Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Crispy Chinese Roasted Pork 脆皮烧肉

Max enjoyed this crispy roast pork very much. He said this taste exactly like shop-bought one's. But for me, yes, it taste close to shop-bought one, but not exactly.

We were debating about it while we are having it over dinner. And I come to a conclusion that this taste more like Singapore's roast pork version. Not Malaysia version. To be precise, it doesn't taste like the one that I had in my home-town. I know, I had cursed tongue. So, please ignore me.

Roasting this piece of pork is not difficult. Getting the right piece of pretty pork belly is a challenge. Especially you don't know how to sweet talk with the butcher. Haha...

One fine Saturday, I woke up really early. Reach wet market 8.30am just for the sake of buying a piece of nice pork belly. (I usually wake up at 9.30am earliest during weekend. It's weekend you know? Haha)

I supposed to buy a piece of pork belly that gives me nice even layer of meat, fats, meat and fats. But I can't. Max will complain. Hahaha... Well, I picked this piece of nice pork belly. There's only a very thin layer of fats in-between. Not too fat. It's good enough to make him eat the whole piece of roasted pork without splitting out the fats when he eat. My butcher really not bad and I never regret for waking up early just to get this nice piece of meat.

After I bought my pork belly, I walked to the nearby Chinese medicinal hall to get a nice pack of five spice powder. And for the rest of the ingredients, I already have it at home. Easy! All I need is five spice powder, garlic, ground white pepper and salt to make our spice rub.

(Recipe Source : Nasi Lemak Lover, with modification)

1.2 kg Pork Belly, with skin on 
1 tbsp Salt (for the skin) 

For dry rub2 cloves Garlic, mashed (about 1 heaped tsp in total)
1 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp ground white pepper

1.5 tsp Salt

Nasi Lemak Lover's recipe is meant for 2.8kg pork belly. But I want my roast pork more flavorful. So, I just retain the ratio of five spice powder and ground white pepper. Also, I used fresh garlic instead. How flavorful you want your roast pork to be? Well, that's individual. So, please just take this as a guide. You can use the same recipe but make 1.5kg pork or 2kg pork. It's absolutely up to you.


  1. Heat up a wok of water. Blanch the pork belly in the wok of hot boiling water for about 4 to 5 minutes. 
  2. Fish up the pork belly and pat dry with paper towels. Be careful, the pork belly is hot. 
  3. With the ultimate skin torturer (skewer actually), prick the skin all over. Try to prick as much holes as you could. The more the better. 
  4. Mix dry rubs ingredient together, and apply on the pork belly all over. Give it a good massage. So that the dry rubs will go into every nook and cranny.
  5. Once massage is done, place the pork on a wire rack. Rub 1 tbsp salt on the skin. Yes! Only the skin. 
  6. With the pork belly on the rack, place a tray underneath to catch the drippings, uncovered, place it in the fridge overnight and let it dry out. By keeping it overnight also allow the pork belly fully absorb the flavor of the dry rub. So, no short cut please. 
  7. Pre-heat oven 200C, top + bottom heat + Fan ON. With the pork belly still on the wire rack, put it into the oven. Let it roast for 25mins. 
  8. Switch the oven to top heat, increasing temperature to 230C. Grill until the skin is evenly blistered and browned. This takes me about 40mins. I did take the pork belly out twice during roasting to kinda check it and turn to another direction to let it roast evenly. 
  9. Once it's done, let it cool on a wire rack. I know it's hard to resist, but please leave the pork belly alone and let it cool down before you chop it. 
  10. Once the pork belly cooled down. Use knife to scrape away the charred skin (if any). Then, cut it into long strips, and chop them into bite size. Serve. 

The ultimate skin torturer (skewer) that I used to prick the pork belly skin. I got it from Malaysia. Cost me RM 12.90. I think Singapore do sell too. If you want, you could try to hunt for it at places like Sia Huat or Lau Choy Seng at Chinatown. I think they should have this.

Step 6 - Place pork belly on the rack, place a tray underneath to catch the drippings, uncovered, place it in the fridge overnight and let it dry out.

Skin dries out after overnight drying in the fridge.

Make sure the pork has certain level away from the top heating element.

After 25mins roasting. Only very minimum blister on the skin. Not yet!

This is what we want! Nicely browned, and skin blistered all over! And slightly charred! But nevermind about the charred part. We could scrape them away. Mine charred actually. And when you achieved this, I assure you, your kitchen smells heavenly roasted pork! Hahaha...

One thing that I need to warn you is that, please be prepared to do thorough cleaning for your oven. Once my roasted pork is done. I let my oven to cool down, and then I spent alot of time cleaning it. Hahaha... Roasted pork smell~!!! LOL~!!!

Step 10 - Cut cooled roasted pork into long strips. Did you see how juicy the pork is? Yes! Let the meat rest is very important. It retain it's meat juice in there. If you chop your roast pork when it's still hot, the meat juice will all gone! And what will happen? You've got very soft meat pieces (because they are still hot), meat juices moisten the crispy skin, and your roast pork pieces will end up having soggy skin. Also, the meat will dry when you eat it. You just visualize that and you will know what I'm saying.

Did you see? Did you see that piece? The piece of roast pork at the side, with big and thick piece of crispy crackling skin on top!!! Yes!!! I want that piece~!!! I love it~!!!

I'm going to do this again. The next attempt, I will want to find back the taste like the one that I had in my home-town. That version contains chinese red fermented beancurd. So, it's gonna be different. Stay tuned!


  1. Annie, WOW! WOW! WOW! You did it beautifully. I say, so nice to be able to make your own siew yoke. The skin looks very crispy krok, krok, krok! I am so hungry now.....

    1. Hahaha.. Phong Hong, do it lah! It's Chinese New Year! :D

  2. Aiyoh, what awesomeness!! Roast pork always gets me excited! BTW, where did you get your torture device in Malaysia? Have been searching for a proper tool like that instead of using those cheapo types with nails.

    1. Hehe. Sharon, I got it from one of the shop in Ipoh that sells pots, pans and everything about kitchen stuffs :)

  3. honestly, my family, including me, do not fancy eating the whole roast pork
    I only love the crisp top layer, only that :)
    yours is really gorgeous, its really look like those sold outside :)
    Happy Chinese New Year to u and family, Annie :)

  4. Hi Annie

    May I know what brand/model of oven you use to make this? Was wondering if this will work in a toaster oven, but am doubtful.


    1. Hello Koppiemama, I'm using Brandt oven. I'm not sure about your toaster tho :)

  5. Wow, you use pink salt as your cooking salt for this recipe?

    Any special reasons?


    1. No special reason. The only reason I used pink salt is because my kitchen is out of ordinary salt at that point of time. You could just use the ordinary salt :)