Lemongrass and Garlic Roasted Pork Belly

, from Issue #38. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Lemongrass and Garlic Roasted Pork Belly

This dish needs to be started 24 hours ahead.

Serves: 6–8


1 kilogram piece boneless pork belly, skin on (we use Freedom Farms pork)
vegetable oil
sea salt

1 large stalk of lemongrass
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Prick the skin of the pork belly all over with the tip of a sharp knife. Place skin side up on a plate in the fridge and cover loosely with paper towels. Leave for 24 hours for the skin to dry out.

Preheat the oven to 220˚C.

Paste: Peel the tough outer layers from the lemongrass and grate the tender inner core on a fine microplane grater. 

Place in a mortar with the ginger and garlic and pound to a paste. Stir in the oil. This can also be done in a small food processor.

Pork: Lightly score the flesh side of the pork, rub in the paste and season with sea salt. Make a basket of aluminium foil in a baking dish, slightly larger than the piece of pork and place the pork in it, skin-side up. Pour enough water into the basket to come halfway up the flesh. Do not pour the water over the skin. Brush the skin with oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt.

Roast for 30 minutes then reduce the heat to 175˚C and roast for another 30-40 minutes or until the pork is very tender, adding more water to the pan as needed. Don’t let the liquids evaporate as this keeps the pork meat very tender.

If, at the end of the cooking time, the skin hasn’t crackled, place under a hot grill for a few minutes, taking care it doesn’t catch and burn.

To serve: Cut the pork into large bite-sized pieces and place on a platter. Serve with the fresh pineapple sambal and the soy and lime dipping sauce. Serves 6-8 as part of a shared meal.