Seared tuna with sweet pork and kaffir lime dressing

Seared tuna with sweet pork and kaffir lime dressing

New Thai Food
Jeremy Simons

If you’re after a textural salad, this is the one for you. Crisp pork, succulent pieces of tuna, crisp garlic and a sweet, hot and sour dressing – it’s a winner!


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon coconut oil or canola oil
1 x 200g tuna fillet
1 quantity Green chilli nahm jim
1 kaffir lime, juiced
Crisp-fried garlic or red Asian shallots, (use shallots variation), to garnish


Quantity Ingredient
15g coriander leaves
10g mint leaves
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
3 cm piece fresh ginger, julienned
1 long red chilli, seeded and julienned

Sweet pork

Quantity Ingredient
1 x 200 g piece pork neck
200ml Rendered pork fat
or 200ml canola oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 coriander roots, scraped and cleaned
2 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 star anise
4 white peppercorns
200g palm sugar, crushed
100ml fish sauce


  1. To make the sweet pork, place the pork neck on a piece of baking paper or banana leaf in a steamer and set over boiling water. Cover and steam until cooked through, for about 20 minutes. Remove from the steamer and allow to cool, then cut into 1 cm cubes.
  2. Heat the rendered pork fat or oil in a wok over a medium–high heat. Fry the pork until golden and crisp, for about 5–6 minutes. Remove and drain well on paper towel. Pour off half the oil.
  3. Pound the garlic, coriander roots, ginger, star anise and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle to a uniform paste. Reheat the remaining oil over a medium–high heat. Add to the wok and fry until it smells nutty, for 3–4 minutes. Add the palm sugar and cook, stirring continuously, until it caramelises slightly, for 4–5 minutes. Add the fish sauce and 100 ml water. Return the pork to the wok, stir through to mix well, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Heat a frying pan over a medium–high heat or a hotplate or chargrill pan on medium–high. Heat the oil, then sear the tuna until rare, for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the heat and break into bite-sized pieces. Place on a serving plate and spoon over the sweet pork.
  5. Mix the green chilli nahm jim and kaffir lime juice together in a small bowl to make a dressing.
  6. To make the salad, combine all the salad ingredients together in a bowl, mix well and moisten with the dressing. Spoon the salad over the fish and pork and garnish with crisp-fried shallots.
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