slightly brown. Add the daikon to the pot with the pork belly.

Over a low heat, add 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar into the wok and 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce. Once the sugar has melted and the mixture starts bubbling, add in 1 cup of the water (I used the water that the pork was parboiled in). When the soy sauce mixture starts to boil, turn off the heat and add into the pot with the pork and daikon. 

(soy sauce mixture morphing into some alien embryo?)

Bring the pot to boil and then simmer on low heat for around 2 hours, stirring occasionally and mix everything together. As the daikon cooks it will release its juices into the pot so you don't need to add any more water.


After 2 hours season with some salt, pepper, fish sauce and oyster sauce to taste. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Serve with rice.

Here are some of my other pork recipes:


  1. Blast - your website ate my comment!
    much like i want to eat pork belly. I feel embarrassed by my minimal pork indulgence of late, particulary as you inundate my visual tastebuds - however I am curing pancetta this weekend from pork belly. I like how the pork starts out colourless and then the fattiness absorbs all the deliciously salty sweetness.

  2. Sorry! I don't know how that happened, your comment was probably too delicious :)

    It's the international pork festival this month so I have been cooking a lot more pork lately so that I can share some of my favourite pork recipes. You need to get more pork on your fork!

    I hope you do a blog post about curing pancetta. I've never cured anything.

  3. We were going to celebrate Easter by putting a pig on a spit but i think i will just roast some pork belly and duck.

    Thats a brilliant idea! people can see my lame attempt at charcuterie. I would have thought that your Mondo meat adventures would have you curing and sausage making!

  4. I definitely want to do some curing and sausage making after the Mondo class, haven't gotten around to it yet! Have a list of things I want to try cooking, slowing getting through it all...

    You could document your charcuterie attempt like your eggcellent adventure. It would be an interesting post to read :)

  5. Love this braised pork belly dish. Simple but full of yumminess.