There’s nothing like biting into the crispy skin of freshly roasted pork belly or ‘siew yoke’ in Cantonese. I’ve always wondered how to prepare this wonderful and popular dish each time I see roast pork hanging at hawker centres. Even though there is quite a bit of preparation involved, once you taste the crispy skin and juicy flavours oozing into your mouth, it’s well worth it. Yummz! This is my humble attempt at recreating this dish, hope you like it and do drop me a comment below on your thoughts!
Roast Pork Belly
1. Pork Belly 1kg
2. Five Spices Powder (2 tblspoons)
3. Salt (2 teaspoons)
4. Pepper (2 tblspoons)
5. Vinegar (3 tblspoons)
1. 4 Apples
2. Sugar (3 teaspoons)
3. Water (1 cup)
1) Choose a piece of belly that is generally the same thickness throughout. This is important else you will get uneven roasting of the skin later. Wash and clean the belly throughly.
2) Also choose one which is clean ie. no hair or nipples. Yes….some belly portions have nipples attached… : )
3) Pour hot water over the skin of the belly. This will result in better crackling of the skin and also make it easier to poke the skin later.
4) Let it soak for about 2-3 mins and remove.
5) Pat the belly dry with a paper towel.
6) Once the belly is dry, season with pepper. Rub all over including the sides except the skin.
7) Same goes for the five spice powder. Rub all over except for the skin.
8) Add salt and spread evenly. This time including the skin as well.
9) Make sure in between the folds are marinated well also.
10) Pierce the skin. There is a special tool available to pierce the skin but as I didn’t have one, I used a fondue fork which did the job. This is important as it helps to release the air from the skin or bubbles will form during the roasting process.
11) Add half a teaspoon of salt and 1 tblspoon of vinegar on the skin.
12) Brush the vinegar over the skin or use the underside of a spoon to spread evenly.
13) Once all is done, leave the marinated belly in the fridge for 8 -12 hours. This is done to dry out the skin.
Preparation of the apple sauce
14) To make the apple sauce, skin the apples and cut into small pieces. Dissolve the sugar in 1 cup of water before pouring in. Heat under medium heat.
15) Add more water if it gets too dry. After about 10-15 mins of boiling, the apples will soften and use a spoon to mash them.
16) Mash the apples until it is soft and sauce like.
17) For those who need the additional kick. This will definitely spice up the meal. Red chilies !
After 8-12 hours in the fridge
18) After 8-12 hours in the fridge, remove the belly. It should be nice and dry. Score the underside of the belly about 2 inches thickness. This will help in the cooking of the meat and make it easier to cut later. Do not throw away remainder of the salt/vinegar marinade as you will need it later.
19) Preheat the oven for 10 mins @ 200 deg C/ 395 deg F and place the belly skin side down for 20 mins.
20) Use tongs to flip the belly with the skin facing up. Use paper towel to pat dry the skin and brush the salt/vinegar marinade remainder onto the skin. Set the timer for another 20 mins @ 200 deg C/ 395 deg F.
21) It should start to smell good now. Add more vinegar and salt on the skin. Set the timer for another 20 mins @ same temperature.
22) You should be able to see some bubbles forming already. The skin needs to be hard and crispy. Set the timer for another 20 mins @ same temperature. Use a spoon to knock the skin to test. It is only ready if it’s hard and crispy.
23) It is ok if the skin gets a little charred, as it can be scraped off easily. Just ensure that the skin has crackled all throughout and is not soft and bouncy.
24) Remove the belly and let it “rest” for about 10 mins. This allows the juices to flow back after heating.
25) Use the blunt edge of a knife to scrape the charred surfaces away.
26) Carve the belly into strips. After that, you need to use a cleaver to chop into bite size portions. Do not attempt to slice with a knife as the skin will just detach and fall off. You need to CHOP !
27) Ready to serve once chopped into bite size pieces. Hope you enjoyed viewing as much as I enjoyed presenting.
Presenting my Roasted Pork Belly with Apple Sauce
Thanks for viewing.