If you're like me, you're probably intimidated by this classic cantonese dish. Pre-YouTube days, we never had any videos to watch featuring chefs sharing their skills and giving step by step instructions. These days of course, you can learn just about anything with recipes from far and wide - from home chef videos to slick TV Land clips. The sky's the limit!
I never ever achieved this crispy skin until now. Being a home cook, I don't really follow recipes to the T (except for baking of course) and I usually pick up a few tips here and there from various recipes that catch my eye.
1) Slab of Pork Belly
2) Table Salt
3) Sea Salt
4) Baking Powder or Vinegar
5) Seasoning to your taste - Most use 5 Spice Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt and Chinese Wine.
1) Season Meat with to your taste. Make sure the seasoning goes onto only the meat and NOT the skin.
2) Make a little bed for your Pork Belly. This is important - It enables the heat to be concentrated on the skin.
3) Pat skin dry
4) Poke holes into skin with any pointy and sharp utensil or with a few wooden skewers. I used a barbecue skewer. This is also a crucial step.
5) Brush on some Vinegar, then salt skin liberally - This is to draw out the moisture. Alternatively, some rub a very thin layer of Baking Soda followed by the salt. But be cautious with the amount of baking soda. Too much there may be a slightly bitter after taste.
6) Leave in fridge overnight. Preferably uncovered. I usually cover it loosely to avoid cross contamination.
7) Bring meat to room temperature before roasting
8) Preheat oven to 100°C
9) Pat skin dry and sprinkle liberally with Sea Salt
10) Roast for 1 hour at 100°C
10) Take out and brush a layer of oil on dry skin.
11) Increase the oven temperature to about 200°C-220°C
12) Return Pork to oven for another 30 Minutes but always keeping and eye on your roast.
13) Remove from oven and let rest for about 15 minutes.
14) Cut into cubes or slices. To cut, flip pork belly with skin on the cutting board side. Cut through the meat from top until you reach the skin. Then press down firmly to cut through the crispy skin without disintegrating it.