Belly of pork with chilli jam and wing beans

For a splendid Southeast Asian meal, stylishly served on banana leaf squares, try Ian Pengelley's rich pork dish
By Ian Pengelley
Belly of pork with chilli jam and wing beans
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 2.75 hours 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 1.5 kg pork belly
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, crushed
  • 100 g galangal, sliced
  • 3 lime leaves
  • pork fat pork fat, or vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
  • 6 wing beans
  • 4 tbsp coconut milk, or coconut cream
  • mint leaves
  • coriander leaves
  • 2 large red chillies, de-seeded, slightly crushed
  • sliced garlic, deep-fried

For the chilli jam:

  • 200 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 kg red onions, thinly sliced
  • 350 g clove garlic, oughly chopped
  • 200 g large dried chillies
  • 50 g galangal, sliced and oven-dried
  • 30 g dried shrimps
  • palm sugar, to taste
  • tamarind pulp, to taste
  • fish sauce, to taste

To serve:

  • 1 banana leaf, cut into 6 even-sized squares (optional)
  • 6 dabs of coconut cream, to serve
  • shredded fresh coconut

Tips and Suggestions

This recipe makes a large amount of chilli jam. Store the excess chilli jam in an airtight container and use it in cooking or as a relish.

Banana leaves can be found in Chinese or Thai food shops.

Wing beans are very unique-looking Chinese beans. They make a real visual addition to a recipe. However, if wing beans prove impossible to find, then green beans or sugar snaps can be used instead.


1. First make the chilli jam. Heat the oil in a wok.

2. Add in the red onion and fry for 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.

3. Add the garlic to the wok and deep-fry until just golden. Remove with a slotted spoon.

4. Add in the dried chilli and fry briefly, around 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon.

5. Place the deep-fried onion, garlic and chilli in a food processor. Add in the galangal and dried shrimps and blend until finely chopped.

6. Place the chilli mixture in a heavy-based, wide-bottomed saucepan and cook gently over a low heat for 2-3 minutes.

7. Season to taste with the palm sugar, tamarind and fish sauce, cooking gently and tasting constantly until the chilli jam is balanced between sweet, sour and salt, taking care not to over-caramelise it.

8. Remove from direct heat, cool and store in an air-tight container.

9. To cook the pork belly, place the pork belly in a large saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil. Drain and rinse in cold water.

10. Refill the pan with cold water and add in the drained pork belly, lemon grass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours until the pork is tender.

11. Drain the pork, cool and remove its bones. Chop into 1cm thick pieces.

12. Heat the pork fat in a wok, add in the pork belly pieces and stir-fry until brown and crispy.

13. Add in the wing beans, reduce the heat and stir-fry until just tender, around 2-3 minutes.

14. Mix in 2 tablespoons of the chilli jam and the coconut milk or cream. Stir fry until the pork is evenly coated and the sauce reduced to a thick consistency.

15. Place the cooked pork in a serving bowl with the coriander, mint, chillies and deep-fried garlic and gently fold together.

16. Place the banana leaf squares on 6 serving plates and top each square with a dab of coconut cream and the toasted coconut. Serve the pork with the banana leaf plates at once.

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