My mother-in-law made some chinese roast pork when we were in Kuching for the Chinese New Year. Chinese roast pork here refers to siew yuk (in cantonese) or sio bak (in hokkien). With a crispy crackling roasted skin and semi-tender meat, you can be assured of spoonfuls after spoonfuls of rice to go with it. No wonder I put on weight over Chinese New Year!
In Malaysia, there are many roast pork rice stalls around. It is very popular. A plate of white / fragrant rice with a few cuts of these roast pork and a couple of pieces of sliced cucumbers can cost about USD1.00 on the average depending where you go to. Very cheap, right? Absolutely.
This is my mother-in-law’s recipe for Chinese Roast Pork and the measurements are approximate only because she cooks it more by feel than using a strict recipe to follow.
- 1 piece of pork belly weighing approximately 1 kg
- 3 tablespoons of coarse / rock salt
- 2 tablespoons of fine salt
- 1 tablespoon of five-spice powder
Clean pork belly and pat dry with kitchen towel. Rub fine salt and five-spice powder on meat. Rub coarse salt on skin.
Heat up oven at gas mark 4 (about 180 degrees celcius). Place pork belly on a rack with a tray underneath to catch dripping oil. Roast the pork belly for at least 30 minutes and until the coarse salt crystalises just like in the picture above.
Remove the salt crystals and continue to roast till the skin is crispy. (Alternatively, what my mother-in-law did was to remove the pork belly and fry the pork belly in a wok with skin-downwards and without oil on medium heat till the skin turned crispy)
I have heard of some of the chinese roast pork recipe which called for the pork belly skin to be poked with a sharp knife so as to enable the fat to ooze out faster during roasting. You can try this additional step as well prior to rubbing the coarse salt.
Cut into small bite sizes prior to serving.
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