This is a great way to use up leftover pork – and you can vary the salad ingredients to suit whatever is in season.






Skill level

Average: 4.8 (3 votes)

What I love about a dish like this is that while we use the hero parts of the vegetables in the salad, all the leftovers can go into the dressing. It's also great way to turn leftover pork and rice into a new meal. 



  • reserved pork cooking juices (or use stock)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass
  • knob of ginger or galangal, roughly chopped (see Note)
  • 3 tbsp coconut cream
  • 50 g tamarind paste
  • 1½ tsp fish sauce
  • juice of ½ lime


  • ½ bunch mint
  • ½ bunch Thai basil
  • ½ bunch Vietnamese mint
  • 150 g leftover cooked pork belly
  • 2 rambutan, peeled, seeded and sliced into quarters
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 300 g green papaya, thinly sliced
  • 3 makrut lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 banana blossom
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 L water
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 1½ tsp fish sauce

To serve

  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • fried pork skin, fried shallots, toasted coconut, fried garlic and/or sesame seeds, optional
  • wedge of lime

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.


For the dressing: Add some of the reserved pork juices to a hot pan over medium heat with a dash of soy and fish sauce. Chop the thick end of the lemon grass and grind in a mortar and pestle with galangal; reserve the remaining lemon grass for the salad. Add palm sugar to the sauce with the ground lemon grass and galangal. Add coconut cream to the sauce with tamarind, fish sauce and lime juice. 

Meanwhile, for the salad: place fresh herbs, thinly sliced lemon grass (remaining ends from the sauce), rambutan, thinly sliced shallots, green papaya, makrut lime leaves and red chili in a bowl.  

Add a squeeze of lemon to a bowl of water. Peel the hard leaves off the banana blossom and discard, until you reach the white leaves in the centre.  Use a sharp knife to quickly shred the blossom and immediately place into the lemon water to prevent it from browning and to help remove some of the bitterness.

To serve, divide the rice between two bowls. . Cut the pork into rough chunks and add to the salad with drained banana blossom. Strain the dressing over the salad and stir through.

Pile the salad on top of the rice and top with fried pork skin, toasted coconut, fried garlic and sesame seeds, if using. Serve with a wedge of lime.



• You can make this using ginger or galangal; if using galangal, use a little less as it can be overpowering.

• Sauces like this are a great way to use up little bits of ginger, and the juice from your chopping board when you chop or grate ginger can go in there too. The sauce in this recipe is a variation on what we do a lot in the restaurant – we turn all the ginger trimmings into a ginger caramel. Boil white sugar until it begins to caramelise, then put the ginger juice off your chopping board and all the ginger scraps in, then add some vinegar and some soy, or some fish sauce.

• I think of recipes as a framework, a guideline – play with this one depending on what scraps you want to use up, and what’s in season.