Crispy Pork Belly is probably everyone’s favourite Cantonese roast meat! The skin is so crispy golden you can hear the crunch as you bite into it, and the meat is so moist and succulent. Its so yummy, I guarantee you won’t be stopping at just one piece!
Chinese crispy pork belly is a popular Cantonese roast meat also known as Chinese Roast Pork (Siu Yuk / Siew Yoke in Cantonese). The skin of the pork belly is dried carefully and roasted at high heat at the start to force out the oil and cause the skin of the pork to crackle and blister, similar to how pork crackling and crackling pork roast is made.
I learnt to make Crispy Pork Belly Pork from my husband’s classmates when we lived in the UK while he was studying there many years ago. Most of his classmates were from Hong Kong, so we would take turns to host pot-luck dinners where we would cook our favourite Chinese food.
Thankfully, pork belly was one of the cheapest cuts of meat we could get from the butcher in the UK. So its no surprise that crispy roast pork belly would inevitably feature at almost every single pot-luck gathering, as it is not only a hot favourite, but in fact one of the easier dish to prepare.
Suggested Modifications for Special Diets
- Child-Friendly: No modifications needed.
- Egg-Free: No modifications needed.
- Fish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Gluten-Free: Skip the Chinese wine and fermented red bean curd.
- Nut-Free: No modifications needed.
- Shellfish-Free: No modifications needed.
Crispy Pork Belly is probably everyone's favourite Cantonese roast meat! The skin is so crispy golden you can hear the crunch as you bite into it, and the meat is so moist and succulent. Its so yummy, I guarantee you won't be stopping at just one piece!
- 1 kg Pork Belly
- 3/4 tbsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp 5 Spice Powder
- 1 tbsp Chinese Wine Also known as (Hua Tiao Chiew or Shao Xing Wine
- 1-2 pieces Fermented Red Bean Curd Optional
- 1 tbsp Coarse Salt To exfoliate the skin
- 6 tbsp Coarse Salt To cover the skin before roasting
- 1 dash Pepper
Exfoliate the pork skin by rubbing it with 1 tbsp of coarse salt both on the skin and the meat. Wash thoroughly. Pat the skin very dry with a kitchen towel, then place in a dry baking tray skin side down.
Mix the 1 1/2 tsp of fine salt and 1/2 tsp of 5 spice power, then rub the mixture onto the meat including all the grooves (not the skin).
In a separate bowl, use the back of the spoon to mash up the fermented red bean curd. Then add the 1 tbsp of Chinese wine. Rub the mixture all over the meat (avoiding the skin as far as possible.
Turn the pork belly skin side up in the baking tray, and pat the skin very dry again if necessary. Leave the tray of pork in the fridge uncovered for 2-3 days to dry the skin. (If you live in a dry climate, you can get away with reducing this to just 6 hours to allow the marinade to sufficiently penetrate the meat.)
When the skin is thoroughly dry, use a sharp utility knife (TIP: a pen knife works too) to score the skin width-wise about ½" apart.
Pre-heat the oven to 240*C.
Place the pork belly on a baking rack skin side up.
Spread the 6 tbsp of coarse salt on the skin leaving a 1cm perimeter. Press the salt layer down lightly to compact it. Be careful not to let the salt come into contact with the meat otherwise the dish will become too salty.
Place the pork belly on the top rack nearer to the fire and roast for 15-20 minutes.
By now, the coarse salt layer would have expanded to cover the whole skin. Take the pork belly out and remove the hardened layer of salt.
Remove excess oil by patting dry the skin with a kitchen towel. Then, place the pork belly back to the oven and continue to roast for another 15 mins.
At this stage the skin should start to crackle. After the whole piece of skin has started to blistered, turn the heat down to 180*C. Then continue to roast for another 10 minutes until the skin is golden brown.
Cut the crispy pork belly into bite size, and serve hot with mustard and thai sweet chilli sauce.
- When covering the skin with coarse salt, leave half an inch to one inch around the perimeter of the skin to make room for the salt to expand. If the whole skin is covered with salt to its edges, the salt may fall over to the sides of the meat once it expands, causing the meat to be too salty.
- Before careful to only score the skin and not the meat, as you don't want the meat to dry up during roasting.
- If the skin get charred, don’t worry, just use a sharp knife to scrap off the burnt part. Continue to roast until the skin is crispy.
- If the skin is not browning evenly, you can use a sheet of aluminum foil to cover the parts which are already nicely golden so they will not get burnt when you continue to roast the pork belly.
- When slicing up the roast pork, make sure the skin doesn’t come into contact with the juices that ooze out from the meat, otherwise the crackling skin will become soggy.
- If you want the skin to be ultra crispy, use a hair-dryer to further dehydrate the skin for 30 minutes to 1 hour just before cooking. You can build a home-made contraception using a plastic linen bin to hold the hair dryer in place for this extra step!