1st February 2016 Debra

Balinese roast pork with hot sweet-sour salad

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Spiced roasted pork (babi guling) is the most famous dish in Bali. We’ve retooled the recipe to be made with boneless pork shoulder.




For the spice paste

  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 3 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 red or green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • small handful coriander leaves
  • 15g root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns, ground
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp flavourless oil (such as groundnut)

For the pork

  • 1.8kg pork belly
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp flavourless oil
  • sea salt flakes

For the salad

  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 mangoes, slightly under-ripe
  • 350g prepared pineapple (about 1 small fruit), cut into chunks
  • ½ ridged cucumber, peeled, cut into chunks
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ tbsp sesame seeds
  • 15g roasted peanuts, very roughly chopped

For the dressing

  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • ¾ tbsp fish sauce
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar, or soft light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp sambal oelek (a chilli sauce, available from Sainsbury’s), or to taste


Remove the coarse outer leaves of the lemongrass, then chop the white bit (discard the rest). Put everything for the spice paste into a food processor and blitz to a purée.

Score the pork skin in parallel lines. Turn it over and make big gashes all over the flesh to create small pockets. Rub the paste over this (not on the skin), pushing it into the pockets.

Transfer to a dish, cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours.

Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7.

Roll up the pork and tie at intervals with kitchen string. Place skin-side up on a rack in a roasting tin, mix the turmeric and oil together and rub this all over the skin, then sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 15 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 160C/gas mark 3 and cook for 1 hour 15 minutes, basting occasionally with the juices. Rest, covered in foil, for 10-15 minutes.

Halve, core and cut the apple into matchsticks, then drop them into a dish with the lime juice. Peel the mangoes and cut the flesh into cubes. Toss into the apples, along with the pineapple, cucumber and tomatoes.

For the dressing, stir the tamarind, fish sauce and lime juice with the sugar until it dissolves. Add the sambal oelek and 2 tbsp of water. It will taste strong, but it works with the fruit.

Toss with the salad and scatter with sesame seeds and peanuts.

Remove the string from  the pork and serve it with  the salad and some plain boiled rice.

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