Grilled Napa Cabbage, Pork Belly, Gulf Shrimp, and Nuoc Cham

Adapted by
January 2016
Yield: 5 servings


Pork Belly
1 pound pork belly, skin on
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup salt
1 pound Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 large onion, large diced
1 large carrot, large diced
3 ribs celery, large diced
6 cloves garlic
1 lemon
2 cups white wine
1 quart water
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 bunch parsley
Nuoc Cham
2 cups fish sauce
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 shallots, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno, halved
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bunch cilantro
¼ cup lime juice
½ cup rice wine vinegar
Grilled Napa Cabbage
15 leaves Napa cabbage
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
To Assemble and Serve
Peanut oil
¼ cup minced carrots
¼ cup minced jalapeno
¼ cup minced red onion
¼ cup minced garlic
1 bunch cilantro, picked


For the Pork Belly

Heat oven to 450°F. Rub pork belly with canola oil, heavily season skin side with salt and lightly season meat side. On a sheet tray, roast belly 20 to 30 minutes. Lower temperature to 325°f and continue to cook, 60 to 75 minutes, until golden brown and tender. Remove from oven and cool for 90 minutes. Cut belly into 1-inch cubes.

For the Shrimp

In a medium saucepot, combine vegetables, lemon, wine, water, bay leaves, peppercorns, and parsley. Bring to a simmer and cook 20 minutes. Add shrimp and cook for 90 seconds, remove from bouillon, and cool in an ice bath. Drain shrimp on a towel, place on a sheet tray and allow to dry in refrigerator.

For the Nuoc Cham

In a medium saucepot, combine all ingredients. Bring to a simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, strain, and cool.

For the Grilled Napa Cabbage

On a clean surface, lay out cabbage leaves. Season each leaf with olive oil and salt. Grill on both sides until slightly charred and tender. 

To Assemble and Serve

In a deep fryer, heat oil to 375°F. Add Pork Belly pieces, 15 at a time. Fry until skin puffs and the belly is golden brown. In a medium mixing bowl, combine Pork Belly, Shrimp, and half the Nuoc Cham; marinate 5 to 10 minutes. In a small mixing bowl, combine carrot,  jalapeño, onion, garlic, and remaining Nuoc Cham. For each plate, lay out 3 Grilled Napa Cabbage leaves. Place a piece of Pork Belly, a piece of Shrimp, and 3 cilantro leaves in each and roll up like a burrito. Top each with 1 tablespoon of vegetable-Nuoc Cham mixture and cilantro.