I don’t really like pork in general except bacon and this dish. This pork belly is seriously better than bacon. Extremely crispy skin+fat that melts in your mouth+tender and savory meat=perfection. This recipe makes use of traditional Chinese spices like five-spices powder and sand ginger powder, but really you can use any savory spices, the skin is all that matters. If you want to try the real Chinese roasted pork belly, I would recommend trying this recipe first, and then make your own adjustments after trying it.
Warning: This is a very time-consuming dish involving a lot of steps. It would be smart to start making this on a Saturday afternoon or night then eating it on Sunday for brunch/lunch. Also print this page out for easy reference because there’s too many steps to just write it down.
1 lb skin-on pork belly (try to find a uniform piece)
3 tablespoon shaoxing wine (optional, it’s made from fermented rice, so still kind of primal….kind of…)
3 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon five-spices powder
1 teaspoon sand ginger powder
2/3 cup kosher salt
- Cook pork belly in boiling water for about 10 minutes or until it’s medium-well
- Take it out and pat dry. Use a knife to make a few small cuts on the meat, not the skin.
- Stab the skin with needles as much as you can (this is what makes the skin crunchy so the more the better). I don’t think you can find these needles in the US but a fork will suffice. Don’t stab too deeply because the fat with make the skin soft when you bake it.
- In a bowl, mix salt, five-spices powder and sand ginger powder together. Rub Shaoxing wine all over the pork belly, then rub the powders on the meat and the sides, do NOT rub the skin with the powders.
- Put the belly on a rack to air-dry for about an hour
- Wrap the bottom and the sides of the belly with aluminum foil, leave about an inch of foil from the skin. Put the belly in the refrigerator overnight so the meat can really soak in the flavors and to dry the meat.
- Preheat oven to 200C or 395F. Take the belly out, stab the skin a little more with needles/fork. Pat dry. Cover the skin with kosher salt, this will absorb all the moisture and make the skin really crispy. Bake for 45 minutes
- Take the belly out after the 45 minutes, remove all the kosher salt, bake at 225C or 435F for 15 minutes.
- Move the belly to top rack and grill for another 15 minutes, the skin should start to crackle and look awesome
- Let cool for about 10 minutes then cut it into bite size and enjoy :) They taste even better with mustard. PS: we find it easier to cut it with scissors instead of knife.
Makes three servings of 5oz each
Nutritional Information for the whole pork belly
Nutritional Information for one serving