Crispy Chinese pork belly

Home-made crispy Chinese pork belly (Siu Yok/Shao Rou/脆皮燒肉) may sound daunting, but it is actually quite easy, thanks to the oven doing the bulk of the work. Most of the preparation time is a no-work zone – chilling the marinated meat in the fridge, or slow-roasting it in the oven. Home-made crispy roast pork is superior to store-bought ones because of the super crispy and crackling skin. Crispy Chinese pork belly is so crispy that you can hear the nosiy, firecracker music as you are slicing the meat and eating it. Feel free to increase the quantity of meat in this recipe (adjust the marinade ingredients accordingly) so long as they occupy one layer in the oven during roasting. If you have leftover roast pork, you can use them in your stir-fries and fried rice.

INGREDIENTScrispy chinese pork belly
1.3kg piece boned pork belly, skin on and scored, ask the butcher for the thin end
2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder

INGREDIENTS FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE
4 tablespoons soy sauce (we used Kikkoman)
Small knob fresh root ginger, grated
1 tablespoon Thai sweet chilli sauce
1 spring onion, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS
Rub the pork with the five-spice and 2 tsp sea salt then leave, uncovered, in the fridge for at least 2 hrs, but preferably overnight. When ready to cook, heat oven to its maximum setting. Lay the pork on a rack over a roasting tin, making sure the skin is exposed. Roast for 10 minutes before turning down the heat to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4, then leave to cook for a further 1½ hrs.

Have a look at the pork – if the skin isn’t crisp, turn up the heat to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7, then cook for another 30 minutes until crisp. Leave to rest on a board for at least 10 minutes. To make the dipping sauce, mix all the ingredients together with 2 tbsp water. Cut the pork into small pieces, then serve crispy Chinese pork belly with the sauce, plus boiled rice and steamed greens, if you like.

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