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Vietnamese food is about the balance of flavours, of sweet, salty and sour – there is no measuring device that can ever match your own taste buds.

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Pork belly braised in coconut milk & fish sauce with ginger, chillies & cavolo nero

Written for Waitrose Magazine. I am so pleased that so many have written to say that they have been using this recipe again and again . Its one of my favourites!

Serves 6

Prepare 20 minutes

Cook 1 hour 30 minutes

3 tbsp coconut oil

1 onion, sliced into quarter rings

3 garlic cloves, crushed

30g fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1kg pork belly, skin removed

1 tbsp chilli flakes (more or less, depending on how hot you want it)

400g can coconut milk

2-3 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp honey (optional)

200g cavolo nero or kale, tough stalks discarded and sliced into 2.5cm pieces

1 Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onion and garlic over a medium heat for about 6 minutes, until softened; tip onto a plate and set aside.

2 Meanwhile, slice and prepare the pork belly, trimming off any excess fat but leaving some for taste and texture. Cut into 2.5cm chunks and add to the pan to brown off on all sides, about 10 minutes in total (you may need to do this in batches). Return the onions and garlic, add the chilli flakes, mix well and continue to cook for about 10 minutes.

3 Add the coconut milk and simmer to reduce for 30 minutes. Then add fish sauce and continue to simmer for a further 30 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally.

4 When ready to serve, mix through the honey (optional), season with plenty of black pepper, and add the cavolo nero. Cook for 5 minutes with the lid on, then serve with steamed rice.