Chinese roast pork is something you can easily do at home. My last recipe was published in 2011 and since then I have refined the method to produce a skin that is even more crisp! The key to a shatteringly crisp rind is a two part process where the skin is roasted till it is charred, then the top layer is scrapped off. What results is a layer of epidermis (skin) that is thin and as crisp as a potato chip!
Here is what you need:
Pork belly 1.5kg
Salt 1.5 Tbsp
White pepper 2.5 tsp
Five spice powder 1.5 tsp
Ground ginger powder 2 Tbsp
MSG 2 tsp or substitute with 2 Tbsp Nam Yu (fermented bean curd)
Rice Vinegar 1 Tbsp
1. Stab pork all over to produce hundreds of tiny puncture holes in the skin. You can do this after the blanching step or before and after if you are kiasu (play safe) or if you just want to vent your anger. (It’s quite therapeutic).
2. Prepare a water bath with a rack with the water level just half a cm higher than the rack
3. Place the pork belly skin side down and cook for 2 mins.
4. Thoroughly cool the pork belly under running water
5. Make slit across the bottom-est layer of the pork belly. Cut across the grain so that the pork will not curl up when it is roasting. It also helps the spice rub to penetrate the meat.
6. Mix the spice rub
7. Apply the spice rub all over the meat (not the skin)
8. Leave to cure over night in the fridge. Cover loosely with baking paper so that air can circulate and dry the skin.
9. After curing overnight, use a paper towel to brush off the excess salt. Then insert two skewers crosswise through the meat. This will prevent it from curling during the roasting process.
10. Roast at 180°C for 1 hour 10 mins or until the meat is cooked through.
11. Remove the pork from the oven and switch the oven to grill mode at 250°C. Meanwhile brush some rice vinegar on the skin side. Once the grill is ready, grill the pork on the upper shelf of the oven till the whole of the surface of the skin has bubbled and there are areas of char. This should take around 5 mins.
12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 mins. Lower the temperature of the grill to 200°C.
13. Using a serrated knife, scrape of the top layer of the rind.
14. Brush on some cooking oil and sprinkle 1 tsp salt evenly over the surface and return to the oven and grill at 200°C until the rind is golden brown.
15. Allow to cool before chopping into 1.5cm chunks of crispy, juicy goodness. Enjoy!
Update 1 Oct 2015
The spice mix has been updated!
Thanks to personal Chef Benson Tong for his help with this recipe