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Char sui
1kg of pork neck
4 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of salt
1 teaspoon of five spice powder
25ml of Chinese red food colouring
100ml of honey mixed with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil

Palm sugar, lime and sambal chilli dressing
100 grams of brown onions finely diced
30ml of grape seed oil
1 heaped teaspoon of sambal chilli (you may want to use less and re-adjust the intencity of the heat later on)
100 grams of palm sugar
30ml of fish sauce
90ml of fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon of oyster sauce
100ml of xiao xing rice wine
2 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger
2 teaspoons of crushed garlic
Half teaspoon of Belcan shrimp paste (warmed in the oven for 3 minutes)

To assemble the salad
360 grams of Char Sui either from Emperor’s Garden or BBQ King in Sydney or ask your local Chinese restaurant (or recipe above if you wish to make it yourself)
1 x punnet of Popcorn Shoots
100ml Palm sugar, lime & Sambal Chilli dressing
1 x Iceberg lettuce
1 x heirloom tomato
Half a Spanish onion (peeled & cored)
Sesame oil

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.


Char sui

Cut the pork neck lengthways into 3 pieces.

In a medium size bowl mix the sugar, salt, five spice powder together until well mixed and then add the food colouring. (Wear gloves!)

Roll the pork neck into the spice mix until well coated and place the pork in a separate bowl and cover with plastic film and leave in the fridge overnight.

Next day, line a baking tray with foil as this will assist in cleaning the tray later on. Place a cake rack in the tray and then lay the marinated pork on the rack.

Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees C and place the pork in the upper half of the oven for 20 minutes, then remove tray from the oven and baste with the honey and sesame oil mix, and then turn the pork over to the other side & baste again. Place back in the oven for another 25 minutes. Remove and baste again and allow to cool and rest.

Palm sugar, lime and sambal chilli dressing

In a 2 litre size pot sauté the onions and the grapeseed oil for 30 seconds over high heat, then add the garlic and ginger and stir for another 30 seconds or until the flavour has been released

Add the rice wine, Belcan and the palm sugar and allow the palm sugar to dissolve and the rice wine to reduce by half

Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.

The flavours should hit all the high notes that your palate can register, sweet, sour, hot & a little salty. Adjust where necessary, where you may need to add a little more lime juice, sambal chilli or palm sugar to get the right balance.

To assemble the salad

Slice the char sui across the grain of the meat in thin slices or depending how thick you like it.

Cut the Spanish onion into wedges and roast in a hot oven for 8 minutes or until slightly coloured on the edges, then remove from the oven.

Wash the iceberg lettuce and drain well, discard the outer limp leaves. Cut the lettuce in half, you will only need to use less than half of the lettuce. Cut the half into 6 wedges. Place 1 wedge on each plate a little off centre. Place two slices of the heirloom tomato in the centre of the plate.

Heat the palm sugar, lime and sambal chilli dressing, take off the heat and place the char sui in the dressing for 30 seconds. Scoop the char sui out into a bowl and toss with the popcorn shoots, roasted Spanish onions and 2 drops of sesame oil. Place the char sui and popcorn shoot mix on top of the tomatoes and some of the iceberg wedge and drizzle the warm dressing over the salad. Garnish with a few more popcorn shoots.