Keyword: crispy roast pork, shao rou, sio bak, siu yok
Prep Time: 15minutes
Cook Time: 45minutes
Total Time: 1hour
Author: Bee Leng
Crispy Pork Belly is probably everyone's favourite Cantonese roast meat! With skin so crispy you can hear the crunch as you bite it, and meat so moist and succulent, I guarantee you won't be stopping at just one piece!
Exfoliate the pork skin by rubbing it with 1 tbsp of coarse salt both on the skin and the meat, then Wash thoroughly.
Pat the skin very dry with a kitchen towel, then place in a dry baking tray skin side down.
Mix the 3/4 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).
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.
When the skin is thoroughly dry, use a sharp utility knife/pen knife 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.
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.
Leave half an inch to one inch around the perimeter of the skin to make room for the salt to expand when covering the skin with coarse salt. 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.
If you live in a dry climate, you can get away with leaving it in the fridge to just 6 hours to allow the marinade to sufficiently penetrate the meat.
Only score the skin and not the meat, as you don't want the meat to dry up during roasting.
Don't let the salt come into contact with the meat otherwise the dish will become too salty.
Make sure the skin doesn’t come into contact with the juices that ooze out from the meat when slicing up the roast pork, otherwise the crackling skin will become soggy.
Use a sharp knife to scrap off the burnt part if the skin get charred. Continue to roast until the skin is crispy.
If the skin is not browning evenly, 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.
Use a hair-dryer to further dehydrate the skin for 30 minutes to 1 hour just before cooking. That's how to get the skin to be ultra crispy. You can build a home-made contraception using a plastic linen bin to hold the hair dryer in place for this extra step!