Recipe, Greenhouse Restaurant

Chef Farrel Hirsch’s recipe for XO Pork

10 September 2019

— by Malu Lambert —

Guests were recently treated to an exclusive look into the workings of the Greenhouse kitchen with a cooking demonstration by Chef Farrel Hirsch.

Participants were welcomed with canapés and bubbly in the Demo Kitchen, followed by the cooking demo of the XO Pork.

This was followed by pre-dinner cocktails in the Greenhouse Bar, culminating in a 3-course à la carte dinner with optional wine pairings in Greenhouse at 18:00. Guests were treated with a special take home gift.

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Try your hand at Chef Farrel’s recipe for XO Pork


You need:

  • 2kg pork belly

Cure for pork belly

  • 250g rock salt
  • 150g sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 20g coriander seeds
  • 1 thumb ginger
  • 1 orange zest & juice


  1. Rub pork belly with cure
  2. Cover with cling film
  3. Leave in fridge for 10 hours
  4. Pre heat oven on 150 °C
  5. Cover pork belly in oil and confit for 4 hours
  6. Take out of oil
  7. Let cool down to room temperature
  8. Place the pork between two trays and place wait on top tray.
  9. Put in fridge to cool down completely

XO Dressing

You need:

      • 150ml olive oil
      • 25g fine ginger
      • 2g fine garlic
      • 1 onion diced
      • 35g palm sugar
      • 50 ml brandy
      • 1 tbsp doengang
      • 1 tsp sambal oelek
      • 3 tbsp soy
      • 1 tsp worcester sauce
      • 60g toasted walnuts
      • 30g toasted sesame seeds


  1. Toast off ginger & garlic in olive oil until golden.
  2. Add onion, palm sugar and brand Cook until soft
  3. Add doengang and soy
  4. Remove from heat
  5. Stir in walnuts and sesame seeds

62 °C Egg

You need:

    •  3 free range hens’ eggs
  • Method:

      1. Turn sous vide on 62 °C
      2. Place egg in water
      3. Cook for 1 ½ hour

    Onion dust

    You need:

      • 1 kg red onions


      1. Slice onions thin
      2. Preheat oven on 180 °c
      3. Cook onions in oven until top layer is burnt
      4. Dehydrate & blitz until powder form

    Ponzu gel

    You need:

      • 200ml ponzu soy
      • 20g sliced onion
      • 10g ginger
      • 10g brown sugar
      • 20ml grapefruit juice
      • 10g rice vinegar
      • 100ml mirin
      • Ultratex



          1. Reduce mirin
          2. Blend all ingredients together except the Ultratex
          3. Let soak over night
          4. Strain
          5. Whisk in Ultratex until thick

    Shiitake purée

    You need:

    • 300g shiitake mushrooms
    • 50ml dry white wine
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 20g white onions
    • 1 thumb ginger
    • 100ml milk
  • Method:

      1. Slice mushrooms, onions, ginger and garlic
      2. Sauté until cooked out and stick to pan.
      3. Add wine and de-glaze
      4. Add milk and reduce
      5. Blend and pass


    You need:

      • 200g pork skin


      1. Boil skin for an hour
      2. Scrape excess fat off
      3. Dehydrate for 2 hours
      4. Deep fry

    Boa buns

    You need:

    • 600g cake flour
    • 20g dry yeast
    • 19g milk powder
    • 2g baking powder
    • 3g bicarb
    • 90g sugar
    • 16g salt
    • 200g olive oil


    1. Add all the ingredients into a mixer and knead for 8 – 10 minutes.
    2. Allow to prove for 45 min.
    3. Weigh each portion into 20 g balls.
    4. Allow to prove for another 20 minutes.
    5. Steam in a steaming oven or steam basket for 5 minutes.
    6. Allow to cool on a wire rack before steaming.


    • Pork Belly: Portion pork belly to desired size and pan fry then place in oven at 180°c
    • Crackling: Heat oil to 180°c and fry
    • Purée: Place in sauce pot and heat
    • Shiitake Gel: Place in squeezy bottle
    • XO dressing: Place in sauce pot and heat
    • Boa buns: Place in steam basket
    • Eggs: Leave in warm water and crack


    • Place hot purée on plate
    • Add clots of gel on plate
    • Put pork down on plate
    • Spoon XO dressing on top of pork
    • Place egg next to pork
    • Add sliced onion on top and pork
    • Finish with crackling and onion powder
    • Serve with steamed bun

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