Monday, 18 August 2014

Fragrant Pork Belly with Thai Basil

My mini garden has been growing weeds....!!! Hubby wanted to throw away all my plants especially those inedible plants and keep those edible ones. What should I do??? I still want to keep my plants especially those herbs which I need it every now and then. At the end, we decided to keep only the edible plants and concentrate on edible garden which we think is more practical. Thai basil is in abundance and they are in fact too matured. So, what I did was to harvest all the herbs and replant them for another new batch of herbs garden.
Since Thai Basil is in abundance, I decided to fully utilize it. Hence, stewing pork belly with it is one of the many dishes I have cooked.

For your info, when I was young, I never like or would not touch pork belly. Even when I ever did eat it, I would always throw away the fat and take the lean meat. However, these few years, I don't know what has gotten into me. I LIKE pork belly especially the FAT!!! I know it's unhealthy but ah..... eat first health later... hahahaha.... The gravy is especially yummy and when mixed with rice, we can easily go for 2nd helping of rice! The recipe for this is taken from my previous posting on Stewed Pork Belly with Fried Tofu.

Ingredients :
- 1 strip of pork belly (blanched and cut)
- 1 bunch of Thai Basil
- 1/2 tbsp fermented soy bean paste/tau cheong (for frying)
- 1 1/2 tbsp fermented soy bean paste/tau cheong (to taste)
- 1 bulb of garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 thumbsized ginger (sliced and crushed)
- water (enough for stewing)

Seasonings : (to taste)
- a dash of salt
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 3 tbsp caramel sauce (reduce the amount if you don't like your dish to be in dark colour)
- 1 tsp sugar

Method :
1) Heat some oil in a wok and saute garlic, ginger and 1/2 tbsp of fermented soy bean paste until aromatic.

2) Add pork belly and stir fry for a while. Mix well.

3) Add water, the remaining fermented bean paste and caramel sauce. Stir and mix well.

4) Cover and let it boil at high heat for about 5 minutes. Then, lower the heat and let it simmer until the gravy is thickened and/or the meat is cooked and tender. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes depending on the fire and pot/wok used. Add water if you want more gravy.

5) Lastly, add in Thai Basil and the remaining seasonings. Bring it to a boil again for 1 or 2 minutes.

6) Dish up and serve with steamed rice.

If you like pork belly, this is a very flavorful dish
Hope you like this homey dish. It's also great to serve it with plain bread instead of steamed rice. Do enjoy.

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  1. I believe this is so fragrant!

  2. Hi Ivy! hahahaha!! If your hubby see my garden, he will pengsan! Luckily for me, my partner just leave the "jungle" to me. I also have basil but recently they were attached by tiny black bugs. So I pruned the plants and now they are growing quite well. I think an edible garden is a good and practical idea. This pork belly dish is even more fragrant when basil leaves are added. This I will surely try as I love the fragrance of basil. You, me and my mum must shake hands for being fans of the fats in the pork belly hahaha!! Once in a while it is OK lah to eat sam chan bak :)

    1. Totally agreed with you, Phong Hong. An edible garden is anytime more practical than a decorative garden, unless we have ample to time for gardening. Usually, I grow the plants but hubby tends the garden, hahaha.... Yes, give this dish a try and you will love it if you love basil like us. No regrets. Enjoy your week and regards :)

  3. Hi Ivy, I too, love pork belly. Haha.. I know what to cook tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe Ivy
    Warmest regards

    1. Hi Cheryl, go ahead and cook this dish. You will love it and remember to cook extra rice! Hope you are enjoying your week and warmest regards :)

  4. Hi Ivy, you have cooked one of my all time favourite dishes. This, hum choy pai kuat thong, and kangkong belachan are my weaknesses. And your this dish looks an assured belt loosening 2 notches and a polishing off 3 plates of rice and trying to stifle that loud 'burrrrp'!. Love it, Ivy!
    It can be quite embarrassing ha ha when I polish off 3 plates of rice....but its a compliment to the cook, right?
    This much I'll say, I love have this on a cold winter's night.

    And yes, the basil always adds the "hmmmm" eye roller appreciation scent. Good to read of your garden and your herb plants.
    Where we are lots of homes plant basil too...they die off when winter arrives, but when Spring arrives, they come out again.
    This is also one of the mandatory dishes of a nubile Nyonya girl if she doesn't want to be left standing on the jetty. And this dish must be accompanied by sambal belachan....No Nyonya worth her salt cannot cook this dish!

    Especially when before marriage, prospective in laws invited home....and mother will proudly say, "my daughter cooked this and the sambal". And again, must make sure the sambal belachan doesn't encourage the in laws to put face under tap, or ask for an extra glass of iced water. It must be just right. Old days its the cooking first...not her body or face, ha ha. Son got no say. It's his mother!
    Glad I was not of that period. Habis cherita. What more no Nyonya dare be seen in a killer 'Holy Smoke' pencil skirt.

    Have a nice day, happy cooking. And keep a song in your heart.
    Regards to hubby.

    1. Hi Shane, glad to know that kiam chye terng and kangkong belacan are also your favorites! Hi5 Shane!!!! my family love these dishes too and another one is kiam chye ark terng is also our favorite. But too bad, I know you don't take duck meat, am right?
      Never know that this pork belly with Thai basil is a Nyonya dish. Now, I know what to cook for you when inviting you over for dinner and yes, must remember to serve it with sambal belacan, just right for your taste bud!

      Shane, as usual, BIG BIG KAM SIAH for your walk above water compliments. It's friends like you that motivate me to improve and exceed my own expectation! You are always so generous with your beautiful and kind words. Again, THANK YOU VERY MUCH....

      Hubby sends his warmest regards to you too, Shane.
      You have a wonderful week and warmest regards,

  5. Basil leaves are also going like crazy in my garden. Now, I have another recipe to explore. Love those Asian flavors and who cares about sinfulness once a while.

    1. Hi Nava, yes, basil leaves is great in savory dishes and it's so full of flavor. You have a great day and cheers :)

  6. Hi Ivy , what a delicious dish , my dinner Wednesday , thanks for sharing ;-D

  7. This pork belly looks so good Ivy...l would love to have some with rice right now...and yes, the basil sure adds a lot of fragrant to this dish.
    Beautifully done.
    Have a great week dear :D

    1. Thanks Juliana. Yes, this dish is very flavorful and great to have it with hot steamed rice. Glad that you like it. You too, have a great week and take care, dear :)

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  9. I'll like this porky dish as I simply adore Basil leaves! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Thanks for coming and linking up at #The Weekend Social. Please be sure to come back next week starting Thursdays at 9PM EST The Midnight Baker ! I hope to see you there!

  11. Oh goodness gracious Ivy, if that Fragrant Pork Belly doesn't look tempting, I don't know what does!!! Good choice starting new with the herbs. I did the same thing and froze my abundance. Thai Basil is a favorite of mine and you have put it to deliciously wonderful use. I do believe I can smell it from here, lol...Thanks so much for sharing, Ivy. I'm not back to blogging yet. I'll be back on Sunday:)

    1. Hi Louise,glad that you are back to blogging. Have been missing you. Regards :)

  12. This has got to be amazing--so full of some of my favorite ingredients!


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