Caramelised Pork Salad and…It’s Cold in Antarctica

It’s so cold down there and so much colder than the Arctic.  Colder because Antarctica is surrounded by water but the Arctic is surrounded by land masses.  Antarctica has land underneath it and the Arctic has water and that apparently also makes a big difference.  Antarctica has much stronger winds making it colder and in the Arctic the snow will melt in summer but it never melts in Antarctica.

Caramelised Pork Salad

I have previously blogged about my friend, Rob Clarke’s trek from Union Glacier to Latitude 90 degrees , otherwise known as the South Pole.  Rob went there as part of a group of five with the aim of raising $1,000,000 for The Humpty Dumpty Foundation.  They arrived on the 100th anniversary of Scott’s arrival to the Pole and attended a commemorative ceremony in his honour.

They were privileged to be there at a time of other significant arrivals.  They welcomed and applauded Pat Farmer when he struggled in, exhausted and running on legs with stress fractures.  Pat is an endurance runner and on that day completed a Pole to Pole run, raising money for the Red Cross.  During his epic journey he often ran two marathons a day and experienced every extreme in conditions.

They welcomed Grant Korgan , a man who became a paraplegic in a snow-ski accident, but who then set a goal to sit-ski all the way to the South Pole.

Caramelised Pork Salad

Kim Loane, one of the people in Rob’s party, has uploaded a video of their group’s adventure from when they departed Sydney for Chile and then flew from Chile to Union Glacier, then trekked from Union Glacier to Latitude 90 degrees, and back again.  It’s a great video showing us a land and an environment that most of us will never have the opportunity to experience, and I found some of the images extremely moving, especially seeing Pat Farmer and Grant Korgan arrive at the Pole completing their incredible journeys.

Humpty South Pole Expedition

As you can see in the video, the food on the journey wasn’t the best.  All freeze dried and the evening meal was some type of Shepherd’s Pie sort of a thingy that first you had to melt enough snow to submerge the package in water before you could even start the cooking process, all while being hunched over in a tiny tent ‘heated’ to about -5 degrees (23F).

I’m sure they all dreamed of a home cooked meal like this one I love in Donna Hay’s Off the Shelf.

Fresh crunchy salad greens with tender sweet pork

Caramelised Pork Salad

Serves:  4

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  This was a family meal for around $20.00.

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 small red chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tbspn shredded ginger
  • 2 tbspns fish sauce
  • 2 tbspns lime juice
  • 1 tspn ground star anise (I couldn’t find any so just threw in 2 whole star anise)
  • 650g (22 oz) boneless pork fillet or tenderloin


  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) salad leaves
  • 4 spring onions (scallions), sliced
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves

Place the soy, sugar, chillies, ginger, fish sauce, lime juice and star anise in a deep frying pan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly.  Halve the pork lengthwise and add to the pan.  Cook for 4 minutes on each side or until tender.  Remove the pork from the pan and cool slightly.  Simmer the pan juices until thickened.

To make the salad, toss together the salad leaves, spring onions, basil, mint and coriander.  Slice the pork, drizzle with the pan juices and serve with the salad.

Have you eaten freeze-dried meals?

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Why is One Pole Colder Than the Other


  1. That looks so delicious!

  2. I’ve never eaten freeze-dried meals, and I hope I never have to!

  3. oh wow lean pork with this seasoning makes my heart to jump up. Loks so very tempting. thank u for sharing! =)

  4. Those stories make me feel guilty for not testing myself more.

    I love Donna Hay’s recipes and this one looks wonderful!

  5. looks awesome! I have Donna Hay’s books and I love using them!

  6. What a wonderful cause and good on them! And yes I can imagine that they dreamed of dishes like this at night! 🙂

  7. The closest I have come to freeze-dried foods is raisins, and I had to find a blanket to wrap myself in while reading this story. I am such a wimp. I do love tenderloin and buy lots when it is on sale, so I can use this recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Good ideas for lean pork are always welcome. Currently I make pork souvlaki and bbq’d chinese style pork with it which are tasty but a little repetitive. 🙂

  9. What a story! I can’t imagine voluntarily being in those conditions, but I admire them for doing so–and for raising money for a good cause. The pork looks wonderful, flavorful, and easy to prepare. A winner!

