Chinese roast pork belly

Chinese roast pork belly

Man Food
Billy Law

Always wanted to crack that pork belly code? This recipe is the key to deliriously crunchy pork crackling. The secret is to keep the skin as dry as possible by adding salt to draw all the moisture out when roasting it in the oven. It’s important to use rock salt rather than table salt, so that you can brush it off after roasting – table salt will dissolve and the pork will become too salty.


Quantity Ingredient
2kg boneless pork belly, (with skin on)
2 tablespoons shaoxing rice wine
1 tablespoon chinese five-spice
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons ground white pepper
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons white vinegar
315g rock salt
jasmine rice, steamed, to serve
hoisin sauce, to serve


  1. First, you have to clean the pork belly. Scrape the skin with a knife to get rid of any hair then rinse and pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Put the pork belly on a shallow baking tray, skin side down. Drizzle the rice wine over the meat then rub it into the meat evenly. Mix the five-spice, salt, white pepper and garlic together and sprinkle over the meat, then rub it in, making sure the meat is fully coated. Turn the meat over, and pat the skin dry if it got wet from the marinade. Transfer to the refrigerator, uncovered, and leave it to marinate overnight.
  3. Take the pork out of the refrigerator and let it return to room temperature. Secure six metal barbecue skewers together with a rubber band. Prick the skin with the metal skewers until the whole skin is fully covered in tiny holes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Wrap the sides and the base of the pork belly with two layers of foil, leaving the skin exposed. Evenly brush the skin with the white vinegar. Spread the rock salt on top until the whole skin is fully covered. Cook the pork in the oven for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove the pork from the oven, remove the foil and scrape off all the salt on the skin. Switch from the oven to the grill on high heat. Place a wire rack on a baking tray and put the pork on top. Return the pork to the oven and grill for 15 minutes or until the skin is golden brown, puffy and blisteringly crispy. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 15–20 minutes before chopping it into bite-sized pieces. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and hoisin sauce.
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