Life’s a Feast: Asian pulled pork salad


This mouthwatering salad combines the nourishing with the not so nourishing. It contains pieces of succulent, sticky pork belly, which is dispersed through a crispy, healthy salad. Pork belly is a truly magnificent dish to serve up at a dinner party or dressed down to serve at a BBQ. In this recipe I poach the pork belly in what is known as ‘masterstock’. Masterstock is a flavoursome Chinese brazing liquid, used for poaching meat and creating a multitude of flavours throughout. And the best thing, you can freeze the leftover masterstock and use again for another meal. Both husband and kids maintain this is some of the best pork they have ever eaten. Enjoy!


500g pork belly cut into slices

Poaching liquid - masterstock:
1.5l water
100ml mirin
100ml sake or Chinese cooking wine
150ml soy sauce
2 star anise
2-3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
1 thumb size of ginger, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
Zest of 1/4 orange
1 good handful of watercress
1 good handful rocket
1 good handful of lettuce
1 good handful snow pea shoots
1/2-1 fennel finely sliced
2 spring onions finely sliced
1 apple finely sliced into matchsticks
1 radish thinly sliced

Dressing (optional):
1 tablespoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon wholegrain mustard


1. Put masterstock ingredients into a pot along with the pork belly and bring to the boil. Turn down and gently simmer with the lid for 2 or so hours.

2. Place salad ingredients into a bowl and combine. Combine dressing ingredients and set aside. Leave a little radish, spring onion and fennel aside to garnish.

3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Once the pork belly has simmered for 2 hours, take out of poaching liquid and dry. Pull away from the skin, then pull apart with a fork into bite-sized pieces.

4. Strain the remaining liquid through a sieve. Take 1.5 cups and pour into a pot. Bring to a rapid boil and reduce until it’s a sticky sauce. It takes a good 10 mins but keep a constant eye on it.

5. Meanwhile place the pork onto an oven tray and cook for approximately 10 mins until the pork crisps a little but doesn’t dry out.

6. Take out of oven and combine with reduced sauce.

7. Divide the salad first, and then the pork, across the two bowls. Garnish with set-aside radish, fennel and spring onion, drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

This recipe was inspired by The Akaroa Cooking School which I recently attended. If you are ever in Christchurch it’s well worth a trip over the hill for a day to visit this superbly-run school by gorgeous couple Ant and Lou Bentley.