How to make pork belly with lemongrass and kumquat shake

By Bui Thuy   May 22, 2024 | 06:03 pm PT
Soaked in a spicy and sour sauce, this pork belly is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and is a great snack to enjoy in the early summer weather.

This recipe serves four to five people, provides 2,265 calories in total and can be prepared in roughly an hour.


- 600 gr pork belly

- 8 kumquats

- 4 stalks of lemongrass

- 4 cloves of garlic

- 4 lime leaves

- Horn chili, spicy chili (optional)

- Seasonings: Fish sauce, salt, sugar, chili sauce (optional)


Select and prepare the pork belly:

Fermented pork belly with lemongrass and kumquat

- Choose pork belly with interlaced lean and fat layers, naturally fresh pink color. Fresh meat feels springy when pressed with a finger.

- Clean the pork belly by scraping, rubbing it with lime and coarse salt to eliminate odors, then rinse. You can keep a big piece or cut into slices for convenience when frying.

Parboil the meat

- Boil a pot of water, add a small piece of ginger, dried onions, and crushed lemongrass stalks, season with a bit of spices then add the pork belly to simmer on low heat.

Fermented pork belly with lemongrass and kumquat - 1

- Parboiling with hot water helps the meat fibers tighten, retaining nutrients and making the meat juicier. When the meat is 60 - 65% cooked, remove and let it cool. Use a bamboo skewer or a sharp fork to thoroughly prick the skin then rub a bit of coarse salt and lime to make the skin puff up and become crispy when fried or grilled.

Roast the meat

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- You can fry the meat using oil or use an air fryer, an oven also works. If frying, add some flour then heat the oil, add the pork belly to fry until all sides are crispy. If using an oven, pay attention to adjusting the temperature and place the skin side up to evenly crisp all sides. Remove the meat and let it cool slightly then cut it into bite-sized pieces.

- Use a sharp knife to slightly slant and score the skin or use a tool to prick/pierce the skin obliquely to create air gaps like when baking bread, helping the skin to grill evenly and become crispy. Be careful not to cut too deep into the fat layer as when it meets high temperatures, the fat melts reducing the heat, causing the dish to become tough and not crispy.

Prepare the lemongrass and kumquat mixture

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- Slice the kumquats removing the seeds to avoid bitterness.

- Clean the lemongrass stalks, thinly slice the lower part. Mince the garlic. Remove seeds from the horn chili and spicy chili, mince them. Choose fresh kaffir lime leaves, wash and dry them, then thinly slice them.

- Mix a sweet and salty sauce consisting of fish sauce, chili sauce, and sugar in a 1:1:2 ratio, stir well until the mixture dissolves. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your preference. In the summer, to keep the dish for longer, you can precook this sauce mixture until it thickens, add a bit of vinegar, and use it for various salad dishes as well. Finally, add minced garlic and chili, stir well.

- Adjust the sour, spicy, salty, and sweet seasonings according to taste. Optionally, add a bit of chili powder to create an attractive color for the dish (optional).

Shake the pork belly with lemongrass and kumquat

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- Place the pork belly, lemongrass, and the sweet and salty sauce mixture into a bowl/container with a lid and shake well, then add the kumquats afterwards and continue to shake for a few minutes to infuse the flavors. Serve the dish on a plate, sprinkle with thinly sliced kaffir lime leaves to finish.

Final product requirements

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The pork belly should be crispy on the outside, tender and aromatic on the inside, absorbing a well-balanced mix of sour, spicy, salty, and sweet flavors, with a prominent taste and aroma of lemongrass and kumquat. This dish is suitable to casually enjoy with friends in the early summer weather.

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