Soy and chilli pulled pork, coconut brown rice, pickled pineapple and greens

Grain bowls are an easy, healthy and delicious choice.
Grain bowls are an easy, healthy and delicious choice. Photo: Katrina Meynink

Healthy doesn't have to be boring. With Thai-inspired flavours, this grain bowl is as tasty as it is good for you.


For the marinade

120g palm sugar, grated or crushed

125ml (½ cup) kecap manis

80ml (⅓ cup) fish sauce

2 tsp finely grated ginger

2 star anise, crushed

1 pork tenderloin or fillet (120g per serve)

For the pickled pineapple

100ml apple cider vinegar

1½ tbsp castor sugar

juice of ½ lime

¼ pineapple, peeled, chopped into generous bite-sized pieces

½ tsp ground coriander

For the herbed coconut rice

200g brown basmati rice

360ml coconut milk

150ml chicken stock

¼ cup Thai basil leaves, finely chopped

¼ cup Vietnamese mint leaves, finely chopped


1 bunch broccolini

olive oil for brushing

1 cup sugar snap peas, steamed

To serve

fresh coriander, mint, Thai basil, Vietnamese mint, coconut cream, fresh pieces of coconut


Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the pork tenderloin and set aside for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the pickled pineapple by combining the vinegar, sugar, coriander and 25ml water in a bowl; season to taste and stir until sugar dissolves. Add the pineapple pieces, stirring to coat, then cover and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

For the coconut rice, bring coconut milk, rice and stock to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce heat to low and cook for 10-15 minutes. Keep checking on the rice, and if the liquid is evaporating too quickly, top up with water, about a tablespoon at a time. Once cooked, remove from heat, and stand until required. Once cooled, stir through the finely chopped herbs.

Heat a nonstick char-grill pan over medium heat, remove pork from marinade (reserving the marinade) and grill, turning occasionally, until charred and almost cooked through. Set the meat aside to rest.

Pour remaining marinade into a saucepan and place over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes until reduced. Using two forks or a knife and fork, pull apart the pork meat and add to the saucepan of reduced marinade, turning quickly and cooking until pork is glazed and sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.

For the broccolini heat a grill or barbecue to high heat, brush broccolini with oil, and grill, turning occasionally, until charred and tender (4 to 5 minutes). Combine in a bowl with the steamed sugar snap peas.

To serve, place some pickled pineapple to each bowl. Add some herbed coconut rice and the steamed greens. Arrange the pork meat, then top with coconut cream, fresh coconut and any extra herbs. Serve immediately.

Note: If not serving immediately, assemble the bowl but do not add the coconut cream until ready to serve.