500g rindless pork belly, cut into 5cm-long strips, then 1.5cm-thick chunks
300ml vegetable oil, for deep-frying

For the marinade

2 x 4cm cubes of red fermented bean curd, crushed with a fork
to form a paste
1 small egg
1 tsp caster sugar
½ tsp five-spice powder
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
½ tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp toasted sesame oil
4 tbsp tapioca flour or cornflour

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Red Pork Belly Nuggets


I discovered these little beauties on a visit home to Ipoh. They were so tender and tasty, I vowed to recreate them at home.

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Add the pork belly chunks and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or longer (covered) in the fridge. If you’re chilling the pork, let it come back to room temperature before you fry it.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan. To test if the oil is hot enough, carefully drop a little piece of the belly in the oil and if it sizzles vigorously and floats to the top, the oil is ready. Deep-fry a small batch of the marinated pork belly over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until golden and crispy. Remove with a metal slotted spoon and leave to drain on kitchen paper.

Make sure the oil is hot enough before you start cooking the next batch. Repeat until all the pork is cooked, then serve immediately.

TIP: If you are not eating the nuggets immediately, you can re-fry them in oil or place them in the oven at 180°c/160°c fan/350°f/Gas 4 for 4 minutes.