Apples go marvellously with pork and there are lots of apples in Tasmania! I have used red apples in this Chinese style chilli sauce along with lime juice to help cut through the richness of the pork. This recipe is really quite indulgent; pork belly steamed and deep-fried, but it is balanced with the cabbage and the chilli sauce. Delicious!






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (8 votes)


  • ¼ pork belly, cleaned and boned
  • rice flour
  • oil for deep frying
  • baby coriander and mustard sprouts, to serve


  • 2 red chillies, chopped
  • ½ tsp chopped ginger
  • ½ tsp chopped garlic,
  • 70 g palm sugar, grated 
  • 125 ml Shao Xing rice wine
  • 50 ml soy sauce
  • 50 ml mirin

Chilli sauce

  • 100 ml water 
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 red apple, grated
  • 2 large red chillies
  • ½ tsp chopped garlic
  • 30 ml rice wine vinegar
  • 10 ml lime juice
  • fish sauce, to taste

Sweet and sour cabbage

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • peanut oil
  • ¼ cabbage, shredded
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • ⅔ cup white wine
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: overnight

To make the marinade. Place star anise, chillies, ginger and garlic in a small processor and process until chopped and combined. Place mixture into bowl and stir in other ingredients. Cut the pork belly into 2½ cm thick strips. Marinade pork belly in the mix overnight in the refrigerator.

The following day, steam pork belly for approximately 20 minutes. Allow to cool.

To make the chilli sauce, bring the water to a simmer in a small saucepan, add the sugar and stir until dissolved as you bring it to the boil. Add the grated apple. Blend other ingredients until a paste is formed. Add the mixture into the sugar syrup and simmer for a few minutes to marry the flavours.

To make the sweet and sour cabbage. Sauté onions for 3 minutes in a little peanut oil. Add cabbage and fennel seeds. Simmer for a further 3-5 minutes over medium to high heat. Add white wine and simmer with lid for 35 minutes until the cabbage has softened and some of the white wine has reduced. Season to taste.

Coat each piece of pork with rice flour and deep-fry in batches for 3-4 minutes until light golden and crisp.

Place a portion of the cabbage in the centre of a plate, top with pork, drizzle chilli sauce over the lot. Garnish with the baby coriander and mustard sprouts. Enjoy.