Oct 17, 2016

Roast Pork Belly Sandwich with Yellow Coconut Curry Sauce & Thai-Inspired Slaw

Prep Time: 6 hrs
Cook Time: 2 hrs
This is a sandwich inspired by Thai flavors and consists of layers of thick slices of crispy roasted pork belly, topped with yellow coconut curry sauce and slaw onto a crisp sandwich roll.

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This is a sandwich inspired by Thai flavors and consists of layers of thick slices of crispy roasted pork belly, topped with yellow coconut curry sauce and slaw onto a crisp sandwich roll. For a lighter fare, skip the sandwich rolls and serve the pork belly, coconut curry sauce and slaw piled onto leaves of butter lettuce for lettuce wraps or as a salad.

Roast Pork Belly Sandwich with Yellow Coconut Curry Sauce & Thai-Inspired Slaw

Cooking Pork Belly

The cooking instructions call for poking holes in your meat before roasting which may sound odd but it helps to tenderize it and keep the meat moist as it cooks. (When you think you have poked enough holes, make a few more just for good measure!)

During the cooking process, the fat from the top will render down through the holes resulting in extremely juicy roast pork belly with a perfect ratio of meat to crispy skin (without too much fat).

Air-drying the pork belly in the refrigerator will also help to add to the crispy skin. Since the pork belly is fairly salty, I refrain from seasoning the curry sauce or slaw with an abundance of salt before tasting them together first.

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Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Pork Belly – Pork belly is the fatty cut of pork from the pig’s belly after the loin and spareribs are removed. Cooking pork belly is definitely more labor intensive than other cuts of meat though the process is worth the extra effort. After it’s roasted the pork sits so the fat coagulates and firms up again before it’s pan-fried and served in the coconut curry sauce. The pork belly can be made a few days ahead of time and cut into pieces and re-seared before serving.
  • Madras curry powder – This versatile earthy spice blend is made from coriander, cumin, fenugreek, cassia, peppercorns, curry leaves and turmeric. Not all curry powder is created the same since they often have regional variations. This can be omitted if needed – it’s used to enhance the flavors of the yellow curry paste.
  • Yellow curry – In this recipe I use yellow curry paste rather than making my own. Yellow curry is typically made from cumin, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, mace and cinnamon. It is typically less spicy than other curries though I add madras curry powder to enhance the flavor.
  • Coconut milk – Coconut comes from the creamy liquid inside mature coconuts. While frequently used in place of dairy, it adds a subtle coconut flavor to the curry.
  • Sandwich rolls – I use a crusty sandwich roll in this recipe so the yellow curry sauce soaks into the bread without becoming soggy.
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How to Make This Roast Pork Belly Sandwich

  1. Score and dry brine the pork belly. Place the pork belly fat-side up in a 3-quart roasting dish. Use a metal skewer or paring knife to score holes all over the pork belly. In a small mixing bowl stir together the salt and sugar until combined. Rub the mixture all over the meat then refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.
  2. Roast the pork belly. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Pour out any excess liquid that has accumulated at the bottom of the baking dish. Roast the pork belly until cooked through. Turn the oven temperature up continue to roast until the pork skin gets crispy and bubbly. Remove the pork belly from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Slice into cubes and set aside.
  3. Make the yellow coconut curry. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and opaque. Add the curry powder and curry paste and stir until fragrant. Stir in the coconut milk then simmer the sauce until thickened.
  4. Make the Thai-Inspired slaw. Toss all ingredients for the slaw together in a medium mixing bowl. Set the slaw aside until ready to use.
  5. Serve. Re-heat the roasted pork belly in a nonstick skillet over medium heat if needed. Slice the rolls in half lengthwise without cutting all the way through. Layer pork belly and slaw inside the split rolls. Top with the coconut curry sauce.
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Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

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FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What if I can’t find yellow curry paste?

If you can’t find yellow curry paste I’d recommend substituting with green curry paste or red curry paste instead. The flavor profile will be slightly different but it will still be delicious!

How else can I serve this?

Skip the bread and try serving the pork belly in the yellow curry sauce over rice.

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Roast Pork Belly Sandwich with Yellow Coconut Curry Sauce & Thai-Inspired Slaw

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Prep Time 6 hrs
Cook Time 2 hrs
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the roast pork belly:

  • 1 (3-pound) slab boneless, skinless pork belly
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

For the yellow coconut curry sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon madras curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry paste
  • ½ cup coconut milk

For the Thai-inspired slaw:

  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

For serving:

  • 4 sandwich rolls

Instructions:

For the roast pork belly:

  • Place the pork belly fat-side up in a 3-quart roasting dish. Use a metal skewer or paring knife to score holes all over the pork belly. In a small mixing bowl stir together the salt and sugar until combined. Rub the mixture all over the meat then refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Pour out any excess liquid that has accumulated at the bottom of the baking dish. Roast the pork belly for 1 hour and 30 minutes, then turn the oven up to 450ºF (230ºC) and continue to roast until the pork skin gets crispy and bubbly, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pork belly from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Slice into 1” cubes and set aside.

For the yellow coconut curry sauce:

  • Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and opaque, about 6 minutes. Add the curry powder and curry paste and stir until the curry is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk and whisk to combine. Simmer the sauce until thickened, about 10 minutes.

For the Thai-inspired slaw:

  • Toss all ingredients for the slaw together in a medium mixing bowl. Set the slaw aside until ready to use.

For serving:

  • To serve: Serve pork belly warm, reheating in a nonstick skillet over medium heat if needed. Slice the rolls in half lengthwise without cutting all the way through. Layer pork belly and slaw inside the split rolls. Top with the coconut curry sauce.

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