I had to post this recipe ASAP because it’s just that good and so easy to make! Chinese roast pork belly is one of my favorite dishes to eat, but I always thought it was difficult to make. Crispy skin and succulent meat? How do you even get it that way? Turns out that the process is so much easier than I thought! I read several recipes and then decided to follow the marinade recipe given to me by a friend. The ingredients are very simple but the flavors are so on point!
The measurements are there as a guide and not set in stone. You just need to make sure that all the meat and sides are covered with the marinade and you’re ready to go. You’ll need to let the meat marinade while “drying out” the pork skin for around 8 to 12 hours in the fridge, so plan accordingly.
Chinese Style Roast Pork Belly
Serves 4 to 5, with other side dishes
- 1 kg pork belly (2.2 lbs)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
- ½ Tablespoon Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine)
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- White pepper to taste
- Coarse sea salt
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
Wash and dry the pork belly thoroughly with paper towels. Use a fork to poke the meat part so that the marinade can be soaked in. Use your hands to rub salt and sugar on the meat and the four sides first. Then add the five-spice powder, followed by the Chinese wine and sesame oil. Make sure that every part of the meat, including the sides, are covered with the marinade. Wipe the skin dry if any of the marinade gets on it.
Place the pork belly in the fridge, uncovered for 8 to 12 hours.
Pre-heat the oven to 200℃ (400℉).
Take out the chilled pork and set it on the counter for about 30 minutes. Place it on a roasting rack (if you don’t have one, you can use your oven rack, just make sure you have something to catch the oil that will drip below). Poke tiny needle-like shallow holes on the pork skin using a thin, sharp object (like thin pointed BBQ skewers). Place a ¼ inch layer of course sea salt on the skin and make sure all the skin is covered. If they start to spill off, you may use aluminium foil to form a wall surrounding the pork belly.
Roast for 50 minutes to an hour. My oven runs hot so you may want to roast a little longer depending on the type of oven you have. I have seen recipes that roast it for 2 hours but bear in mind that the skin will get charred that way.
After an hour or longer, take out the pork belly and carefully remove the salt. Brush a teaspoon of rice vinegar on the skin and place it back in the oven. Set your oven to top grill. You may also place the pork belly closer to the top of the oven if you lack the grill function. Just set it to a much higher temperature and watch the skin start to blister. After 15 to 20 min, or when it is blistered and dark golden brown, take it out of the oven and let it rest for about 30 minutes before slicing into it.
Listen to the beautiful crunch when you’re slicing it. It’s pure heaven!