Green tomato, mustard & pork belly bun

Green tomato, mustard & pork belly bun


By James Lowe, Head Chef & Owner of Lyle’s

A recipe from James Lowe, head chef and owner of Lyle’s, the modern, Michelin-starred British restaurant in east London. I look after the restaurant’s marketing so needless to say, I’m a huge fan. The idea of this bun recipe comes from a combination of street food events James did in London, way before he opened his restaurant. As James explains, ‘This is definitely not a typical Lyle’s dish. It’s just a fun combination of things I like that can be made quickly and simply, even for hundreds of people if you were so inclined! Underripe green tomatoes have an amazing, firm texture that stands up so well to pickling.’


Quantity Ingredient
500g skinned bone-in pork belly
sea salt, to taste
5 sprigs lemon thyme leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
4 brioche buns
50g crispy shallots, (buy these ready-made at Asian supermarkets)
1 butterhead lettuce, 4 leaves removed

For the pickled green tomatoes

Quantity Ingredient
6 green tomatoes, cut into 5 mm slices
300ml cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
150g granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
pinch turmeric
1 white onion, thinly sliced

For the mustard mayonnaise

Quantity Ingredient
1 medium egg
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
300ml mild olive oil
wholegrain mustard, to taste
3 teaspoons cider vinegar
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Make the pickled green tomatoes the day before you want to eat this. Put the ingredients for the tomatoes and 250 ml water in a heavy-based pan and bring to the boil.
  2. Remove the tomatoes from the pan and place in a clean jar. Reserve the liquid and allow to cool to 60°C.
  3. Once cooled, pour the vinegar liquid over the sliced tomatoes in the jar and put the lid on.
  4. Leave until cooled to room temperature, then refrigerate. The pickled tomatoes will be ready to eat the next day and will keep for up to 1 month.
  5. Preheat the oven to 130°C. Season your pork belly with salt and rub with the lemon thyme and garlic.
  6. Put the pork belly into a roasting tin deep enough for the pork not to protrude above the lip. Add 150 ml of water, cover with baking paper and foil, and cook for about 6 hours, until the meat is tender enough to pull off the rib bones. Check every 2 hours and add a little water if it looks dry. When the pork is done, remove from the oven and set aside to cool, saving the juices.
  7. To make the mustard mayo, blitz the eggs and egg yolk with the mustard. Start pouring in the oil, drop by drop, until the mixture begins to emulsify and thicken. Mix in a little wholegrain mustard, to taste, and season with cider vinegar, salt and pepper.
  8. When the pork belly is cool enough to handle, cut it into 8 mm slices. Heat a pan over medium to high heat. Fry the pork slices on both sides until nicely browned and then brush with some of the reserved roasting juices.
  9. Warm the buns through in the oven and slice. Add a slice of pork on the bottom bun, followed by a generous spoonful of the mustard mayo, the lettuce and the pickled green tomatoes. Sprinkle the shallots over the tomatoes, then top with the other half of your bun.
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