Turmeric roast pork belly with fresh sambal

Adam Liaw
Bali-style roast pork belly.
Bali-style roast pork belly. Photo: William Meppem

Bali's famous babi guling roast suckling pig is a must-have dish. The ideal accompaniment is this "sambal matah" – a refreshing and fragrant foil.


1.5kg piece of pork belly, skin scored

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp turmeric powder

¼ tsp black pepper

1 tbsp table salt

steamed rice, to serve

Fresh sambal

2 makrut lime leaves, central vein removed and finely shredded

1 stalk lemongrass, tender central white part only, finely sliced

2 large red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small red onion, minced

juice of 2 limes

2 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp fish sauce


Boil a kettle of water. Place the pork on a rack in the sink and pour boiling water over the skin. Pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the vegetable oil with the turmeric, black pepper and a teaspoon of salt and rub the mixture all over the meat side of the pork belly. Place on a rack in a roasting tray and rub the remaining salt over the skin of the pork. Rest in the fridge overnight, uncovered, to dry the skin.

For the fresh sambal, combine ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Adjust the seasoning with a little more sugar, lime juice or fish sauce as necessary.

Heat your oven to 220C (200C fan-forced) and roast the pork for 1 hour. Reduce the heat to 180C (160C fan-forced) and cook for a further 30 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes, then slice and serve with cooked rice and green beans in coconut cream.

Adam's tip: Getting good crackling on pork is both a science and an art. Pay attention to it as it cooks because the skin will often buckle unevenly. Mask areas with foil if they look like burning, and consider using a hot grill at the end to crisp any areas that haven't crackled.