with Prik Nahm Pla

Alex and Emily's Crispy Pork Belly Curry

Prep time: 45 mins
Cook time: 2½ hours
Serves: 6


4 tbs cornflour

1 tsp ground Sichuan pepper

1 tsp salt

2-3 tbs vegetable oil

2 fresh kaffir lime leaves

3 tbs fish sauce

2 tbs grated palm sugar

300g green beans, blanched

Steamed rice and bean sprouts, to serve

Braised Pork

1L (4 cups) chicken stock

50ml dark soy sauce

1 cassia or cinnamon stick

2 star anise

2 cardamom pods, bruised 

1kg skinless, boneless pork belly 

Red Curry Paste

8 large dried red chillies, soaked in warm water, drained, seeded

4 large red chillies, chopped

2 stalks lemongrass (pale part only), chopped

5 shallots, 2 roasted, the rest chopped

2 heads garlic, peeled

½ bunch coriander stems and roots (leaves reserved for garnish)

2 kaffir limes, zested

1½ tbs shrimp paste 

6 white peppercorns

1½ tbs coriander seeds

1 tbsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp whole cloves

2 tbs vegetable oil

Prik Nahm Pla

3 small red Thai chillies, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

125ml lime juice

2 tsp brown sugar or grated palm sugar

5 tbs fish sauce


1. To make curry paste, process chillies, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, coriander stems and root, lime zest and shrimp paste to form a fine paste.

2. Dry fry peppercorns, coriander and cumin seeds, nutmeg and cloves until fragrant. Cool then grind with a pestle and mortar to form a fine powder. Add to the paste with a large pinch of salt. Process to combine. 

3. Preheat oven to 200C. 

4. To braise pork, place all ingredients in a casserole dish and bring to the boil. Transfer to the oven.

5. Braise for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 160C. Braise for a further 2 hours or until tender. Cool completely in liquid. Drain and discard liquid. Thinly slice pork.

6. Meanwhile, to make prik nahm pla, whisk all ingredients in a bowl until sugar dissolves. Set aside.

7. To finish cooking pork, combine cornflour, sichuan pepper and salt in a bowl. 

Place sliced pork belly in a large bowl and sprinkle over cornflour mixture. Toss to combine. 

Deep fry pork in small batches for 3 minutes until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towel. 

8. Heat oil in a large deep frying pan over high heat. 

9. Crush the lime leaves in your hand, add them to the pan and fry for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add fish sauce and cook for 1 minute. Add palm sugar and stir to combine. Add half of the curry paste and cook stirring, for 3 minutes or until very soft and aromatic. Add pork and cook, stirring, until well coated. Stir in beans. 

10. Serve crispy pork belly red curry with rice and prik nahm pla. Garnish with coriander and beansprouts.