Roast Pork Chinese Style - Recipe

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: Approximately 60 minutes 
Updated: 31-Dec-2016

  • 1 Kg of Pork belly (or more) with skin intact (Do Not use skinless or meat without rind)
  • About 5 teaspoon of salt (adapt to your personal preference)
  • 3 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice powder


A. Preparing the meat
  • It's preferable to purchase the meat from a Chinese butcher for usually less scented meat.
  • If meat is purchased from western supermarkets, blanch with boiling water and drain immediately to remove/reduce the scent.
  • Wash the meat and remove any hair on the surface of the skin with a disposable shaver or very sharp knife.
  • Dry with paper towel and leave it in the fridge uncovered overnight or at least 12 hours. I leave mine in the fridge for 24 hours. This helps to dry the skin and allows it to crackle when roasted.
  • The skin should be totally dry and even hard if it's ready for roasting. If not, you may get mixed results, where parts of the skin may not be crispy.
  • Using a roast pork skin jabber (available at Chinese grocers), stab the skin until it is completely covered with little holes. You can also use any sharp instruments like a carving folk to make very fine holes in the skin.
  • Rub Five Spice powder on the underside of the meat only, taking care not to get any on the skin. If you did get some on the skin accidentally, remove with paper towel. Do not wet the skin no matter what you do, otherwise it will not crackle.
  • Rub salt all over the meat, and ensure that every part of the skin is completely salted, otherwise it will not crackle fully.
  • Rub cooking oil on the skin. Rice Bran oil is preferred due to its high smoke point, but any cooking oil can be used.
  • Let the meat sit for 10 minutes while your oven heats up.

B. Roasting the meat
  • Preheat standard oven or fan-forced turbo broiler (fan-forced mini oven) to 210 C. I used an Air-fryer for the dish in this photo. 
  • Put the meat on a rack (skin on top) to lift it from the bottom of the pan so that excess oil and fat can be collected and discarded.
  • Roast for 20 minutes to get the skin to crackle.
  • Now turn the temperature down to 190 C, turn the meat skin side down and roast for a further 40 minutes per kilogram of meat. So for 1 Kg of meat, the roasting time should be around 60 minutes in total. 
  • Towards the finish, the last 10-15 minutes, turn the skin side up, and you will need to monitor it constantly so as not to burnt the skin. 
  • It's normal for small parts of the skin to be slightly charred. If so, use a sharp knief to gently scrape the charred bits off. 
  • After roasting, rest the meat for about 15 minutes before cutting them to bite-sized pieces.
  • Garnish with lettuce on the bottom and cucumber around the plate with the meat in the centre and serve immediately.