  10. Pat and Grant sound like very inspirational people. Thankfully I have never had to eat a freeze dried meal. BTW the caramelized pork salad looks very good indeed.

  11. Ohh that’s amazing that your friend is doing this for such a great cause 🙂 Poor guys they didn’t get to eat any good meals on their trip…but it’s amazing what they’re doing ~ Thanks for sharing their story and this great recipe 🙂 I love the Asian twist to it ~

  12. I would dream of this home cooked meal too (and I’ve never been to either pole!) – this looks so satisfying and delicious yet not heavy. Love the Thai inspired flavourings too – lime, ginger, fish sauce… mmm… what a delight! Very interesting post and your first photo is beautiful.

  13. This looks awesome!!
    I love Donna Hay work… This looks absolutely delicious!!!

  14. Food pics distracted my reading … what a surprise!

  15. The pork salad sounds so delicious with all the great flavors in this recipe. Your photos are wonderful.

  16. That group is to be admired for making that trek, under those conditions, for charity. And what a nice video of their accomplishment! The pork salad recipe you’ve shared today sounds so flavorful. I bet it’s delicious!

  17. We used to love it when my dad bought home Ration Packs from the army barracks, they were fill of funny packets and tins. It would have been a very different story if he tried to serve them up for dinner!
    I bet your poor friend would have been dreaming of a meal lime this amazing pork!

  18. That looks nice! I could probably make that!

  19. Caramelised Pork Salad??? Who wouldn’t dream about it! I had no idea such a thing existed, but now I simply want to make it as soon as possible.
    I have always admired people who go into the high mountains. Raising money for a special fund makes them even more amazing. Have you read “The Ascent of Rum Doodle”? On of the most hilarious books I have ever read (hilarious in the old-fashioned way).

  20. Oh my god that pork salad looks delicious. It’s making me so hungry!

  21. Have you ever wanted to go to Antarctica? I haven’t. Minnesota is close enough for me!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I wouldn’t mind going just to say I’ve been there. But I’d be happy to just fly in and fly right back out again. Far to cold for me!

  22. That’s so inspiring.. I’m going to check out their video! I think they needed a personal chef along the way (mind you, in a heated tent with cushy pillows and many down comforters), they should have asked you!!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Oh Barb, I’m no good in the cold. I think I could have managed the trekking (just) but would have needed to check in to something 5-Star every afternoon.

  23. lovely dish and will watch the clip love stories like this just watched the race a guy who cycled across America

  24. Wow that is some video…amazing and seriously cold!
    Great flavors here, my guys love pork and would enjoy this 🙂

  25. Amazing journey, hope they raised all the money they wanted. Love the pork recipe very nice

  26. Just the picture made me want to make this salad ASAP but when I read the recipe I knew it would’t be long!

  27. Such an amazing and inspiring achievement. They are amazing.

    I bet they would have been pretty happy to get a meal like this when they got home.

  28. Well, that pork looks extremely tasty. I have no doubt those explorers would’ve loved that meal!

  29. Not sure I would brave that cold – our “mild” winters and I are not best of friends so don’t think I would fare well..
    Scrumptious pork salad – heavenly!
    🙂 Mandy

  30. That salad looks amazing – I love the look of the pork… so juicy and tender, and the green leafy pile next to it – so wonderful. What a great meal (and definitely better than some freeze-dried junk!)

  31. When I was a kid, I attended an experimental private elementary school owned by a University, and it was during the time of flights to the moon. One day we had a guest speaker from NASA who let us sample the type of freeze dried meals the astronauts ate. I don’t remember what they tasted like….we were all too excited about the thought of astronauts. One thing I’m sure of though, your pork salad would taste a million times better! I love pork salad.

  32. Love the idea of the combination in this salad. A perfect Yin-Yang.

  33. Made this tonight for dinner. Huge hit!!! Husband and I both LOVED it! Thanks so much!

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