Saturday, 5 July 2014

Recipe: Crispy Roasted Pork Belly (燒肉)

Roast Pork
Crispy Roasted Pork Belly
One of the essential trios in most Chinese roast poultry stalls, crispy roasted pork belly or siew yuk is somehow my least favourite. The layers of fats on the belly is not quite as appealing. On occasions where crispy roasted pork belly is part of my meal, it is a requirement for the skin to be crispy, to consist tender layers of meat and layers of fat as thin as possible or even better non-existent.

Despite the lack of liking for crispy roasted pork belly, this dish was the first new dish I attempted some time last year. The success in making siew yuk gave me to confidence to explore further. So, here’s sharing my recipe which I’ve plucked off the internet some time ago.

Crispy Roasted Pork Belly (燒肉) – serves 4-5


750g pork belly
Rice vinegar
250g coarse sea salt

1/2 tbsp five-spice powder
1/4 tsp white pepper powder


1. Wash the pork belly with cold water. Scrap the layer of the pork skin with a knife to remove impurities. Remove all hair from the skin. Pat dry with kitchen towel.
TIP: Choose a pork belly slab which is evenly thick to make it easier for it to cook evenly.

2. Using a small knife, make small slits on the skin without piercing through to the meat layer.

3. Rub the marinade on the meat only. If any of the marinade gets on the skin, wipe off with a towel.

4. Refrigerate the pork belly overnight; uncovered with the skin side up. This allows the skin to dry thoroughly to produce a crispy skin.

5. Pre heat the oven to 170C.

6. Wrap the pork belly with alumminium foil (allowing it to sit in the foil like a container) and brush a thin layer of vinegar on the skin. Cover the skin with coarse sea salt.

Roast Pork1
Wrap the pork in aluminium foil
Roast Pork2
Cover with a layer of coarse sea salt

7. Bake the pork belly at 170C for 45 minutes.

8. Remove the pork belly from the oven and remove the coarse sea salt layer. Remove the pork belly from the aluminium foil. Using a skewer, poke the skin of the pork belly making multiple small holes on the skin layer.
TIP: Remember not to poke through to the meat.

9. Return the pork belly to the oven and switch to grill mode (top heat). Broil for 15 minutes in the oven. Check if all parts of the skin has begin to bubble. This allows the oil from the skin and fats layer to create a deep frying effect on the skin.
Continue to poke the parts of the skin which is still soft. 

10. Return to the grill and allow the pork belly skin to broil for another 15 minutes or until evenly browned.

Roast Pork4
A slightly charred slab of siew yuk
11. Remove from oven and allow to cool before cutting. Slice and enjoy!

The success of making my own crispy roasted pork belly is amazingly satisfying because now I don’t have to splurge to eat them in restaurants. Besides, hearing the sound of the crispy pork skin being munched by the guest of my siew yuk feast is the best part!


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