Originating in Lao, larb salad is traditionally made using minced meat, but our tasty twist makes the most of beautifully barbecued pork belly and gives a punchy salad packed with fiery Asian flavour. Crisp cucumber, lettuce, carrot and spring onions complement this rich, tender meat perfectly. Add crushed cashews and fresh mint for extra crunch and fragrance, and serve with a rice vinegar, ginger and lime dipping sauce to make it really sing.
- Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. To make the dipping sauce, combine the sugar with the just-boiled water, stirring to dissolve. Add this to the fish sauce, chopped ginger, rice vinegar, lime juice and chopped chilli.
- To make a rub for the pork, combine the sugar with the fish sauce and chopped ginger. Rub this mixture over the pork belly slices with salt and pepper to season. Set aside.
- Place a large griddle pan over a medium-high heat to get hot. Shake dry the marinated pork belly slices and spread them out in a single layer on the pan and sear, before transferring to the oven for 20 minutes, until highly coloured and firm. Alternatively, barbecue the pork belly slices over white-hot barbecue coals for 15-18 minutes, turning often until slightly charred and firm. A skewer inserted into the centre of a slice should allow only clear juices to flow; if they are pink the pork needs further cooking.
- Transfer the belly slices to a chopping board to rest for 5 minutes. Add the cucumber moons, shredded lettuce, grated carrot and spring onions into a serving bowl. Slice the pork belly into bite-sized chunks, add on top of the salad and scatter with crushed cashews, mint leaves and red chilli slices. Serve with the dipping sauce.
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