Larissa brings together classic crispy pork and spring onion pancake with sumptuous black vinegar caramel and lime aioli.
Preheat oven at 200C.
For the Spiced Crispy Pork, pat the skin dry with a paper towel and score with a sharp knife. Sprinkle a generous amount of table salt rub in thoroughly. Set aside for 10 minutes until skin starts to sweat. Wipe the skin dry then cut the pork belly into two portions.
Meanwhile, for the Sichuan Salt, place cloves, star anise, chillies, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns and salt into a small frypan and place over a medium heat. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add dry spices to the pan and toast for 1 minute. Transfer the toasted spices to a small food processor or spice grinder and process to a fine powder. Reserve 1 teaspoon for garnish.
Spread the remaining Sichuan Salt onto the flesh of the pork belly and rub in thoroughly.
Place pork belly portions onto a roasting rack set over a roasting tray and sprinkle the skin generously with salt.
Cook in the oven for 50-55 minutes or until pork is tender then place under the grill to crisp the skin, taking care to avoid burning the skin.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes then slice the pork belly to serve.
For the Spring Onion Pancake, combine the plain flour, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ cup hot water in a large bowl. Using your hands, bring the ingredients together to form a rough dough. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead for 5-7 minutes until smooth.
Place the dough into a medium bowl, cover with a damp cloth, allow to rest for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
Using the palm of your hand, flatten each ball and roll it out as thinly as possible with a rolling pin. Drizzle each round of dough with ½ teaspoon of sesame oil and brush oil evenly over the dough.
Take one edge of the dough and roll into a log shape. Take one end of the log and coil into a scroll. Repeat with remaining dough portions.
Using the palm of your hand, flatten each scroll and roll it out thinly with a rolling pin. Drizzle with remaining sesame oil; sprinkle rounds with spring onion and a little sea salt.
Roll into a log, coil into a scroll and roll out with a rolling pin, ensuring not to roll it out too thinly to avoid the spring onion breaking through the dough. Repeat with the remaining scrolls and set aside.
Heat a thin layer of vegetable oil in a medium frypan over a medium-high heat. Cook the pancakes, in batches, until golden and crispy, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the frypan and place the pancakes onto paper towels. Cover with a clean tea towel to keep warm.
For the Pickled Sapo Rind, place the sugar and ½ cup water into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Add the remaining ingredients, except the sapo rind, to the saucepan and simmer for 2 minutes.
Peel the Sapo melon and discard the skin. Cut away the outer edge of the melon and julienne. Place into a bowl, cover with the pickling liquid and set aside for 20 - 25 minutes. Drain well then transfer to a serving ramekin and set aside in the fridge.
For the Black Vinegar Caramel, place the gula melaka, vinegar, chilli and lemongrass into a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves then simmer until syrup has thickened, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Strain through a fine sieve into a serving ramekin and set aside to cool.
For the Lime Aioli, place the egg, lime juice, lime zest and a pinch of salt into the canister of a stick blender. Add the oil and allow to settle evenly over the egg.
Position the blade of the stick blender over the egg yolk. With the stick blender running, blend the egg yolk the slowly lift the blender upwards through the ingredients to create a thick mayonnaise. Season with salt then transfer to a serving ramekin.
To serve, place sliced Spiced Crispy Pork onto a large serving plate. Add the ramekins of Lime Aioli, Pickled Sapo Rind, Black Vinegar Caramel and the Spring Onion Pancakes. Garnish with fresh shiso leaves and a little Sichuan Salt.