Sweet Pork Belly with Boiled Eggs Recipe, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Sweet Pork Belly with Boiled Eggs Recipe

This sweet pork belly with boiled eggs recipe is a firm favourite when placed on the table in a typical Cambodian feast. It’s a simple recipe, but one that has everyone eyeing off that last piece of pork belly and mopping up the remaining sauce.

This Cambodian sweet pork belly with boiled eggs recipe was an inspiration for one of the creative Cambodian canapés we created for New Year’s Eve. While the presentation was contemporary, the dish itself was rooted in a traditional Cambodian recipe.

Sweet Pork Belly with Boiled Eggs Recipe

This sweet pork belly with boiled eggs recipe is a very traditional Cambodian recipe, which I have been making since we moved to Phnom Penh in 2012 when I first started cooking Cambodian food.

Our Phnom Penh stay was cut short because we went to Hanoi on assignment for the magazine that Lara was editing at the time and subsequently stayed on in Vietnam for seven months. While there, of course, we ate the Vietnamese version of this dish, which generally has the addition of star anise, and in some recipes also chillies.

Cambodian cuisine, like most of the Southeast Asian cuisines, and like the neighbouring cuisines of Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar, is very regional, which means there are variations of this dish to be found all over. In Cambodia, some recipes add ginger, one I saw adds cloves.

This sweet pork belly with boiled eggs recipe is rich and comforting, which is why it has a fascinating history and significant meaning in local Cambodian culture. The dish is often made for new mothers, to help them regain their strength. While this is still a belief that’s practiced in the Cambodian countryside, in the modern cities of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh it’s more thought of as a special occasion dish, brought out for family gatherings.

The photo above is of the bite-sized version of sweet pork belly with boiled eggs that I made for our spread of creative Cambodian canapés for New Year’s Eve. Each piece of unctuous pork belly is topped with half a hard boiled quail egg and a small sprig of coriander.

The single-bite size of this canapé makes this perfect finger food for parties. Because it’s so rich and hearty, it’s actually quite filling, so you really don’t need many of these. I would recommend just 1-2 per person if you’re planning to do a similar spread to the selection that we served.

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Sweet Pork Belly with Boiled Eggs
This sweet pork belly with boiled eggs dish has a simple recipe, but is a firm favourite when placed on the table in a typical Cambodian feast.
Cuisine: Cambodian
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 8
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 4 pieces coriander roots
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 500 grams Pork belly, rind on
  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 hand full coriander leaves, to serve
  • 1 pinch salt, or to taste
  1. Grind the garlic, peppercorns and coriander roots in a mortar and pestle.
  2. In a medium sized pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the ground ingredients.
  3. As soon as aromas are released from the mix, add the palm sugar and a little salt. If using liquid palm sugar, add the dark soy. If using palm sugar 'disks' wait until the palm sugar has liquified before adding the dark soy. Turn the heat to low.
  4. Once the palm sugar has completely caramelised, cut the pork belly into 5cm squares and add the pork. Add enough water to cover the pork.
  5. Cover the pan and cook on low for at least an hour. Top up with water as necessary. When the pork is cooked to your liking (we like it so that you can cut through the pork with a spoon), add the boiled eggs and cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. As the dish is usually served with several other dishes, plate in a serving dish and sprinkle with the coriander.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 372 Fat: 21.8g Saturated fat: 8.5g Unsaturated fat: 13.3g Trans fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 5.7g Sugar: 4.8g Sodium: 1515mg Fiber: 0.1g Protein: 33.3g Cholesterol: 195mg


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  1. Scarlet T

    This was my first attempt at cooking pork belly and I certainly wasn’t disappointed!
    A very hearty meal and very filling.
    I’ll definitely cook this again.

  2. Lara Dunston

    So pleased to hear that, Scarlet. If it was too filling, do as they do over here and serve with loads of rice and just offer a little of the pork belly to each person. You can lighten thinks up with some fresh greens on the side, such as morning glory or bok choy lightly wok-fried with garlic.

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