The Chinese, especially the Cantonese, love roasted meats. In Cantonese cuisine, roasting or barbeque (known as siu laap), includes an array of wide offerings. As many of the early Chinese immigrants originated from the Guangdong province in Southern China, siu laap had traveled far beyond China and Hong Kong and it’s now popular all over the world. Wherever there is a Chinatown, you will be able to find siu laap. This Crispy Roast Pork is a well- known and loved Cantonese roast meat dish. The crispy crackling of the meat is highly favored by Chinese food connoisseurs. My recipe is tried and tested and you no longer need to trek to Chinatown for a serving of this crispy meat.
Serves 4 as part of a multi-course meal
- 2 lbs (1 kg) pork belly
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, for sprinkling
- Oil, for brushing
- 11/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Mix all the ingredients for the Marinade in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Keep the pork belly’s skin intact. Scrape the skin surface of the pork belly with a sharp knife to remove any impurities. Rinse and clean well with cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Poke the skin evenly and thoroughly using a toothpick or the pointed tip of a bamboo skewer. This will ensure the beehive-like crispy crackling. Wipe off the skin surface with paper towels after you’re done.
- Slit the meat part of the pork belly, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart and 3/ 4 inch (2 cm) deep. Using a small brush, brush the Marinade on the pork and into the slits. Be careful not to get the Marinade on the skin, pat dry with paper towels if you do. Sprinkle the salt evenly on the skin.
- Marinate the pork for 2–3 hours at room temperature, exposing the skin to allow air-drying. You can also use a fan to air-dry the skin.
- After marinating, wrap the pork belly tightly with two sheets of aluminum foil, exposing only the pork skin. Heat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and roast for 50 minutes. Take it out and brush the skin surface with the oil. Sprinkle a little more salt on the skin and turn the oven setting to broil. Put the pork belly back into the oven and broil the skin, about 3–5 minutes. Check at the 3–minute mark to make sure it’s not burnt.
- Transfer the pork belly out of the oven, let cool for about 10 minutes. Cut the pork belly into pieces and serve immediately.
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