Oh my you’ll be happy with this Crisp Pork belly, Grilled peach Salad and Nuoc Cham. I think you are going to like this one
This is the perfect summer Barbecue dish. That’s because all the heat is happening outside and all that is happening inside is the salad, well that is unless you have a fussy eater who wants rice too.
I have a friend in Bali at the moment and it is the first time she has been to any part of Asia. Its all about the smells and the people and the traffic and yes, so much about the food. I think she is on sensory overload right now. I first went to Bali when I was 19. There were a lot of firsts for me there. One of them was Babi Guling. This is a Balinese specialty Roast Pork with a complex mixture of spices. It is cooked inside and out with an intense mix of turmeric, lemongrass, garlic, chilli, ginger, coriander, pepper and shallots amongst other things. The meat is delicate and tender as it is very young piglets and the skin cracks in almost glass like shards.
Another first for me in Bali was a boyfriend and he took me to a village out past Ubud to meet his family. I had no idea I was being auditioned for a spot as the bride, but apparently that is what was happening.Wayan and I were just friends (or so I thought) and I was an intrepid traveler who liked to get close to the local culture. I thought it was an amazing opportunity to see another side of Bali.
On the afternoon of the day we arrived, Wayan said that his Mother and Sister had asked me to accompany them to the pool at the temple. Balinese bathe twice a day and they were being very polite offering to take me to a special place at the temple to share the evening bath. Balinese are very shy and taking a Westerner along to the evening bath time was a big deal for them. He told me to wear my Sarong so that I stayed covered up. His family were intensely proud of him because he could speak English and had a job in Kuta. It is quite a status symbol to be able to have a foreigner visit your home in Bali. Every one lives in very close proximity to each other and there aren’t many secrets. So off I went to the temple, and when I got to the gateway there was big sign discouraging impure and menstruating women inside. What?. There I was at the temple gateway with two women who could not speak a word of English. Two women I did not know and who were already nervous about the Westerner, but they smiled as they passed others they knew. People exchanged little quips and they put their arms around my waist in a friendly gesture to demonstrate that they not only knew a Westerner but were actually quite good friends with one as well!
Meanwhile I was running through all of the possibilities in my mind. How on earth was I going to point at that sign and say…what you mean I can’t come in and have a bath?. But I didn’t. I figured that these were not my rules or demons and as long as their wasn’t some kind of Neptune Devil springing from beneath the temple water then things would be better if I shut up. In Bali menstruating women or women within 3 months of child birth are considered to be impure and may not enter temples or participate in any religious activity. We bathed and returned to the compound with no-one being the wiser. I wasn’t struck down and nothing happened but that certainly didn’t make me feel any better.
Wayan was upset when I returned to partying with my friends back in Kuta the next day. And, just so you know he did propose. We had known each other for 1 and 1/2 weeks. Clearly I was more irresistible when I was younger.
My barbecued Pork is not quite a Bali suckling pig, it has very little in the way of spices but it does have the lovely spicy salad to go with it. You will need a barbecue with a lid or alternatively cook it in the oven. I don’t usually like fruit in savoury dishes but peaches are a great flavour when grilled and added to this salad. They cut through the rich tasting meat and give a little sweet acidity that works with the chilli. If you don’t have peaches you could use grilled pineapple.
- 1 kg Pork Belly without bone
- 1 Tablespoon salt course sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or another oil of your choice)
- 250 ml boiling water (1 Aust cup)
- 3 in peaches cut1/2 and deseeded
- 1 cup coriander leaves picked
- 1 cup mint leaves picked
- 2 cups snow peas cut in thin strips
- 1 whole Lebanese Cucumber sliced
- 50 gm red onion sliced fine finely sliced red onion or shallots
- 25 gm fried shallots (you can buy these at an Asian grocery store)
- 1 whole chilli sliced
- 125 ml lemon Juice (1/2 Aust cup)
- 30 gm Palm sugar (2 Tablespoons)
- 20 ml boiling water (1 Tablespoon)
- 20 ml light soy (1 Tablespoon)
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 3 Tablespoons coriander roots and stems (or whats left from the picked coriander)
- 20 ml fish sauce (1 Tablespoon)
We used the leftover to slice finely and mix into stir fried rice noodles and to also make crispy pork belly omelette with oyster sauce and coriander