300 gram piece pork belly, skin on
1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon five spice powder
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
oil to make a thick paste
1 firm but ripe mango, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons mint, chopped
crispy fried shallots for garnish
1 long mild red chilli, very finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1-2 teaspoons sugar or to taste
Pork: Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Score the pork skin with a sharp knife at 2cm intervals. Your butcher will do this for you if asked. Toast and grind the two peppers separately and combine with the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Add just enough oil to make a thick paste.
Rub the paste into the flesh side of the pork, then place it skin side up, on a lined baking tray. Sprinkle the skin with salt and roast in the oven for approximately 40 minutes or until tender and cooked through.
Remove the pork from the oven and set aside to cool. Use a sharp knife to cut into thin slices.
Salad: Combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl and taste. Add more sugar or lime juice as needed. Add the mango and mint and stir together.
To serve: Cover a platter or serving dish with a layer of rock salt. Lie Chinese spoons on top, making sure the spoon part is lying flat. Fill each spoon with slices of pork, top with mango salad and
garnish with fried shallots. Makes about 30 spoons depending on their size
To toast and grind spices: Heat a small dry pan over a medium heat. Add the spice and toss until fragrant and just starting to darken in colour. Be very careful not to burn as this will make
them bitter. Toast one spice at a time rather than combining, as each spice will take a different time to toast. Tip out onto a plate and allow to cool. Grind in a mortar and pestle or a
small coffee grinder, reserved for the purpose.
Szechuan Pepper: the dried berry of a prickly ash tree, Szechuan pepper is a mildly hot spice with a distinctive
flavour and a slightly numbing effect in the mouth if used in large quantities. Available from Asian food stores