Sticky sweet pork belly and pumpkin purée

I made a slow cooked, sticky and sweet pork belly, pumpkin purée with bacon and quinoa crumb, naranjilla salsa as a starter for our first dinner guests at the Mount Totuma cloud forest lodge. I didn’t have time to take any photos on the evening so this photo shows the morning after version.

The pork belly was marinated in soy, garlic and ginger for 24 hours, then rosted low and slow until tender and finished of in a pan with honey.

I’m a big fan of purées and the diced pumpkin (Queensland blue) was roasted in the oven with salt, pepper, red onions and garlic before mixed with butter into a purée.

For the crumb I fried finely chopped bacon and cooked quinoa to add crunch and saltiness.

Naranjilla is an orange tomato that tastes a bit like sour plum or gooseberry. It’s delicious in salsas. In Panama I used them almost daily in salads and vinaigrettes. Now back home in the UK I use sour plums and lime for similar effect. Sour gooseberries would work too. The naranjilla grows on spiky bushes with huge velvety leaves and beautiful purple flowers. The fruit has spikes that rub off when ripe.



  • pork belly
  • soy
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • honey
  • Pumpkin puré:
  • queensland blue pumpkin
  • red onion
  • garlic
  • butter
  • salt & pepper
  • Naranjilla salsa:
  • narranjilla tomato (or a sour plum instead and a common red tomato)
  • coriander
  • olive oil
  • lime juice
  • chilli
  • coriander
  • salt

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