How To Make: Moo Waan

I've had some free time lately, and as a result have been working like mad on my book. It will be one in a series called Flavours of the Street, of which Flavours of the Street: Turkey is the only one to have been published so far. Mine will focus on the food of Southern Thailand and is supposed to be finished by August...

Anyway, on a more positive note, I'm going to start posting some of the recipes I'm working on here. Would really appreciate it if people made them and gave me feedback as to the clarity of the instuctions, taste, whatever. I'm starting with what is probably the easiest recipe in the whole book: Moo Waan, sweet pork belly. All you need is four ingredients and about one hour. The important thing with this recipe is to use good quality ingredients, especially concerning the palm sugar. I was lucky enough to have some excellent stuff from Phetburi, a province known for its sugar.

Unfortunately I don't have the usual step-by-step illustrations here, but will try to do so in the future.

Sweet Pork Belly Muu Waan
(Serves 4)

Pork belly (skin, fat and meat) 500 g
Cooking oil 1 Tbsp
Palm sugar 5 Tbsp
Fish sauce 2 tsp, or to taste

Wash pork and cut into bite size pieces. In a large pot of boiling water, blanch pork for 5 seconds. Drain and set aside.

In a large wok over med-high heat, add oil, followed by palm sugar and fish sauce. Stir mixture until the sugar has melted and has combined with the fish sauce to form a thick sauce.

Add pork to sugar mixture, stir to combine, and reduce heat to as low as possible. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until pork is meltingly soft and sugar is dark and caramelized, at least one hour.

Serve hot with rice as part of a southern Thai meal.