Crispy pork hock with tamarind sauce, chili and trio of mint

By Chef Sam Pinzone



Hock braising

  • 2 pork hock
  • 1 lemongrass, bruised
  • 2 long red chilies, cut open
  • 2 bunches Vietnamese mint stalks
  • 2 bunch mint stalks
  • 2 bunch garden mint stalks
  • 2 bunch coriander stalks

Tamarind sauce

  • 1.5 kg palm sugar, grated
  • 750ml fish sauce
  • 8 tablespoons Tamarind paste

Nouc Cham

  • 150ml fish sauce
  • 200ml sugar syrup (150ml water, warm 100g caster sugar)
  • 100ml fresh lemon juice (you can add 50ml white vinegar)


  1. 1.
    Begin by pre heating your oven to 200 degrees. Line a tray large enough to fit the pork hocks in with baking paper, add the bruised lemon grass, chili and all the herb stalks. Wash the hocks and add them to the tray cover with water or chicken stock. Braise for 4 hours until the hocks are soft and tender. Allow to cool. Once cold remove all the jelly from the hock as this will make the oil spit when frying even more than usual and can be very dangerous. Set aside.
  2. 2.
    Meanwhile make the tamarind sauce. Place the palm sugar in a pot and with a little bit of water to cover the base of the pan and allow to caramelise around 10 minutes. Add the fish sauce and tamarind paste check the seasoning, you may need to add more tamarind paste it should be sweet, sour and salty.
  3. 3.
    For the Nouc Cham mix all ingredients together and taste for seasoning, it should be sour sweet and salty but refreshing.
  4. 4.
    Set your fryer to 180 degrees or use a large enough pot with a thermometer. If using a pot remember to make sure its deep, I stress this because the oil will bubble up once the hock is added. Once the oil is hot very carefully add the pork hocks, depending on how big your fryer or pot is you may need to do this in batches. Fry the pork for 8 minutes until golden brown and crispy, carefully remove the pork hock, allow to rest for a 5minutes.
  5. 5.
    While the pork hock is resting make your wedge plates, At Dandelion we like to place the wedges on the plate first followed by a mixture of the herbs on top of the wedges then sit the sit the nouc cham and rice in bowls next to the herbs and lettuce.
  6. 6.
    Take your pork place in a bowl and cover in the tamarind sauce as much as you like, at this stage I like to add chili rounds both red and green (this is optional but I like the heat) then to garnish and make it look beautiful add a sprig of all three-mint stuffed into were the bone comes out of. Serve immediately and begin to wrap the pork in lettuce with herbs and dunk into the nouc cham.