Sticky pork belly with green papaya salad & chilli lime dressing

Contains pork – recipe is for non-Muslims only
Try this exotic salad of julienned papaya and carrots, topped with roast pork and drizzled with a sweet and sticky sauce

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:1 hrs 30 mins
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 571
  • fat 27g
  • saturates 9g
  • carbs 48g
  • sugars 42g
  • fibre 3g
  • protein 32g
  • salt 3.9g


  • 1kg pork belly, rind removed and chopped into 4cm cubes
  • 200g soft light brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 5 star anise
  • 2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 medium green papaya (about 400g/14oz), peeled, halved and deseeded
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2-3 small red bird's-eye chillies, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 50g green beans, halved lengthways
  • 2 tbsp grated palm sugar or soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • juice of 5 limes
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tbsp roasted peanuts or cashews (see tip, below left), roughly chopped or crushed


Roasting nuts

It is best to buy raw nuts and roast them yourself, rather than buying ready-roasted with loads of salt. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6, then roast for up to 10 mins. 



  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Place the pork in a roasting tin with the sugar, fish sauce, soy, vinegar, star anise, five-spice and 250ml water. Mix well, cover with foil and roast for 30 mins. Remove the foil, then turn up the heat to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Cook for another 45 mins-1 hr, tossing the pork every 15 mins until tender. Remove the pork from the tin and keep warm. Tip the juices into a pan and reduce to a syrupy sauce.

  2. While the pork is cooking, prepare the salad. Using a julienning tool or large box grater, shred the green papaya and set aside.

  3. In a large pestle and mortar, or use the flat end of a rolling pin, pound the garlic and chilli for 1 min or until it is crushed, but still chunky. Add the papaya, carrot, and beans, and gently pound a little more. Add in the palm sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice, and pound again for 1 min. Mix well and taste to make sure it has enough fish sauce and sugar, it should be tangy, sweet and spicy. Add the tomatoes, sprinkle over the nuts and tip onto a serving dish or platter. Top with the warm pork, drizzle over the sauce and serve.

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