The savoury taste of Chinese five-spice goes surprisingly well with the sweetness of caramel. Coupled with succulent pork belly, this dish makes an excellent main course for gatherings.
- 2 kg boned pork belly, rind removed
- 8 cups water
- 250 ml coconut water
- 250 ml water, extra
- 180 ml fish sauce
- 110 g firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 tsps five-spice powder
- 16 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 6 eggs
- 6 fresh small thai red (serrano) chillies
- ¼ fresh coriander sprigs
- 220 g caster sugar
- 125 ml water
Cut pork into 4-cm (1½-inch) pieces.
Place pork and the water in a large saucepan, bring to the boil over medium heat. Boil 5 mins, skimming impurities from the surface; drain.
To make caramel; combine sugar and the water in a small saucepan; stir over high heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Boil, uncovered, without stirring, until a deep golden caramel.
Place pork in a 4.5-litre (18-cup) slow cooker with caramel, coconut water, the extra water, sauce, sugar, five spice and unpeeled garlic cloves. Cook, covered, on low, for 6 hours.
Meanwhile, place eggs in a medium saucepan; cover with cold water. Bring to the boil; boil eggs 6 mins or until hard-boiled. Transfer to a bowl of cold water and cool slightly before peeling.
Add eggs and chillies to cooker. Cook, uncovered, on high, for 30 mins; skim fat from surface. Sprinkle with coriander before serving.
Recipe & Photo: The Australian Women’s Weekly/BauerSyndication.com.au