13 June 2012

Crunchy Roast Pork

I think all people of Chinese descent love their crispy crunchy roast pork. Well, maybe not everyone. But my family and I sure do!

An old school friend of mine recently posted pictures of her homemade roast pork which looked super delicious. Inspired, I attempted to make my own too.

I searched the net for a suitable recipe and narrowed them down to 2 then finally chose the one I would follow - I found it on Simply June's website (http://simply-june.blogspot.com/2010/02/roast-pork-belly-siew-yoke.html) who in turn had used a recipe from Terri's blog (http://hungerhunger.blogspot.com/2007/11/crispy-roasted-pork-shaorou.html).

I must say the recipe is excellent and fool-proof! On my first try it turned out really well and delicious. But because I had adjusted the proportion of the pork belly to suit my family size, the proportions of the ingredients ran a little. I had used a little too much salt and a little too little 5 spice powder, ha ha!

Nevertheless, I was very excited at the results. When I was cutting the roast pork, wow, it really did crackle and crunch!

The recipe is reproduced here but you could always visit June's and Terri's blogs too.

  • 1.7 Kg Slab of Pork Belly*, cleaned
  • 2-1/2 Tbsp Coarse Salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 Tsp 5-Spice Powder (Depending on preference)
  • 3 Tbsp Natural White Vinegar
* Choosing the perfect slab of belly pork is very important. It can't be too fatty or lean, and the skin must be of a desirable thickness.
Prick the pork skin with a fork or metal skewer as many times as possible. Smear 1 Tbsp vinegar all over the skin, leave the slab of pork skin-side up an hour or two (or put in the middle section of your fridge overnight, uncovered, if you can wait) so the skin will dry. Switch oven on to 200 C (about 400F).

Take pork out, turn over and rub half the salt and all the 5-spice powder on meatside/underside evenly. Turn over so skin-side is up. Rub 2 Tbsp vinegar all over the skin, then rub remaining salt over and place the pork on the wire rack of the oven. Put a tray under the rack to catch any drips and fill the tray with water so the drips won't smoke up your oven.

Roast without opening the oven for 1 1/4 hours (add 20 to 30 min longer if the pork is very thick; mine was not). Put the rack (use mitts!) higher up to grill the skin and increase the temp to 220 C (about 450F) for another 15 minutes.

KLGirl's experience: It can get pretty smoky during the roasting, so be sure to keep your windows and doors open. Also, the water in the tray to catch the oil drips dried out! Because I only used 600g of pork belly, my roasting time was only 45 minutes plus 10 minutes to grill the skin. More than enough - I'll reduce the time further next time. My oven is quite large and powerful. And of course, adjusting the amount of salt and 5 spice powder is an art (not a science - contrary to what my hubs thinks) which you have to perfect yourself according to your preference and the weight of the pork belly you are using.


  1. That piece of siew yoke looks good. We make our own too, the ones from the shops here are not as crunchy. Did you knw you can buy this prick that you can buy in Msia?

  2. Oh I didn't know can buy the prick! Have to go find it...

  3. Ooo..nice! Look like bought from the stall. Congrats on your success!

  4. I've made roast pork several times and I don't prick them. I use use a knife to score the skin, they work fine too.

  5. Hi Blessed Homemaker, glad to know a different method to treat the skin. Happy cooking!