Caramelized coconut sugar and fat slowly rendered off give this pork belly a satisfying crunch, making Thai crispy pork salad everything you dreamed it would be. And more.
The rich, melt-in-your-mouth pork belly tastes both salty and sweet with a hit of spice from black pepper. Present your pork belly atop crunchy greens and toasted cashews that have been dressed in chili, lime, maple syrup, and fish sauce.
Looking for another paleo dish with an umami flair and textural symphony that makes your mouth water – before your first bite? Try the Thai Chicken Bowl .
Thai Crispy Pork Salad
For the pork:
- 2 1/2 lb pork belly
- 2 tbsp. coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp. coconut sugar
- ground black pepper
For the salad:
- 1 granny smith apple
- 1 english cucumber
- 1 head napa cabbage
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 c cilantro
- 1/4 c cashews
For the dressing:
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 bird's eye chilis
- 1/2 lime
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. coarse sea salt
- 2 tsp. fish sauce, to taste
- In a shallow dish, marinate pork belly for 4 hours to overnight in coconut aminos, coconut sugar, and several grinds of fresh black pepper.
- About 2 hours before you’re ready to eat, preheat the oven to 350F.
- Pour off marinade and pat pork belly to dry. Transfer it to a high-sided roasting dish, as quite a bit of fat will render out and spatter.
- Roast for about 1 hour. At this point, much of the fat should have rendered off, it should be an appetizing golden brown color, and it should be very tender. If it still feels a little firm, give it another half an hour and check again.
- Meanwhile prepare the salad and dressing.
- For the salad: Cut apple into neat matchsticks. Peel cucumber, halve lengthwise and slice. Slice cabbage and white part of the lemon grass finely. Quarter cherry tomatoes. Mince the cilantro. Toast cashews and crush lightly. Add all to a large bowl.
- For the dressing: Peel and chop garlic. Remove seeds from chilis and chop. Be sure to wear gloves when handling hot chile peppers! Juice the lime. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and toss well.
- Slice cooked pork belly into 1 inch chunks and serve hot atop dressed salad.