Blackened Rum-Spiced Pork Belly

This recipe caught my attention when I was watching TV chef Karen Martini whip it up on Better Homes and Gardens. As the dish requires overnight marinading, I made this recipe up on a long weekend and the results were just delicious! While the original recipe teams the pork belly with a Sesame Cucumber Salad, I found that freshly sliced cucumber with jasmine rice was just as good!

Spiced Pork Belly

Prep & Cooking Time – 20 minutes prep + overnight marinating + 40 minutes cooking | Serves – 6


– 1.5kg pork belly, skin and bone removed
– 180g palm sugar, grated
– 150mL light soy sauce
– 3 Tablespoon Tom Yum paste
– 120mL dark rum
– 1 large brown onion, finely sliced
– 6 gloves garlic, crushed
– 60mL sesame oil
– 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
– 180mL coconut cream


Step 1. To make the marinade, put all ingredients (except the coconut cream) in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then cook for 10 minutes until mixture is reduced by half. Remove from heat and stir in coconut cream.


Step 2. Score pork fat in a deep diamond / crosshatch pattern, then cut into 4cm-wide slices.


Step 3. Transfer cut pork belly to a glass or ceramic dish and pour over marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to allow flavours to soak in.


Step 4. Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Put the pork belly in a roasting dish, reserving the marinade. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until cooked, basting occasionally.


Step 5. For the reserved marinade, put in a saucepan and bring the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes or until marinade thickens and become a little bit sticky.


Step 6. When the thickened sauce is ready along with the pork belly, serve with freshly cooked jasmine rice and slices of fresh Lebanese cucumber.



I found the palm sugar ingredient in the Asian section of my local Woolworth’s grocery shop. With the Tom Yum paste, I sourced small packet servings from the Asian grocer. While you can buy a jar for a few dollars, I found that the sachet sizes meant there was no left overs and no jar left in my pantry for months without use.
** Original recipe from Better Homes & Garden April 2012 Magazine **

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