Banh Xeo Bar chef and co-owner Ben Sinfield uses a free-range pig head to make one of the Rosebery eatery’s signature dishes. The meat is packed down and set with stock before cut into squares, dunked in batter and deep-fried until crispy. The nuggets are wrapped in a shiso leaf from Boon Luck Farm and dipped in fish sauce for the ultimate flavour bomb.


• 1 free-range pig head, split down the middle
• Pork stock; enough to half cover head in tray
• 1 onion
• 1 head of garlic
• Dash of fish sauce
• Salt and pepper
• 1 bunch of shiso
• Pickled red onions
• 60ml nuoc cham
• 1 chilli
• Flour, egg and panko breadcrumbs for crumbing.

  1. Put the head in a pot and cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Once boiled, rinse head in the sink.
  2. Heat up pork stock until hot.
  3. Place the head in a tight fitting tray or casserole dish, season with salt and pepper and a dash of fish sauce.
  4. Cut the onion and garlic into large chunks and scatter around the head.
  5. Pour over hot pork stock till it covers half of the head. Pop a lid on it and cook in the oven at 150 degrees Celsius for three hours until cheek is giving and tender.
  6. Take tray out of the oven and leave to cool for around an hour. Put approximately one litre of pork stock on the stove and reduce by half.
  7. Pick meat and fat off the head. Roughly chop and place in a tray. Slowly add the reduced stock and work it into the meat
    until set together. Press down until even and refrigerate overnight.
  8. Pop out the set meat onto a chopping board and cut into chunks. Dip in separate bowls of flour, egg and breadcrumbs.
  9. Wash the shiso and put the fish sauce in a ramekin with sliced chilli.
  10. Fry the nuggets until golden and season with salt.
  11. Arrange shiso on a plate along with pickles and fish sauce. To eat, place the nugget and pickles in a shiso leaf and dip into the sauce.

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