Peter Kuruvita shares one of his most popular dishes at Flying Fish. Together with the crunchy pork crackling, seared tuna and black pepper caramel, this dish is a beautiful mix of cultures, flavours and textures.






Skill level

Average: 4.3 (3 votes)


  • 400 g piece pork belly, skin on, bones removed
  • salt
  • 400 g sashimi-grade tuna loin
  • ¾ cup (95 g) chilli salt
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 ruby red grapefruit, segmented
  • 1½ cups (375 ml) black pepper caramel
  • baby shiso leaves, to garnish


Chilli salt (makes ¾ cup/95 g)

  • 1 cup (15 g) large dried red chillies
  • ⅔ cup (25 g) fried shallots
  • 1½ tbsp (15 g) fried garlic
  • 2½ tbsp (20 g) salt flakes
  • 5 tsp (20 g) caster sugar


Black pepper caramel (makes 1½ cups/375 ml)

  • 600 g palm sugar
  • 3 eshallots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) fish sauce
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper

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.


Drink match Lark Hill Gruner Veltliner 2011, Canberra, ACT

 "This is a fascinating and complex dish with lots of subtly competing, but complementary, flavours, and a delicate balance of key ingredients: tuna, pork, chilli, citrus, black pepper and caramel. It needs a white wine with spice at its core to help accent different parts of the dish. Couple that with some clear, crystalline fruit to pierce the complex flavours and provide refreshment. Finally, the wine needs a little bit of weight to stand up to the richness of the dish. You could find a great pinot gris to do the job, but, even more interesting, is the white pepper-infused Austrian variety, Gruner Veltliner, which has popped up in a couple of Aussie vineyards in recent years." - Dan Coward

Steam the pork belly in a bamboo steamer, covered, over a wok of boiling water for 45 minutes. Remove and while the belly is still hot, lightly score the skin at 1 cm intervals using a sharp knife. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, rub salt into the score marks. Place the belly on foil, folding the sides up to the skin, leaving the skin uncovered.

Place into a deep tray. Add water until the belly is half submerged. Roast for 30–40 minutes at 240°C (fan-forced), or until the skin is crisp and crackling.

Once cooked, cut the crackling away from the belly and scrap off any remaining fat. Cut into strips and set aside. Slice the belly into 1cm slices and keep warm until ready to use.

To make the chilli salt, place the chillies in a single layer on a baking tray lined with baking paper in a 160°C (fan-forced) oven for 3–5 minutes until the chillies are hot to the touch and fragrant. Once cool enough to handle, but still pliable, cut each one open lengthwise with scissors and carefully scrape out the seeds and the veins.

Place the chillies, shallots, garlic and salt in a food processor and puree until fine and well combined. Stir in the sugar. (Chilli salt can be made 1 week ahead and stored in the pantry in an airtight container.)

Coat the tuna loin in chilli salt and sear evenly all over in a lightly oiled hot pan. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool. Slice into 1 cm-thick pieces.

To make the black pepper caramel, heat the palm sugar and 1 tablespoon of water in a medium saucepan over a moderately high heat until the sugar dissolves and caramelises. Add the shallots and garlic. Stir in the vinegar and fish sauce, then the pepper. (This can be prepared 2 days ahead and refrigerated in a covered container.)

To serve, assemble layers of pork belly, grapefruit and tuna. Drizzle with black pepper caramel. Garnish with the shiso leaves and pork crackling.


• Fried shallots and fried garlic are available from Asian food stores.
• Fresh shiso leaves are available from selected Asian food stores. If unavailable, substitute with flat-leaf parsley.