‘A Dish From Dean’ – Crispy Pork Belly Cubes

By ELEANOR MCGILLIE 2 December, 2018

‘A Dish From Dean’ this week really gets us into the Christmas spirit with this fantastic dish which can be served as a starter – Crispy Pork Belly Cubes and Malaysian Style Glaze.

Festive menus are now well and truly established in our eateries and one such festive treat is a firm favourite of Chef Dean Coppard’s. Many of you will remember the early days at Uluru Bistro in Armagh – also fondly referred to by locals as ‘The Australian Restaurant’. It was during Dean’s ownership here that he loved cooking pork belly. He always found it to have an amazing depth of flavour, but, since then, he has developed this dish to ensure the fat, which gives the dish so much flavour, doesn’t overpower the taste, which is why the pressing or the compression of the pork under weight is key to setting this apart from other similar pork belly dishes.

So, here’s what you need and how to perfect like Aussie Chef Dino.

For the Pork:

1 x side of rindless pork belly

2 x chopped white onions

2 chopped carrots

50g of thyme

2 sliced oranges

50ml of sunflower oil

100g of butter

100ml of white wine

Sea salt flakes

A Dish From Dean is by Australian Chef and Mentor Dean Coppard


Lay the pork skin side up on a chopping board, and using the tip of a sharp knife make incisions in a criss-cross manor and then cut into slabs that will fit into a non-stick pan, in a pot add the oil and the vegetables along with the thyme and oranges, cook together until the vegetables start to soften then add the wine. Pour into a baking tray.

To crisp the pork, rub the sea salt into the pork skin making sure to get it into the scoring of the pork, then in a frying pan place the butter and thyme, add the pork belly skin side down and allow to colour, then turn to seal the pork, place the pork into a baking tray, resting on the vegetables and cover with tin foil and place in a preheated oven at 160c for four hours.

For the Malaysian Glaze:

100ml Light soy sauce
100g Sugar
1 tsp Vegetable oil
1 tbsp Oyster sauce
3 tbsp Shao Hsing wine
1 tsp Five-spices powder
200ml Water


Combine the sugar and the soy together in sauce pan, once the sugar melts add the oil, oyster sauce and wine, lastly whisk in the five spice and add the water slowly to obtain a glaze rather a thick sauce. The desired consistency of the glaze should be that it runs off the back of a metal spoon but leaves a light coating behind.

A Dish From Dean - Pork Belly Cubes

To Assemble:

Once the pork is cooked it is advisable to press it between two baking trays with a little weight on top for about an hour, this will compress the layered fat of the belly, and result in the belly not having a ‘fatty’ taste when eating. Once the pork is compressed cut into bitesize cubes, in a non stick pan place the pork belly cubes on a medium heat, once they start to colour and caramelize pour some of the Malaysian glaze into the frying pan, using a spoon coat the cubes in the glaze constantly move and turn the cubes so they don’t stick as the glaze has a high sugar content it can burn easily.

Best served with an Asian style stirfry or even a salad using my Burren Balsamic vinegette.



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Eleanor McGillie

About Eleanor McGillie

Eleanor spent eight years working in the south west of England - one of the UK's most popular tourism hotspots. During her stint working with key players in the tourism sector she developed a love for all things outdoor adventure. As a journalist she got to travel to remote corners of the world to write travel features about the experiences of a particular place. Northern Ireland's story needs to be told and needs to reach new audiences. Live It Experience It aims to attract tourists from outside Ireland, people from Ireland and people who live in Northern Ireland but aren't aware of the extent of the adventures on our own doorsteps. Eleanor is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) at Associate Level