First, a little Thai lesson!
หมู Moo = pig/pork
สามชั้น Sam Chan = three layer (Pork Belly)
ทอด Tod = fry/fried
น้ำปลา Nam Pla = fish sauce.
Translation: Fried pork belly with fish sauce.
Fishy pork? Well, that’s doesn’t sound very appealing, does it? Fear not, fish sauce may stench like death but it’s a magical ingredient that will not tarnish your dish if you use it wisely. The main secret to this dish is the limited amount of fish sauce used. When my Thai friend taught me how to make this dish, I was flabbergasted at how little fish sauce she used; how can something with so little marinade taste incredibly delicious? It’s a hard thing for a person like myself who tends to be a little heavy handed on flavour to fathom how 2 tablespoons of fish sauce could be enough for 400g of pork belly. Sorry, I still can’t get over it and I probably never will!
Apart from its magical qualities, it is also probably one of the easiest Thai dishes I have ever come across, heck, it’s one of the easiest dishes I’ve come across in any cuisine around the world! It is also a dish that you are not likely to find in your local Thai restaurant despite being absolutely delicious!
400g pork belly, cut into strips
2 Tbsp. Thai Fish Sauce (Nam Pla)
1 tsp. white pepper (optional)
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cornflour
1 Tbsp. water
1 Marinate the pork belly with Thai fish sauce, white pepper and salt; leave for a few hours or preferably overnight. It’s also not the end of the world if you don’t have that much time and can’t leave it marinating for very long; just do it anyways. 2 Just before frying coat the pork belly with cornflour and water and mix well. 3 Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown and crispy. Depending on the size of your pan, it might be best to fry in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Serving suggestion:
This dish can be served on its own as a snack (goes great with beer), as part as a larger meal with different dishes or as a daily meal paired with Thai Jasmine Rice or sticky rice. I also make Prik Nam Pla (the most basic spicy Thai dipping sauce made with Thai chilli, fish sauce, lime/lemon juice & sugar) but the pork doesn’t actually need it; I normally make it more because I like it with my rice.