Chinese Style Crispy Pork Belly/Siew Yuk

Came across this gem of a recipe on The Hungry Giant a few weeks back and decided it was the easiest looking Pork Belly recipe I had seen in ages….. a must try.    All I needed was a Pork Belly and an occasion.  My dads birthday was coming up and Dianne was able to get a Pork belly so it was ‘game on’.    I have adjusted the recipe slightly as the original recipe called for large quantities of salt ( which isn’t that good for us) as well as a huge amount of pepper that was a bit over powering.  The quantities here are the reduced version.  This made a really yummy Birthday meal topped off with dads favourite sticky date pudding.  Dianne actually did all the preparation and cooking while I was at work – so I cant take any of the credit for the delicious results.

Crispy Pork Belly

  • 2.5 kg pork belly
  • 1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine, (rice wine) optional
  • rock salt for the skin
  • 2 teaspoons salt (original recipe had 6-7 teaspoons!!!!!)
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper (original has 4 teaspoons so feel free to add extra)
  1. To prepare the seasonings: Combine salt with sugar, pepper and five-spice powder well. Set aside.
  2. Use a knife to scrape away any impurities and hair. Rinse thoroughly.
  3. Blanch in boiling water for about 20 minutes, until around 70% done, and the skin is softened. I used a large wok and filled 1/4 of it with water. I carefully placed the pork belly in, and to make sure that the meat is fully submerged in water, I just added a glass or two as needed and allowed it to boil. 
  4. Drain well and wipe dry with paper towels.
  5. Place the belly on a large platter or tray, meat side up and skin side down
  6. Use a knife to make a few small slits on the meat and up the sides but not on the skin, so the seasoning will be absorbed better.
  7. Evenly brush the meat with the rice wine (optional). Let it rest for around 20 – 30 minutes.
  8. Coat the meat BUT NOT THE SKIN with seasoning mixture, otherwise, the five-spice will darken the skin.
  9. Flip the meat so the skin is now facing upwards.
  10. Using thick kitchen towels, evenly pat the skin dry. This is important so the skin can properly crisp up.
  11. Using a small knife with a sharp tip OR fondue forks, gently poke the skin to make little holes all over the skin. Christine recommends not exerting too much force that the holes have gone through deep into the fat. But still, you can go crazy poking holes all over. During this time, preheat the oven to 200 C/395 F if you intend to cook it immediately.
  12. Pat dry the skin a second time, making sure that there is no visible moisture left behind.Alternatively, you can also wrap the meat, but not the skin, with foil and leave it to dry inside the refrigerator overnight. I didn’t do this but the skin was still really crispy and the meat flavorful. Leaving it overnight however, most probably intensifies the flavor.
  13. When ready to cook, place the belly in a large roasting rack lined with aluminum foil to catch the drippings. Pour around ¼ cup water onto the foil so when the drippings will fall, it will not burn.
  14. Evenly season the rind with rock salt.
  15. Bake in the preheated oven for about one hour to one hour and ten minutes.
  16. Turn the heat dial to “grill’ and cook for another 20 minutes, or until the rind has sufficiently and evenly crackled.
  17. At this point you may notice that some parts of the skin appear to have charred too much. DO NOT PANIC. You can easily remove the charred bits by scraping it with a knife.
  18. When done, remove from oven, chop it into your desired serving sizes – cubes or strips
Serve with – 
  • Rice, with soy sauce and vinegar on the side. Enjoy!
  • Roast Vegetables and fresh greens
 Next time we will prepare this the day before and leave overnight to marinate for the Five spice flavours to  penetrate as suggested in step 9 as I can see how this would be an improvement.  
Do you have a favourite / easy pork belly recipe?

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